CPL’s co-curricular leadership development programming at Harvard supports students, many of whom arrive on campus with previous leadership experience, to practice and apply leadership within the Harvard Kennedy School context. Our impact is measured by the excellence exhibited by our graduates as they lead in challenging, complex, and ever-changing globalized contexts.

Faculty-led Leadership Development Workshops

CPL’s leadership development workshops cover content from the most sought-after, often oversubscribed courses at Harvard Kennedy School. Our leadership development workshops provide students with the unique opportunity to study and engage with professors whose work has been critical to the public service arena. Among the participants are Max Bazerman on behavioral insights in leadership, Dana Born on authentic leadership, Brian Mandell on the art of negotiation, Steve Jarding on running for public office, and Iris Bohnet on gender equality by design for leaders. Each workshop consists of two sessions, with preference in registration given to Harvard Kennedy School students not enrolled in the professor’s class.

Fall 2017 Workshop Schedule

September 19 & 20: Authentic Leadership

Dana Born, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

October 24 & 25: The Art of Negotiation

Brian Mandell, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

November 28 & 29: Mobilizing Social Change

Leah Wright Rigueur, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

December 5 & 6: Managing a Crisis

Juliette Kayyem, Belfer Lecturer in International Security, Harvard Kennedy School

Dubin Leadership Service Seminars

The Dubin Leadership Service Seminars (LSS) create opportunities for student leaders, with the guidance of a faculty adviser and the CPL Leadership Development Team, to organize a study group and plan a domestic trip with other fellow students on an important regional policy issue, and learn both from each other and from practitioners in the field. Typically held during the spring semester, the LSS affords students the ability immerse themselves in regional policy issues they are passionate about while at the same time engage in experiential leadership development, expand their networks with experts who conduct work related to the policy issue of interest, in a trip that is heavily subsidized by CPL.

In the past, these study groups have examined education and healthcare for low income communities in California’s Central Valley, studied rural economic development in Southwest Virginia and exposed themselves to civil society-led urban renewal in Detroit, Michigan. 

Leadership Development Cohort

The Leadership Development (LD) Cohort is comprised of at least 15 Harvard Kennedy School students who are not CPL fellows chosen from a competitive application pool every semester. The LD Cohort experiences special programming which consists of (1) attendance at all Leadership Development Faculty Workshops, (2) cohort meetings with the LD Team approximately twice a month, and (3) special coaching sessions fr om Hauser Leaders-in-Residence. The Leadership Development team will reach out to all Harvard Kennedy School students at the beginning of each semester with application information.


Aleksandra Milcheva, MPP 2018
aleksandra_milchevaAleksandra is a member of the Business and Government Professional Interest Group at HKS and her primary academic and professional interests are related to policies promoting innovation driven entrepreneurship. Prior to HKS, she was part of the economic team of the Bulgarian president working on the development of the local innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. She is interested in more opportunities for reflective leadership and communing with a diverse group of HKS students in the Leadership Development cohort.

Alicia Harley, PhD (Public Policy) 2017
Alicia HarleyAside from pursuing her current doctoral degree, Alicia is also a Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program at HKS.  Alicia studies how institutions shape innovation systems and how innovation systems can be reoriented to meet sustainable development goals. Alicia is fluent in Arabic. She looks forward to expanding her leadership skills with the Leadership Development cohort members so that she is better equipped to translate her research into action.

Amy Gao, MC/MPA 2017
amy_gaoAmy Gao is concentrating on civic engagement and philanthropy at HKS. She is the founder of The May Foundation, an organization that promotes volunteerism among college students across universities in China. By joining the Leadership Development cohort, she wants to improve her personal leadership skills to support her philanthropic efforts. 

Boris Falatar, MC/MPA 2017
boris_falatarBoris joined the United Nations Protection Force as a teenager during the war in his hometown of Sarajevo. He has since served with the UN and the ICRC in various humanitarian, political and diplomatic positions. Most recently, he was Coordinator for Crisis Response at UNESCO. Boris graduated from the American University of Paris and earned his MSc degree from the London School of Economics.

Claire Chaney, MPP 2017
claire_chaneyClaire is concentrating in Social and Urban Policy. Before coming to HKS, she taught sixth grade math in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood as a Teach For America corps member. She is excited to join the cohort in order to develop leadership skills that will help her become most effective in advocating for education equity.

Deborah Oh, MPP Harvard/JD Berkeley 2020
debbie_ohDebbie is concentrating on Democratic Public Institutions at HKS. Prior to HKS, she taught high school math in Hawai’i for three years and completed education policy fellowships at the Hawai’i DOE, Hawai’i Legislature and Hawai’i Teachers Union. Debbie hopes to grow professionally and personally through the Leadership Development cohort so she can serve to her fullest potential as an education leader.

Eva Bernard-Lohmann, MC/MPA 2017
eva_bernard-lohmanEva worked at the World Bank before coming to HKS, concentrating on human development issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, she was an Economic Attaché at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. Eva is eager to be member of the Leadership Development cohort to improve her leadership skills in order to lead change from within in the existing development institutions she will have the chance to serve.

Gustavo Payan-Luna, MC/MPA 2017
gustavo_payanGustavo is an international development specialist from Mexico City with experience in Central America, Eastern Europe, East Africa and the Philippines. An impassioned advocate for youth and community development, he builds programs to foster peace through education and economic opportunity.  Gustavo joined the Leadership Development cohort to enrich his Harvard community and learning experience by being part of such a diverse cohort across degree programs in order to best serve the broader HKS.

Haiyang Zhang, MPAID 2018
haiyang_zhangHaiyang worked in finance for two years before coming to HKS. His interests include economic development, public–private partnerships, and China-U.S. relations. Haiyang is looking forward to learning from faculty and fellow students within the Leadership Development cohort to enrich his student life at HKS and prepare him for leadership post-HKS.

Henning Ringholz, MC/MPA 2017 
henning_ringholzHenning is a passionate social innovator and change-maker with a proven track record of creating social impact through business means with extensive experience in consulting competitiveness, international development and the private sector. Henning is a co-founder of the Shared Value Network Ireland, as well as the International NGO Impact Investment Network. At Harvard, he has created a student initiative on social innovation, and is co-leading a student leadership seminar series on inclusive urban economic development.

Isaac Lara, MPA/JD Columbia Law School 2017
isaac_laraIsaac worked as a city investigator and examined NYPD misconduct ranging from stop-and-frisk to excessive use-of-force before coming to Harvard. At HKS, he is concentrating his policy studies on the role that economic development plays in public safety. Isaac looks forward to enhancing his communication skills and exchanging leadership strategies with Leadership Development cohort participants.

Kimberly Bright, MC/MPA 2017
kim_brightPrior to starting at HKS, Kimberly served as Chief of Staff to the Commissioner and Policy Director at the Rhode Island Department of Education. She had previously served as Director of Field Operations for Marriage Equality Rhode Island.  Kimberly hopes to continue her career in work that will take advantage of her passion for electoral politics, education policy, and equity. Kimberly holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Rhode Island.

Meriem Boudjadja, MC/MPA 2017
meriem_boudjadjaMeriem is a Mason Fellow from Algeria. Prior to HKS, she led a project dealing with the construction of the UN House in Algiers with the United Nations Development Program. In Algeria, she was also a cabinet member, working with the Ministry of Industrial Development & Investment and the Ministry of Trade. The Leadership Development cohort will help her use the exchanges with colleagues and practitioners as a springboard to test new approaches in leadership and public service.

Moctar Aboubacar, MPP 2018
moctar_aboubacarA native of Niger, Moctar is an international development professional who is passionate about applying innovative methods to reducing poverty and inequality in Africa. He is Chair of the HKS International Development Interest Group and Managing Editor of the Africa Policy Journal. By participating in the Leadership Development cohort, Moctar hopes to gain insights on leading diverse teams to spark changes in how countries structure support for their most vulnerable populations.

Nadim Houssain, MPP 2018
nadim_houssainNadim is concentrating on International and Global Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to enrolling at HKS, he served as a Field Organizer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa. He is Associate Editor for the HKS Journal of Middle Eastern Policy and Politics and is on the leadership board of the Palestine Caucus. Nadim is joining the Leadership Development cohort because he hopes to refine his leadership and community organizing skills.

Nathan Leamy, MPP 2017
nathan_leamyNathan has concentrated his policy studies at HKS in Political and Economic Development. Originally from Oregon, he most recently worked as a Program Coordinator at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  By being part of the Leadership Development cohort, he hopes to learn how to articulate solutions and build coalitions for improving efficacy of government services in city and local government.

Peter Drivas, MPP 2018
peter_drivasPeter is interested in housing policy, affordability, and urban development that works for all. A New York City native, he was a policy analyst at the NY City Council and a project manager at Empire State Development before coming to HKS, where he is concentrating in Social & Urban Policy. He co-chairs HKS’s City + Local PIC.

Rebecca Schwartz, MPP 2018
rebecca_schwartzRebecca spent the past eight years working on health and education programs, domestically and abroad. Most recently, she conducted randomized control trials at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, evaluating interventions to improve health outcomes for low income New Yorkers. She hopes to learn effective leadership strategies to better promote health policies.

Shweta Arya, MPA/ID 2017
shweta_aryaShweta is a second-year dual-degree candidate pursuing the MPA/ID alongside an MBA from the Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania. Originally from India, she worked as a development practitioner at the World Bank prior to graduate school and spent last summer interning at the Albright Stonebridge Group. As a member of the Leadership Development cohort, she would like to work on improving her leadership presence – by learning how to inspire and motivate others.

Mala Paliwal, MPA 2018
mala_paliwalMala most recently worked in business advisory services for not-for-profit industries at Grant Thornton, New York from over 10 years of private sector experience in consulting, accounting, and auditing in Argentina, Brazil, India, Mexico, United Kingdom, and United States. She has expertise in business and people development, internal and external audits, risk assessment, financial analysis and modelling, and knowledge management. An accountant by training, Mala is passionate about gender diversity and equality in organizations. 

George-Axelle Broussillon Matschinga, MC/MPA 2018
george-axelle_broussillonAn Arthur Sachs Fellow and the Vice-President of Diversity of the Harvard Kennedy School Student Government, George-Axelle is an International Diversity Expert. Committed to recruiting and advancing minorities and women in the workplace for more than ten years, she is one of the first Diversity managers in France. She graduated from ESCP Europe Business School and holds a Master’s Degree in HR, Communication and Negotiation from CELSA-Sorbonne University in France.


Leadership Development Practitioner Series

The Series provides students with a unique opportunity to engage with outstanding practitioners over sensitive topics including risk, resilience, and failure where the academic setting may not likely provide the venue for discussion.

It is also a chance for HKS students to listen and engage with practitioners who have about 7-10 years of experience in an important field, either in the public, private or non-profit sectors.