David M. Rubenstein Fellowship

David M. Rubenstein established a fellowship in 2008 for first year joint degree students at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Business School.

Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School have created a fully integrated joint degree program in business and government that represents an innovative approach to preparing leaders for a growing area of practice of critical importance to global society. Students enrolled in the joint degree program will be prepared to work in positions of influence at the intersection of business, government and nonprofit organizations, dealing with challenges in such critical areas as health care, the environment, economic development, and government.

Program Manager: Brandon Ward

The Center for Public Leadership acknowledges the generosity of the David M. Rubenstein for his support of the Rubenstein Fellowship

Sara Asad

"Being a Rubenstein Fellow has been such a privilege for me. From the discussions in the classroom to the conversations outside of the classroom, this program brought together a unique group of individuals who share a passion for making a positive impact in the world. I have already learned so much from my peers, and I am excited for our journey ahead."

— Sara Asad, MPA-ID/MBA 2023


Applications for the 2022-2023 cycle are now closed. Check back in Fall 2022 for details on the 2023-2024 application process.

Note: Before submitting your application, we expect that you have thoroughly reviewed all pertinent information related to the Rubenstein fellowship, including but not limited to: program requirements, eligibility information, and the background and purpose of the fellowship, including the history and background of the donor. Being a CPL fellow carries with it certain responsibilities including maintenance of good academic standing as required by your degree program; attendance at all fellowship programming for the entire duration of the fellowship; leading program sessions and service activities including a field experience trip; and responsible conduct in representing CPL and Harvard University. Please visit our Fellows FAQs page for more information.

Commitment to Nondiscrimination: As a matter of commitment, policy, and law, Harvard Kennedy School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, gender identity, color, race, age, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, intellectual focus, disability, or veteran status. The School strongly believes diversity enhances the value of all its activities, from research and teaching to degree programs and public events. The School encourages applications from candidates who are interested in careers in public service and acknowledges a special responsibility to train effective leaders in public policy and management.

Program Information


The fellowship provides:
Tuition support for a first-year joint master’s degree program at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School
A year-long co-curricular leadership development program
Most importantly, a network of exceptional peers and mentors who will enhance your ability to impact the communities you serve

Student applicants admitted to the HKS/HBS joint degree program are eligible for the Rubenstein Fellowship during their first year at Harvard Kennedy School. Applicants will be considered based on their demonstrated commitment to public service, leadership potential in the tri-sector space and interest in the fellowship. Successful candidates will also demonstrate excellent academic credentials.

The Rubenstein Fellows become part of the Center for Public Leadership's community of graduate fellows and will participate in an enriching co-curricular experience designed to enhance their skills and engage their development as the next generation of public leaders. The co-curricular program typically includes a welcome retreat, cohort sessions, workshops and seminars, a leadership field experience trip and opportunities to connect with other Center for Public Leadership fellows and alumni. Fellows engage with other emerging leaders as they begin their careers through opportunities like roundtable discussions, mentoring experiences with fellowship alumni, leadership skill building workshops, and networking events.