Executive Education

Through our Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education courses, the Center for Public Leadership and affiliated faculty offer the skills and tools needed for practitioners leading in all areas of public life. Learn more about our interactive learning opportunities below.

Art and Practice of Leadership Development

Faculty Chair: Ronald Heifetz

The Art and Practice of Leadership Development is a highly interactive and experiential executive program. Led by Harvard Kennedy School Professor Ron Heifetz, King Hussein Bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership, the program is designed to train executive leadership development professionals from around the world, including consultants, teachers and trainers.

During the program, you'll work closely with experienced colleagues and a faculty of distinguished leadership educators to examine a range of concepts and teaching methods.

Behavioral Insights and Public Policy

Faculty Chair: Todd Rogers

Traditionally, many government policies are designed on the basis of how people should behave and an assumption that this behavioral is rational.

Yet both individuals and organizations make many decisions that systematically depart from what is rational. The result? Policies that are ineffective or even backfire.

Led by a renowned group of scholars and practitioners working in this rapidly expanding field, Behavioral Insights and Public Policy will introduce you to cutting-edge research from various social science disciplines and how these can be used to build more effective policies.

You will examine how behavioral insights can inform the development of nontraditional policy tools and why these can be more impactful and cost-effective than traditional policy tools.

Creating Collaborative Solutions: Innovation in Governments

Faculty Chair: Mark Moore

Creating Collaborative Solutions: Innovations in Governance is a one-week executive program exploring these groundbreaking efforts. Led by Harvard Kennedy School Professor Mark Moore, this program reveals new modes of working collaboratively across traditional political and organizational boundaries to identify, understand and address emerging social problems.

You and your peers will immerse yourselves in an engaging and interactive learning environment, one that will include a real-work project focusing on a challenge from your current environment. You will have the unique opportunity to hone in on this challenge and develop solutions based on faculty and peer feedback.

Creating Public Value

Faculty Chair: Mark Moore

It's easy to lose sight of the important collective interests and public values that government is entrusted to protect, advance, and secure. It's even easier to miss the crucial contribution that public leaders and managers make toward achieving these important social purposes.

Creating Public Value will help public leaders and managers improve their performance in guiding their societies to define and create public value.

Led by Harvard Professor Mark Moore, this nine-week online program will strengthen your capacities to develop and use a "restless, value-seeking imagination" to give meaning and impact to your work. You'll also learn to imagine, test, adapt, and actively pursue a public value proposition that uses the distinctive assets of government to help create societies that are prosperous as well as sociable and just.

Crisis Leadership in Higher Education

Faculty Chair: James Honan

It's impossible to control whether a crisis will happen at your institution. However, you can control the way you react to it and learn to handle it in a way that will protect your students and your institution's reputation.

Crisis Leadership in Higher Education gives you critical information about proactive training and planning so you can implement effective crisis management systems in advance of a critical event. 

The program will help you respond to crises effectively, develop protocols and practices that minimize the potential for future occurrences and inspire confidence in the long-term success of your institution. 

Crisis Leadership Training

Faculty Chair: Leonard Marcus

This immersive learning experience is built around case discussions, collaborative projects, and prominent, insightful guest speakers in addition to the renowned program faculty. Participants will engage with leaders from some of the most significant crises of recent years and build a robust network of peers who will serve as an enduring resource. Participants will leave with a better sense of themselves as leaders and team builders, as well as how to take decisive action when it matters most.

Emerging Leaders

Faculty Chair: Christopher Robichaud

Throughout the world, a new generation of leaders is emerging. But what skills will these up-and-coming managers need to lead most effectively in this new era? Emerging Leaders is an executive education program that brings together renowned Harvard faculty and an international cohort of rising professionals from the United States and abroad for an empowering and energizing week of learning. Using a cutting-edge pedagogy, this Harvard Kennedy School program will develop and expand your capacity to be one of tomorrow’s leaders.

You will gain the skills and strategic frameworks necessary to capitalize on opportunities and overcome obstacles, returning home inspired to enact change in your country.

Leadership and Character in Uncertain Times

Faculty Chair: Christopher Robichaud

In today’s ever-changing world, it is crucial that leaders act with integrity and authenticity. How do you balance one's owns values with the values of a community? How can behavioral sciences give us tools to bring about institutional change? Les by Faculty Chair Christopher Robichaud, Leadership and Character in Uncertain Times is a five-week online program that offers a unique opportunity to learn how to lead in times of conflict and disagreement.

Explore adaptive leadership concepts and gain tools to exercise moral leadership both within organizations and in society.

Leadership in Crises

Faculty Chair: Herman B. (Dutch) Leonard

In this one-week executive education program, Leadership in Crises: Preparation and Performance, you'll learn how to successfully manage, survive and recover from the unexpected. You'll learn how to build the expertise you need to ensure a more successful crisis management process.

You'll also learn how to effectively gather critical information, adapt to unique circumstances and prioritize effectively. 

Leadership in Crises also looks at how to build bridges across boundaries, presenting perspectives on planning, training and implementing, so that senior managers like you can have systems in place in advance of a critical event.

Leadership Decision Making

Faculty Chair: Jennifer Lerner

Leadership Decision Making features hands-on learning experiences that help leaders like you improve decision analysis and leadership effectiveness. During this six-day program, you'll discover how to recognize biases in judgment that affect even the most intelligent individuals and to incorporate structured decision-making techniques empirically shown to enhance decision making.

You'll also receive customized, confidential feedback on your decision-making style from the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory—one of the most popular aspects of the program.

Leadership for the 21st Century

Faculty Chair: Timothy O'Brien

Leadership for the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict and Courage delves into why we lead the way we do. This one-week program offers a stimulating and challenging curriculum that invites you to learn how to exercise leadership with more courage, skill and effectiveness. You'll reflect on your deepest assumptions and most strongly held values. You'll then consider how those values and beliefs may have limited you in the past.

The program challenges you to look beyond formulating quick technical solutions that try to solve deeper organizational issues. Instead, it asks you to examine yourself and the competing commitments and loyalties in your organization or community.

Leadership, Organizing, and Action: Leading Change

Faculty Chair: Marshall Ganz

Effective organizing requires an understanding of how to identify, recruit and develop leadership, build community around that leadership and harness the power from the resources of that community. Leadership, Organizing and Action: Leading Change is an online executive program designed to help you learn how to organize communities that can mobilize power to make change.

This 15-week online program offers a unique opportunity for those involved in organizing projects around the world to interact with others engaged in similar efforts, including leaders of civic associations, social movements, advocacy groups and nonprofits.

Moral Leadership in an Imperfect World

Faculty Chair: Christopher Robichaud

Using insights from adaptive leadership, moral psychology, and professional ethics, this five-day program will introduce you to a new model of leadership designed to strengthen your ability to weigh difficult moral decisions and exert influence regardless of your level of authority.

Tolerating the difficult moral trade-offs that inevitably arise when having to make hard decisions in real-world situations requires a skill set that tests the capacity of most leaders.

By advancing a multilayered theory of practical ethics, Moral Leadership in an Imperfect World will help you cultivate the necessary skills to make better moral decisions in today's polarized world. 

Nonprofit Financial Stewardship: Concepts and Techniques

Faculty Chair: James Honan

Senior executives leading nonprofits need to strike a balance between creating public value and managing the bottom line. Nonprofit Financial Stewardship: Concepts and Techniques for Strategic Management is a four-week online program designed to help managers in nonprofit organizations understand the tools, techniques and concepts of good financial management.

This nonprofit financial stewardship executive program represents a unique learning opportunity for nonprofit and nongovernmental organization managers to interact with Professor James P. Honan of Harvard Kennedy School as well as with colleagues around the world.

Public Narrative: Leadership, Storytelling, and Action

Faculty Chair: Marshall Ganz

Public Narrative: Leadership, Storytelling, and Action is a transformative online program through which you can strengthen your capacity to lead. You learn how to tell a story of self that enables others to "get you"; a story of us that enables your community to "get each other"; and a story of now that turns the present moment into one of challenge, hope, and action.

It is a groundbreaking practice that for years has proven an invaluable tool for senior public leaders, community organizers, students, and leaders across a range of organizations. 

Senior Executive Fellows

Faculty Chair: Dana Born

Senior Executive Fellows is the unparalleled professional development program for public sector executives who want to sharpen their leadership and managerial skills. It's designed for GS-14/GS-15 federal employees and their corporate sector, international and military counterparts. Led by renowned Harvard faculty and expert practitioners, this immersive four-week executive leadership skills program will not provide you with the answers to specific challenges.

Rather, you will learn a strategic approach and framework for problem-solving, conditioning you to ask the right questions. You'll immediately take on a leadership role in the classroom and gain the tools necessary to look at issues from a new perspective.

Strategies for Building and Leading Diverse Organizations

Faculty Chair: Robert Livingston

Strategies for Building and Leading Diverse Organizations is a one-week executive program designed for leaders of public, private and nonprofit organizations who want to learn effective strategies for leveraging diversity.

This program explores the role of diversity in creating strategies that both improve organizational effectiveness and relationships with diverse populations. Chaired by Dr. Robert Livingston, this diversity executive program will challenge you to think deeply through issues both internal and external to your agency or company.

You will discover how diverse organizations realize performance advantages by attracting the best and brightest while gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of the differences in your workforce and in your community.

Women and Power

Faculty Chair:  Hannah Riley Bowles

Women and Power is a one-week executive program that focuses on teaching effective leadership strategies, with an emphasis on creating successful alliances and enduring partnerships.

At its core, the program is an intense experience designed to help women advance to top positions of influence in public leadership.

During the program, you'll immerse yourself in a truly inspiring environment, learning from and interacting with esteemed Harvard faculty and other dynamic women leaders from around the world.

A highly interactive classroom setting provides the opportunity to discuss strategies for enhancing your influence and authority in organizational and political contexts as well as examine today’s most pressing leadership challenges. You'll return home from this executive leadership program for women equipped to apply what you've learned to your current professional situation.