Gleitsman Leadership Fellowship

Gleitsman Leadership Fellowships are funded through an endowed gift to CPL from the estate of Alan L. Gleitsman. These fellowships provide significant financial support and a robust cocurricular experience to promising Harvard Kennedy School master's degree students interested in social change.

Gleitsman Fellowships recognize Harvard Kennedy School students for their background or potential as activists. With the income generated by a $23 million endowed gift from the estate of Alan L. Gleitsman, CPL launched the Gleitsman Program in Leadership for Social Change (GPLSC) in 2007. It was Mr. Gleitsman's hope that if the world knew of the accomplishments of social activists, others would be inspired by their stories and would fight to correct some of the other problems facing the world, thereby improving the quality of life for all of us.

The Center for Public Leadership acknowledges the generosity of the Estate of Alan Gleitsman for its support of the GleitsmanLeadership Fellowship

Kola Oyeneyin

“The Gleitsman Fellowship showed me that I am not alone in the struggle for a better world. I was inspired, rejuvenated and revived to see that there is nothing I am doing in Nigeria that someone else is not pushing in other parts of the world. We may be scattered across continents but we share the same denominator in leading change.”

— Kola Oyeneyin, MC-MPA 2020


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


Interviews: Finalists for the Gleitsman Fellowship will be interviewed in late February 2022 by members of the Fellowship Selection Committee.

Note: Before submitting your application, we expect that you have thoroughly reviewed all pertinent information related to the Gleitsman 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 tripand 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:

  • Full tuition scholarship and health care fees for a master’s degree program at Harvard Kennedy School. Joint or concurrent degree students are eligible for a different financial aid package depending on their school in residence.

  • A comprehensive co-curricular/leadership development program

  • A network of exceptional peers and mentors who will enhance your ability to impact the communities you serve

Recipients of the Gleitsman Fellowship will be provided with full tuition and health insurance during the fellow’s course of study.

Award decisions will be primarily merit-based but with a consideration of financial need as determined by the HKS Student Financial Services. Both domestic and international students are eligible to apply. Successful applicants will demonstrate their potential as emerging social activists and innovators and interest in pursuing a career with transformative impact on society, as well as demonstrating strong character and excellent academic credentials.

The Gleitsman Fellows are 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, a weekly series of speakers, workshops and seminars, a leadership field experience (a multi-day trip to a major U.S. city), and opportunities to connect with other Center for Public Leadership fellows and alumni.