Hauser Leaders Program

The Hauser Leaders Program at Harvard Kennedy School hosts a unique portfolio of high-profile leaders and practitioners from across public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Hauser Leaders spend their time on campus advising students and engaging with faculty during richly-programmed visits throughout the academic year. By teaching skill-building and leadership development workshops, engaging key external stakeholders, and advising students and alumni, Hauser Leaders enact the Center for Public Leadership’s mission to develop principled, effective public leaders who make positive change in the world. Hauser Leaders also inform Harvard curriculum by speaking in the classroom, engaging in research and case development, and sharing expertise with lead faculty.

Contact us for more information on the Hauser Leaders Program.

Upcoming Hauser Leader Events

HBCUs and Harvard: A Q&A with Hauser Leader Michael Lomax

Spring 2022 Hauser Leaders

Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto

Carmen Yulín Cruz SotoCarmen Yulín Cruz Soto
Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico (2013-2020)
Leader in Practice, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School 
Weissman Fellow in Leadership, Weissman Center for Leadership, Mt. Holyoke College

Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto served as the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico from 2013 to 2020. During her tenure, Cruz worked tirelessly to help her city recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Beyond the hurricanes, there were earthquakes in the southwestern part of the island as well as the resignation of the governor of Puerto Rico and the Covid-19 pandemic, while she was the mayor. Mayor Cruz was in national headlines when she went toe-to-toe with President Trump regarding the lack of distribution of FEMA aid to her city. Prior to becoming Mayor, Cruz spent four years in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives as a Representative at Large. 

Cruz is an active advocate for equality, fighting for the LGBT+ community, the deaf community, and children with functional diversity as well as those who have struggled with gender-based violence. She is also a champion for the rights of immigrants. Her vision of public service is one of governing not for the people, but with the people. She believes a better society is built by having strong student organizations, labor unions, and by implementing programs such as Participatory Budgets, wherein the people in each community decide how to best develop sustainable plans for themselves.    

Cruz has received numerous recognitions and awards, including the Martin Luther King Centre Justice, Peace and Freedom Award and Humanitarian Leadership Award in 2018, the Antonio Villaraigosa Leadership Award in 2018, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation Humanitarian Award 2017, and the Puerto Rico Arts Alliance Felisa Rincón Legacy Public Service Award. She was also nominated by People en Español as one of the 50 most Powerful Women in 2017, and TIME Magazine chose her as candidate for Person of the Year recognition in 2017. In 2018, she was on the TIME Magazine list of the 100 most Influential People in the World for her leadership in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. She has also received the prestigious Ridenhour Truth-Telling Award, as well as Casa de Esperanza's Award for Inspirational leadership, the Hank Aaron Champion of Justice Award, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Award for Economic Justice. In 2018, she was named to ESSENCE Magazine's Woke 100 Women list.

Prior to her time in elected office, Cruz worked in human resources in both the public and private sectors. She studied political science and graduated Cum Laude from Boston University with a bachelor of arts. She received a full scholarship from the Sloan Foundation to complete her master’s degree in Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Since February 2021, Cruz has been a Distinguished Fellow in Leadership at the Weissman Center at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Annie’s List, a Texas based organization that works to get progressive women elected up and down the ballot.

Michael Lomax

Michael Lomax headshotMichael Lomax
President and CEO, UNCF

Since 2004, Dr. Michael L. Lomax has served as president and CEO of UNCF, the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to African American students and a leading advocate of college readiness: students’ need for an education, from pre-school through high school, that prepares them for college success. Under his leadership, UNCF has raised more than $3 billion and helped more than 110,000 students earn college degrees and launch careers.  Annually, UNCF’s work enables 60,000 students to go to college with UNCF scholarships and attend its 37 member historically black college and universities (HBCUs).

At UNCF’s helm, Dr. Lomax oversees the organization’s 400 scholarship programs, which award 10,000 scholarships a year.  He also launched the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building, which helps UNCF’s member HBCUs become stronger, more effective and more self-sustaining.

Under Dr. Lomax’s leadership, UNCF has fought for college readiness and education reform through partnerships with reform-focused leaders and organizations and worked to further advance HBCUs with Congress, the administration and the Department of Education.  He serves on the boards of the KIPP Foundation, America’s Promise, Teach for America and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Before joining UNCF, Dr. Lomax was president of Dillard University in New Orleans and a literature professor at UNCF-member institutions Morehouse and Spelman Colleges.  He also founded the National Black Arts Festival, was a founding member of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and served as chairman of the Fulton County Commission in Atlanta, the first African American elected to that post.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Phumzile Mlambo-NgcukaPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women (2013-2021)

Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, who completed her term in August 2021 after being sworn into office in August 2013. She is the first woman to hold the position of Deputy President of South Africa, the highest-ranking female political leader in the country’s history.

Mlambo-Ngcuka was born in 1955 in Clermont, KwaZulu-Natal.  After matriculating from Ohlange High School, she was awarded her bachelor’s degree in the Arts and Education at the National University of Lesotho (1980). She further obtained a qualification in Gender Policy and Planning from the University College London (1988), a master's degree in Philosophy from the University of Cape Town (2003), and a doctorate in Technology and Education from Warwick University (2013).

She has authored several scholarly and other opinion pieces, including in the Harvard International Review. She was awarded Honorary Doctorates from the following institutions: Witwatersrand Technikon (2003) one of the precursor institutions of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the University of the Western Cape (2007), Nelson Mandela University (2014), the University of Fort Hare (2016), Wits University (2019) and Rhodes University (2020).

She was inducted as a Hauser Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership and awarded the Vanguard award by Howard University for Leadership and Activism in promoting human rights, equality and justice for women and girls across the globe.

Throughout her illustrious career, she directed her energy towards issues of human rights, equality and social justice, with a specific emphasis on gender and youth development. She was a lecturer at the Mpumalanga Teachers Training College (1980-1981) and thereafter became a teacher at the Ohlange High School (1981-1983). She then moved to Geneva to take up the position as the coordinator at the World YWCA, where she established a global programme for young women (1984-1989). In 1989, she returned to Cape Town where she spearheaded TEAM, an ecumenical organisation that focused on upskilling women. She continued along this path of community service when she opened the World University Service in South Africa, where she promoted literacy and rural development. She also led her own consulting agency called Phumelela Services, where she focused on race and gender issues.

Mlambo-Ngcuka worked tirelessly on programs and policies to reduce inequality throughout her political career. Her political journey began as a member of the first democratically elected South African Parliament (1994-1996), then as Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry (1996-1999), as Minister of Minerals and Energy (1999-2005), and finally as Deputy President of South Africa (2005-2008). An example of her commitments during her political career are the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA), which afforded young unemployed graduates international working experience. Having dedicated her life to bringing an end to Apartheid, she became the first woman to hold the position of Deputy President, the highest-ranking female political leader in the history of South Africa.

As the head of the United Nations entity that is dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, she is a global advocate for women and girls. She leads the organization’s innovative work on transforming social inequalities and discriminatory norms, with initiatives such as the HeforShe movement, driving men and boys’ engagement in gender equality and the UnStereotype Alliance initiative, influencing advertising norms for positive change and equal representation.

She has also successfully mobilized a historic $40 billion USD in financial commitments from Member States, private sector, philanthropies and civil society as well as young people, which have formed Generational Equality to drive transformative change for women and girls around the world.

Mlambo-Ngcuka continues to be engaged and affiliated with organizations committed to education, women empowerment and gender equality. Such affiliations include the Umlambo Foundation (Founder), the Global Partnership and Fund to End Violence Against Children (Board Member), African Leadership Academy (Advisory Board Member) and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation (Board of Trustees).

Amb. Shivshankar Menon

Amb. Shivshankar MenonAmb. Shivshankar Menon
Special Advisor, Center for Public Leadership
National Security Advisor of India (2010-2014); Foreign Secretary of India (2006-2009)

Ambassador Shivshankar Menon is a visiting professor at Ashoka University, India, and Chair of the Ashoka Centre for China Studies. He was previously National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India, Jan 2010-May 2014; Foreign Secretary of India, October 2006-July 2009; and has served as the Indian Ambassador or High Commissioner to China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Israel.

In 2016 he published Choices; Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy. His book on India and Asian Ge-opolitics; The Past, Present (Brookings Press USA, & Penguin Random House India) was released in April 2021.

He has been a Fisher Family Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and Richard Wilhelm Fellow at MIT in 2015. He was chosen one of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers” by Foreign Policy magazine in 2010.

He is also Chairman, Advisory Board, Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi; Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, India; Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at the National Uni-versity of Singapore; Member, Board of Trustees, International Crisis Group; and, a Distinguished Fellow, Asia Society Policy Institute, New York.

Former Hauser Leaders

Former Hauser Leaders

Tommy Amaker (Spring 2020, Spring 2021) || Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach, Harvard Men's Basketball; Director's Visiting Leader, Harvard Institute of Politics

Larry Bacow (2014-2018) || President, Harvard UniversityPresident, Tufts University (2001-2011)

Don Baer (Spring 2020) || Chair, Board of Directors, PBS; Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow, Shorenstein Center, Harvard Kennedy School

Deborah Borda (2014- ) || President and CEO, New York Philharmonic

LaTosha Brown (2020-2021) || Co-founder, Black Voters Matter Fund; 2020 Leader in Practice, Women and Public Policy Program, HKS; 2020-2021 American Democracy Fellow, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, Harvard University

Michael Brown (2020) || Co-founder and Senior Advisor, City Year; Principal, Public Purpose Strategies

Carol Browner (2019-2020) || Director, White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy (2009-2011); 8th Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1993-2001)

Geoffrey Canada (Fall 2017) || President, Harlem Children’s Zone

Carol Caruso (2017-2018) || CEO and Co-Founder, Bloom Impact; Innovator-in-Residence, Social Innovation + Change Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School

Alice Chen (2017-2019) || Executive Director, Doctors for America (2011-2017)

Nicholas Ehrmann (2017-2018) || President and Founder, Blue Engine; Visiting Innovator, Social Innovation + Change Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School

Paul Grogan (Fall 2021) || President and CEO, The Boston Foundation (2001-2021)

Claude Grunitzky (2017-2018) || Entrepreneur, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, TRUE Africa; Visiting Innovator, Social Innovation + Change Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School

Donald Kaberuka (2015-2016) || President, African Development Bank (2005-2015)

Tawakkol Karman (Spring 2020) || 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Nicholas Kristof (2017-2019) || Op-ed Columnist, The New York Times; Pulitzer Prize winner

John Kroger (2018-2019) || Chief Learning Officer, U.S. Navy (2019-2020); President, Reed College (2012-2018)

The Hon. Mitchell Landrieu (Spring 2018) || 61st Mayor, New Orleans, Louisiana (2010-2018)

Susana Malcorra (2020) || Dean, IE School of Global and Public Affairs; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Argentine Republic (2015-2017)

Linda Mason (2014-2017) || Chair, Mercy Corps; Founder, Bright Horizons

Desmond Meade (2020) || President and Executive Director, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition

Bruce Mehlman (Spring 2021) || Founder, Mehlman, Castagnetti, Rosen & Thomas; Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy to George W. Bush (2001-2003)

Karen Gordon Mills (Fall 2018) || 23rd Administrator, United States Small Business Administration (2009-2013)

Vivek Murthy (2017-2019) || 21st United States Surgeon General (2021-present); 19th United States Surgeon General (2014-2017)

Ellen Ochoa (Spring 2019-Fall 2020) || 11th Director, NASA Johnson Space Center (2013-2018); Astronaut

Dan Pallotta (Fall 2021) || CEO, Advertising for Humanity

Emily Kernan Rafferty (Fall 2019) || President Emerita, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Paola Ramos (Fall 2021) || Correspondent, VICE and VICE News; Contributor, Telemundo News and MSNBC

Maria Ressa (Fall 2021) || Co-Founder and CEO, Rappler

Henry Timms (2018-2019) || President and CEO, Lincoln Center

Doug Ulman (Fall 2019) || President and CEO, Pelotonia

LTG Nadja Y. West, USA, Ret. (2019-2020) || 44th Surgeon General, United States Army (2016-2019)

Sheryl WuDunn (2017-2019) || Co-founder, FullSky Partners; Pulitzer Prize Winner