Leadership Development

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.

Tryptich of student photos--in the classroom and walking in Chicago

Faculty-led Leadership Development Workshops

LD faculty workshops offer students the chance to engage with professors whose research, contributions, and leadership have shaped discourse in the public service arena. These workshops are open only to non-CPL fellows and student participants are chosen from a competitive application pool. Among the distinguished faculty who have taught our workshops are Max Bazerman (Behavioral Insights); Patricia Bellinger (Leading in a Diverse World); Dana Born (Authentic Leadership); Steve Jarding (Running for Public Office); and Brian Mandell (Art of Negotiation). Each workshop consists of two consecutive sessions, with preference given to HKS students who are not enrolled in the professor’s class.

Fall 2020

October 16: Finding and Using Your Voice in Uncertain Times

Allison Shapira
Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

November 20: Cultural Humility

Aviva Luz Argote
Lecturer, Tufts University

Dubin Leadership Field Experience

The Dubin Leadership Field Experience (DLFE) allow student leaders, under the guidance of a faculty adviser and the LD team, to plan a domestic student service trip to one of the 48 contiguous states. Typically held in the spring semester, the DLFE affords students the ability to immerse themselves in regional policy issues they are passionate about, expand their networks, and engage in experiential leadership development in service of the host city or region. Three pre-trip study group sessions are organized by the team to prepare them for their leadership field experience trips.

The 2020 DLFE trips will be exploring voting rights in Georgia and Alabama, climate change and trade in Iowa and border issues in El Paso, TX.  

The Dubin Leadership Field Experiences are generously supported by Glenn Dubin and the HKS Degree Programs/Student Affairs Office

Leadership Development Cohort

The LD cohort is a group of 15-20 students from across HKS degree programs, all of whom are non-CPL fellows. The cohort is designed to provide its members with the following leadership growth opportunities: 1) peer-learning, reflection, and experiential leadership through cohort-led meetings with the LD team 2) deeper learning of critical leadership competencies through participation in faculty-led workshops 3) a sense of community with the wider CPL network, and 4) individualized coaching sessions with CPL Senior Fellows, Hauser Leaders, and staff.


Felipe ArangoFelipe Arango, MPA/ID 2022, is a Colombian developing economist focused on social and education policy with experience in entrepreneurship in education at Appian Education Ventures, implementing public policies in the Colombian Minister of Housing and management consulting in McKinsey & Company. He is joining the Spring leadership program to develop his leadership skills and build a community of leaders.

Conor Buttler-RickettsConor Buttler-Ricketts, MC/MPA 2021, is a US Navy Officer, Aviator, and 2021 Politico-Military Masters Scholar. He has led aviators and aircrew as a Helicopter Aircraft Commander, and previously served as a Flag Aide in Naval Air Forces. His studies focus on national security, negotiation, and conflict resolution, in anticipation of future leadership opportunities and a career in national security policy.

Godwin ChanGodwin Chan, MC/MPA 2021 and a lawyer in Canada, has been advocating for the community and championing for impactful economic development and age-friendly community at the local level as an elected official and on public transportation, housing and climate change issues at the national level. He plans to cross-learn with cohorts to hone his leadership skills in serving diverse communities and building capacity for equal access to public services.

Alexis FarmerAlexis Farmer, MPP 2021, is focusing her HKS studies on criminal justice reform and economic development. Alexis aspires to lead alongside communities most impacted by marginalizing policies and work towards reparative frameworks for economic and social justice. She hopes to refine these collaborative leadership skills as a member of the LD Cohort. Prior to HKS, Alexis worked at the Brennan Center for Justice and Harvard Law School.

Ganchimeg GanpurevGanchimeg Ganpurev, MPA/ID 2021, is focusing her study on macroeconomics and international development. Previously as a central banker in Mongolia, she covered a wide range of duties including research, policy proposals, and contributing to $5.5 billion IMF program negotiation for Mongolia. In CPL LD cohort, she aims to build leaderships skills through peer-learning and faculty-led sessions while contributing to dialogues.”

Marta HansonMarta Hanson, MC/MPA 2021, is studying democracy, good governance, and civic engagement at HKS. She brings experience in organizational leadership, intersectional feminist organizing, and program design and implementation; most recently, she served as the assistant dean & associate director of the Women's Community Center at Stanford. She looks forward to honing skills in public leadership with her LD cohort.

Jemimah JatauJemimah Jatau, a public servant from Nigeria is undertaking the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration as part of the Edward .S. Mason Fellowship cohort. She began her career in Public Relations having obtained a BA in Mass Communications until she segued into development after her Master's degree in Development from the University of Abuja, Nigeria. Since joining the public service, she has worked in various departments implementing healthcare and community development programs. She hopes the cohort will help her hone skills in the practice of ethical and transformative leadership towards correcting moral exclusions in Nigerian public systems.

Kyle JohnsonKyle Johnson, MPP 2022, is concentrating in International and Global Affairs. Before HKS, Kyle developed his passion for leadership and national security at the Air Force Academy. Commissioning as one of the first intelligence officers directly into the Space Force, Kyle hopes to combine his military experience and HKS education to improve U.S. foreign policy.

Sechi KailasaSechi Kailasa, MPA 2022, most recently worked in the British Government on a variety of projects ranging from Brexit to preventing Modern Slavery. Before working for the Government, she completed Teach First and an MSc in Development Economics. At HKS she focuses on Digital Government and Public Sector Innovation. Through joining the LD Cohort she hopes to develop and strengthen her leadership skills so that she can deliver meaningful and impactful change.

Jesse LinJesse Lin, MPP 2022, is concentrating on business and government policy. Prior to HKS, he worked at the World Economic Forum's Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the intersection of technology and public policy and led business operations at a Y-Combinator backed e-commerce start-up. Raised in Southern California and son of immigrant parents, Jesse hopes to build leadership skills for a future career in public service focusing on technology policy, antitrust and competition, and the impact on geopolitics.

Patricia MulondoPatricia Mulondo, MPP 2022, is focusing her HKS studies on International and Global Affairs. Prior to HKS, she implemented labor civil rights policy within the federal government and advocated for equal work opportunities for individuals with disabilities. With the LD Cohort, she hopes to deepen her understanding of what leadership means in varying contexts and apply its different forms to real-world scenarios.

Abhinaya NaryananAbhinaya Narayanan is an MPP student, graduating in 2021, concentrating in Social and Urban Policy, and a medical student in the UCLA PRIME program, training to be a physician leader for historically marginalized communities. She is invested in building movements to address racial, social, and economic injustice and looks forward to developing her skills as an advocate with her peers.


Emmy-Lou NicolaïEmmy-Lou Nicolaï, MPA 2022, has decided to join the benches of HKS to focus on the challenge of social and gender inequalities after an experience as a teacher and almost five years as a Manager in strategy consulting. Through CPL, she hopes to build a form of ethical, conscious, and respectful leadership in the context of development in West Africa.

Ana RamosAna Ramos is an MPA 2021 student, completing a dual degree with Wharton MBA. Before school, she worked in management consulting and plans to focus her career on infrastructure. She sees the LD Cohort as a unique opportunity to refine leadership skills, while building a close-knit community that will last.

Ashan RodriguezAshan Rodriguez, MPA/ID 2021, most recently worked in the African department at the IMF on small oil producing economies facing budget crises. He also worked on coordinating governance reform strategies with IMF teams in program negotiations. He now hopes to pivot to policy implementation and state capacity building, interning last summer with the Tony Blair Institute to develop a strategy to reform Ethiopia’s state-owned enterprises. Through the LD cohort, Ashan hopes to hone his skills in leading developing country initiatives, in the face of adversity and through change.

Ayako SakamotoAyako Sakamoto is a first year MPA/ID student. Before HKS, she worked as a senior consultant in the Power Utility & Renewable Division at Deloitte for three years. Her goal to join the cohort is to develop my leadership skills necessary to achieve her professional goal in the field of environmental issues, especially climate change.

Leadership Development Practitioner Workshops

LD practitioner workshops provide students with the unique opportunity to engage with high-profile practitioners leading across sectors in both domestic and international settings. Workshops offer an interactive environment in which students develop practical skills to help them navigate the communities they will serve post-HKS.

Past practitioner participants include Deborah Borda, former Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and recently-appointed Chief Executive Officer of the New York Philharmonic; Rand Wentworth, President Emeritus of the Land Trust Alliance; and Sophia MacLaren, Director of the Mindfulness in Business Program from the Said Business School at the University of Oxford. Topics covered included philanthropy and fundraising, board management, mindfulness in leadership, and non-profit leadership.