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.

For more information please contact senior program manager for leadership development, Ellen Gallagher.

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

Public Leadership Cohort

The Public Leadership Cohort is a group of approximately 20 students representing the breadth of HKS degree programs that is housed at the Center for Public Leadership (CPL).

The cohort is designed to:

  1. Build insight into your own journey and leadership style, strengths and growing edges.
  2. Deepen learning of critical leadership competencies through participation in faculty-led workshops.
  3. Strengthen personal and professional networks through coaching and mentoring opportunities.

In addition to these opportunities, cohort members gain special access to CPL, and brokered relationships with senior leaders such as CPL’s Hauser Leaders and Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellows.




Lucciana Alvarez RuizLucciana Alvarez Ruiz, MPA/ID 2021, is passionate about gender equality and women empowement. She has more than five years of experience researching and designing policies that aim to improve gender equality at multilateral organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the UNDP. At HKS, she focuses her studies on Labor and Behavioral Economics. Through CPL, she aims to hone critical leadership skills to foster the economic inclusion of women in developing countries.
Mayu ArimotoMayu Arimoto is a first year MPP student at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to attending HKS, she served as a junior diplomat in the North America Bureau of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focusing on bilateral political relations between Japan and the U.S., East Asian relations, as well as U.S. politics.
Victoria BerquistVictoria Berquist, MPP 2023, is focusing her study on healthcare policy and leadership. She was previously a physician involved in healthcare reform topics with government, NGOs and international organizations before working for BCG’s healthcare practice in Asia-Pacific and the US. She aims to sharpen skills in leading change in complex stakeholder environments and bringing diverse perspectives into health system decisions.
Virginia CarefooteVirginia Carefoote, MPP 2023, is concentrating on social and urban policy at HKS. From Toronto, Canada, Virginia is at HKS to transition her career from private sector financial advisory work to public service. Most recently, Virginia served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal and as an AmeriCorps member in New York City's Division of Housing Policy. She hopes to strengthen and build confidence in her cross-sectoral leadership style.
Nada El SehemyNada Mahmoud ElSehmey, MC/MPA 2022, is an Egyptian civil servant and community worker focusing on development and finance. She has worked in finance, strategy, performance management, non-profits and developed community outreach projects supporting the marginalized communities in Egypt. She is joining the Fall cohort to enhance her leadership skills to be better equipped for her public and social work.
Kappie FarringtonKappie Farrington is a MC-MPA 2022. Kappie most recently served on the founding team of Co-Impact, a philanthropic fund that invests in economic development, health, and education initiatives. Kappie hopes to strengthen her skills as a collaborative leader capable of building coalitions across government, business, and society to address economic inequality in the US South.
Kish GreeneKish Greene, MPA 2023, is focusing his HKS studies on health and racial equity. Before HKS, he worked at BCG developing ESG strategies for private equity firms. He also partnered with the DC Mayor’s office to increase economic mobility across low-income communities. With the LD Cohort, Kish hopes to strengthen his ability to lead diverse teams to create meaningful change.
Thoa HoangThoa Hoang, MPP 2023, is concentrating on political and economic development. Prior to HKS, she worked at the Department of Labor in the Office of Workforce Investment where she focused on programing to support farmworkers and their dependents acquire necessary skills to advance in new industries. Born in Vietnam and raised in Northern California, Thoa hopes to build leaderships skills to  effectively engage and move stakeholders toward actions to help disadvantaged communities achieve social and economic mobility.
Isaac KimIsaac Kim is a first-year student in the MPP program. He most recently served as a grants and reporting fellow for the International Rescue Committee in Nairobi, Kenya and is excited to explore expansive and inclusive leadership styles through the cohort experience. He received his bachelors from Georgetown University in International Politics and a certificate in African Studies.
Thomas KisimbiThomas Kisimbi, MC/MPA 2022 is a clinician and global health expert. He has spent his career transforming African health systems at the grassroots, strengthening management capacity in governments, and driving global disease elimination programs. These transformative large-scale programs have been critical in advancing Universal Health Coverage, institutionalizing data-driven decision-making and releasing billions of dollars where they will make the most impact.
Lucy KruskeLucy Kruske, MPA/ID 2023, is a McCloy Fellow and economist in training at HKS. Her studies focus on development economics and human capital development policy. Before joining HKS, Lucy worked at the World Bank. Through the Center for Public Leadership, she hopes to amplify her capacity to lead change in development.
Mandy Le MondeMandy Le Monde, MC/MPA 2022, is a U.S. Coast Guard officer specializing in all-hazards emergency management.  She previously served as the Executive Officer of a world-wide deployable team that responded to both man-made and natural disasters. Her studies focus on leadership and resiliency, with hopes to broaden these perspectives through collaboration, mentorship, and participation in the Leadership Development Cohort.
Tony LodgeTony Lodge, MC/MPA 2022, is focusing his studies on policy and social entrepreneurship. He is from the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky and has a passion for reforming the foster care system. Tony is currently the Vice President of SUN-Scholar that focuses on increasing the opportunities available for foster youth. His recent work has consisted of bridge building between African American and Korean American communities as an Community Organizer/Project Researcher.
Diana LyDiana Ly is an MPA 2022 and joint degree with the MBA at Tuck (Dartmouth). Before grad school, she worked in consulting with a focus on life sciences. She is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion and hopes that participating in the public leadership cohort will enable her to develop the advocacy and leadership skills required to successfully enact change.
Chris MusserChris Musser, MPA 2022, passionately believes that for our world to prosper, businesses must be incentivized to contribute net value -- far more than mere economic value -- to the world. Before HKS, he served as one of five practice leaders at Gallup, where he advised businesses on how to increase their effectiveness. Through the cohort, Chris hopes to enhance his self-awareness and strategically map his role in the stakeholder capitalism movement.
Shadman RahmanShadman Rahman, MPP 2023, has previously worked extensively in public health research. Before HKS, Shadman developed his passion for leadership and healthcare at Innovations for Poverty Action and the World Bank, where he researched new ways to improve the mental health outcomes of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and get community buy-in to wear masks in public across 15 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shadman is currently working on founding a digital community health startup to address mental health challenges in low-resource settings.
Isabela ReisIsabela Reis, MPP 2023, plans on focusing on Social and Urban Policy. Prior to HKS, she had been working on strategy consulting for the public sector in Brazil helping Governments improve development policies. Her goal at the LD cohort is improving her leadership skills in order to be a better public leader for her country.
Snigda ShahiSnigdha Shahi, MPP 2022, is focusing on technology and innovation policy at HKS. She is currently working with Adolescent Health Champions, a nonprofit training youth, especially young women, in India to tackle gender and health inequalities. As part of her work, she designed and tested a mobile app that can scale to the 240 million adolescents of India. She wants to use her learnings from the leadership cohort to adaptively and sensitively lead cross-sectoral innovation and partnerships to move the needle on systemic challenges like the sustainable development goals.
Timur TopalgoekceliTimur Topalgoekceli, MC/MPA 2022, is an energy economist and entrepreneur. Formerly investment analyst at the International Energy Agency in Paris, he is Founder & CEO of Hello Tomorrow Turkey, a deep-tech NGO and advisory firm that built a community of 5,000 innovators and helped commercialise over 300 technologies with social impact. His studies focus on the science-technology policy nexus.
Valerie Van TranValerie Van Tran, MPA/ID 2023 focuses on sustainable development, impact investing and innovative finance. Prior to HKS, she led a fintech partnership for financial inclusion at One Mount, the digital ecosystem of Vietnam. She hopes to connect with like-minded agents for systemic change and learn advocacy skills to effectively operate at the intersection of politics and business.

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. Our Fall 2021 workshop schedule will be announced soon.

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.