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.


Alice ZhangAlice Zhang, a Partner of a venture capital firm and a social venture firm, is undertaking the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration. She is also the COO at World Education Fund. She acquired an MBA from University of Southern California. Alice hopes to transition her career and take an important role in making meaningful impacts in U.S. foreign policy.

Austin BatsonAustin Batson is focused on education policy through the Social and Urban Policy concentration. He is an MPP student who will graduate in 2022. Before his time at HKS, Austin taught high school physics in Texas. He established the physics department at a newly open public school and led the charge to implement and develop a student focused physics curriculum.

Chris Chu de LeonChris Chu de León, MPP 2022, is a political organizer focusing on social resistance movements. He recently served as Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Texas Director and Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s Political Advisor. A native of Texas and son of immigrants from Hong Kong and Mexico, Chris hopes to hone critical leadership skills in order to build political power for working-class communities and communities of color.

Jennifer HoseyJennifer Guzman Hosey, MC/MPA 2021, represents nearly 50,000 people in the Washington, DC metropolitan area in Montgomery County, Maryland in elected party office. Building upon her experience in Senator Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) Capitol Hill office, she is focusing on the traditional leadership skills of diplomacy, macroeconomics, election policy, and organizational management as well as emerging issues of tech policy.

Julio FloresJulio Flores Salvatierra, MPA/ID 2021, wants to become a change leader in development. He has more than eight years of experience in public and private sectors doing macroeconomic forecasting and policymaking. During the last five years, he worked at the Ministry of Finance in Peru, leading the macroeconomic policy team and generating reforms to foster competitiveness such as the First National Infrastructure Plan. He has a master's degree with a major in Economic Theory and a MacroFinancial Policymaking specialization at Columbia University. At HKS, he focuses his studies on Behavioral Economics, Data Science, and Development. Through CPL, he aims to strengthen his leadership skills to become an outstanding leader in the coming years.

Kai ZhangKai Zhang, MPA 2022, is a joint degree student with Wharton MBA. Previously a stock analyst, Kai has experience across US telecom and global consumer discretionary to ESG issues. Right before graduate schools, Kai was a pre-MBA intern with CICC Capital, where he participated in the launch of SGDF, a $1.5 billion first-of-its-kind climate PE fund backed by policy banks to fight climate change. With the LD Cohort, Kai hopes to learn the practices to enhance self-awareness and inner-capacity.

Leah NakaimaLeah Nakaima is an MPP class of 2021 candidate at HKS. She is from Uganda and her concentration is Business and Government Policy. Leah’s background is in public health and she has worked with organizations including Eli Lilly and Company, United Nations Population Fund, and The Ugandan Ministry of Health. Last summer, Leah worked with Eli Lilly, as a Global Policy Intern, where she developed health equity policy recommendations to the Gates CEO Round Table, in response to COVID-19 and racism. Moving forward, Leah is passionate about healthcare reformation and increasing access to affordable medicines to people who need them. She's excited to connect and learn!

Leslie GrueberLeslie Grueber, MPP 2022, is focusing her studies on Social and Urban Policy. She is passionate about Economic Justice and Gender Equity. Prior to HKS, Leslie worked in management consulting in Chicago and spent two years with Peace Corps working on community-based economic inclusion projects with women in Morocco. She hopes to explore the concept of ethical leadership in the context of inequitable systems and society.

Luisa GomezLuisa Gomez, MPP 2021, is concentrating her HKS studies in Economic and Political Development. Before HKS Luisa worked for a major NGO in Colombia, designing an innovative social initiative to offer financial wellness for low-income workers. Luisa hopes to join the LD Cohort to build meaningful and lasting connections and practice courage and growth-mindset to improve lives through social entrepreneurship.

Mini KouameMini Kouame, MPA/ID 2021, is dedicating his policy analysis to multi-level networks' factors in authoritarian reversals of elected officials in francophone Africa. Prior to joining HKS, he has worked as a management consultant and during his free time engineered a free-entry classical music concert at Cote d’Ivoire’s Basilica our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro, expecting 30,000 attendees and 80 players from the world’s top orchestras in over 35 countries. With the LD cohort, Mini hopes to hone his leadership skills to improve the political accountability of African public leaders.

Rohan SandhuRohan Sandhu (MPA/ID 2021) most recently set up and led the India operations of the International Innovation Corps, a implementation consulting program. He has also worked as a part of the founding team of Brookings India, as Chief of Staff to a Member of the Indian Parliament, and in local government at the City of Chicago. He hopes to hone his skills to lead in the face of adversity, in a world that's both uncertain and increasingly polarized.

Salma FahimSalma Fahim is a Civil Servant from India currently pursuing the Masons MC MPA program at HKS. She is transitioning into a policy formulation role in her country after a rich experience of 14 years working on policy implementation at the grassroot level. She has worked across development sectors including heath, education and rural development. Joining the LD cohort will enable her to strengthen her leadership and management skills and make her a confident advocate for the rights of the marginalized voices in her country.

Shauny UllmanShauny Ullman, MPP 2022/MBA 2023 (MIT Sloan), is focusing her studies on the intersection of technology, democracy, and society. She is an impact investor and has worked across asset classes and sectors for some of the fastest growing firms in social finance. She is excited to build relationships in her CPL cohort centered on a shared sense of purpose.

Tonantzin CarmonaTonantzin Carmona is pursuing an MC/MPA degree at the Harvard Kennedy School. She previously served as the Illinois Political Director for the 2020 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. Her background is in policy design and implementation in local government. She hopes to learn from her CPL peers and strengthen her leadership capabilities to better serve Chicago’s diverse communities.

Mr. Vince Romano is a current MC/MPA 2021 student at the Harvard Kennedy School. Mr. Romano served nine years on active duty as an Air Force Judge Advocate, most recently serving in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as an attorney on the military trial of those accused of planning 9/11. Mr. Romano also served in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2015-2016 in the role of legal advisor for combat operations. Mr. Romano would like to join the CPL LD cohort so that he can expand his leadership abilities outside of the military environment which will be essentially in helping him accomplish his goals of disability rights and veterans issues reforms.

Zamin HusainZamin Husain, MPP 2022, is focusing on migration policy at the Kennedy School. Prior to HKS, he served as Peace Corps Volunteer in Mozambique, worked on transportation policy at the Federal Highway Administration, and was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in Northern California. Zamin hopes to develop the skills required to enact positive change for the most vulnerable communities.

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.