Two of Harvard Kennedy School’s (HKS) leading research centers will join forces. HKS Dean David T. Ellwood has announced that the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations will become the Hauser Institute for Civil Society and will reside within the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) effective July 1.
The merger will offer an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen focus on the social sector in the U.S. and overseas, enriching research in civil society and leadership while also helping to build a steady flow of talented, well prepared students for the social sector. Nearly a quarter of Harvard Kennedy School graduates now enter the non-profit field and many more have a keen interest.
The co-directors of CPL, Professors Max Bazerman and David Gergen, will lead the new enterprise. Christine Letts, the Rita E. Hauser Senior Lecturer in the Practice of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at HKS who currently serves as acting director of Hauser, will serve this coming year as senior advisor.
The Hauser Institute for Civil Society will build upon its extraordinary record of research, teaching and investigations into the ways that nonprofit organizations can more effectively promote the public good. Its work has drawn together scholars and students from across the University. The Center for Public Leadership, established in 2000, has proven to be a dynamic resource for shaping young, emerging leaders and is currently in the process of significantly enriching its research capacities.
"The integration of the Hauser Initiative within the Center for Public Leadership will ensure the continuation of successful programs and initiatives focused on leadership, as well as the advancement of scholarship and teaching related to the well-being of citizens and communities," said Harvard University President Drew Faust. "The changing nature of global challenges demands collaborative approaches and coordinated responses, and the new structure will enable Harvard to drive progress on a host of important issues that touch the lives of people around the world."
Dean David T. Ellwood said, "Through the joining of CPL and the Hauser Center, we aim to create a new framework for addressing the big questions of our time by bringing together the leading minds to create a whole that is larger than the sum of its parts. We are very indebted to visionary donors such as the Hausers and the Wexners for helping us to create this exciting opportunity. Their ongoing and innovative vision is a model for all of us."
On a practical level, the merger will integrate faculty, staff, and other resources from the two centers, increasing efficiencies and providing greater opportunities for research collaboration, teaching and student engagement.
"At the Center for Public Leadership," said Gergen, "we enthusiastically welcome the Hauser Institute as part of our family, and we have pledged to Rita and Gus Hauser, the Hauser faculty, research fellows and staff to do everything we can to support their many worthy endeavors. Through our joint efforts, we hope that Harvard can play an ever bigger role in strengthening the leadership and impact of the social sector."
Bazerman, Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, said, "The collective aim of this merger is to capture opportunities for increased faculty and student engagement in questions about the role of nonprofits, philanthropy, civil society institutions, social movements and their leadership challenges while creating an infrastructure that deploys staff more effectively and efficiently. Together, we can better support faculty research, student engagement and outreach to practitioners."
"This is a very exciting collaboration for both centers," said Letts. "It gives the new Hauser Institute momentum and support to build on our 15 years to create more knowledge and impact for civil society leaders around the world."
The Hauser Institute within CPL will continue to maintain its current programs and initiatives, including:
- The Initiative for Sustainable Arts (Sustain Arts), a three year $4 million research initiative designed to assess the arts and cultural ecosystems of six major US cities.
- Philanthropic Leadership Initiatives, including the Course in Exponential Fundraising, a year-long program for nonprofit leaders focused on teaching a partnership-based fundraising model and a workshop series for Chinese Foundation leaders.
- The Initiative for Responsible Investment (IRI), which has been working on private sector investment for the public benefit through work with foundation leadership, pension fund trustees, civic leaders, and government officials globally on public policy and investment strategies.
- Its focus on international NGOs. Through the NGO Leaders Forum, the Hauser Center has been convening the leaders of the largest international NGO’s for more than five years.
Rita Hauser, one of the founding donors of the Hauser Institute noted, "We are pleased with the extraordinary success of the Hauser Center these past 15 years. It has been an important focus for the study and practice of philanthropy in the US and other countries."
The Center for Public Leadership will continue to strengthen its current activities while also expanding operations in four critical areas:
- Research: with the arrival of Professor Max Bazerman as co-director, the Center will soon launch a major new research initiative designed to leverage insights into the growing field of behavioral science.
- Student Fellowships: the Center is now home to five scholarship programs that provide a rich training ground for some 50 fellows a year, many of them pursuing joint degrees. CPL is committed to doubling the number of fellowships in the coming five years.
- Leadership development: building upon its past, the Center this coming school year will offer a new series of leadership development workshops, taught every Monday by leading faculty.
- Financial support: building upon the generous philanthropy of Les and Abigail Wexner, the Center is extremely grateful to a growing number of other donors who are building a much stronger platform for research and the development of a new generation of leaders for the common good.
As I mentioned in my previous post (my year in review), I have started my summer internship at Juma Ventures in San Francisco. Juma Ventures is a social impact organization that provides employment (selling concessions at SPORTS stadiums) for at-risk high school students (defined as first-generation college, income at or below 200% of the poverty level and grade point average between 2.0 to 2.9).
The wages students earn are matched 2:1 toward college scholarships. Their new program, CollegeSet utilizes a crowd-funding model (similar to Kiva) to support at-risk youth nationally and it is matched 1:1 with the support from BlackRock (yes, that BlackRock). The San Francisco Chronicle wrote an article that can be found here and a CollegeSet video here.
These two models empower students to be financially literate, incentivize high school graduation, and ensure access to an affordable college education. In 1993, Juma Ventures became the first nonprofit organization to own and operate a commercial franchise—a single Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream shop that provided a handful of jobs to homeless youth in San Francisco.
Since 1993, Juma has grown from a job-training and placement program serving 25 students, to a nationally recognized youth development organization operating seven social enterprises in four cities. Juma has employed more than 3,000 students who have earned $3 million in wages and saved more than $2 million for higher education. For the number crunchers/geeks, 98% of Juma’s students have graduated from high school and more than 85% have successfully transitioned to post-secondary education, far outperforming their peers.
To match the student’s wages, Juma administers Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for students. IDAs are unique savings accounts that match the deposit by the student, but that have specific restrictions set by the state and federal government. In order for students to utilize their funds towards college expenses, there is a laborious process for Juma staff—dealing with different IDA grants, federal funding, and other forms of financial support.
This is where I come in. My first project is to propose, train, and implement increased efficiencies within the current process. So, in short, it’s a project management summer gig with an awesome organization.
Second, Juma believes there are opportunities to partner with other non-profits to support their IDA processing needs in the long run. I am assisting their efforts in thinking strategically about how to best partner with non-profits. Yes, I’m being vague because there are confidential components to the work (I’m not trying to sound cool or important, because that’s definitely not the case).
Securing this opportunity did not come from ‘googling and cold-calling’ awesome social impact organizations in San Francisco. I learned about Juma when the Center for Public Leadership’s Dubin Fellows Program sponsored an amazing week-long field visit to San Francisco to learn about various private, public, and non-profit sectors’ commitment towards the public good (story here).
When we visited Juma, the success in their innovative youth empowerment business model blew me away (especially as someone who once fit the definition of the Juma student). Also, Juma’s Director of Finance and Administration is a HKS alum who is extremely supportive in empowering HKS students through this experience.
From the beginning of the semester, we were told to pursue our passion and the Office of Career Advancement and the Centers will support our endeavors regardless of if the organization can or cannot fund students. It is true.
In addition to receiving unprecedented access through the Dubin Fellows Program, the program graciously sponsored the majority of my summer internship funding. The Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government also provided me with funds. This is why I chose Harvard Kennedy School over other schools: the robust network of people willing to support me professionally, personally, and financially, all rooted in a strong dedication to public service.
On a fun/social note, there are several dozen HKS students interning in San Francisco this summer. Therefore we will be getting together in a few weeks for wine tasting excursions in Sonoma (I mean, we have to, right?), along with several outings and hiking trips in beautiful Northern California. I will submit another update of my summer internship in early to mid-July. Thanks for reading!
This blogpost originally appeared on the Harvard Kennedy School Admissions Blog.
Special congratulations to Dubin Fellow Alvin Warren who was named a Lucius N. Littauer Fellow, which recognizes MPA candidates who excel academically and contribute to the community.
And kudos to Gleitsman Fellow Alberto Gonzàlez who received a Carr Center Human Rights Award for the “best human rights PAE” (The policy analysis exercise is a year-long capstone to the MPP curriculum).
Last week, two groups of HKS students ventured off to southwestern Virginia and Detroit, Michigan for self-designed public service trips. As part of the second year of the Leadership Service Seminar program, these trips were selected from a number of student submissions at the start of the spring semester.
Zuckerman Fellow Dan Bowles and Hy Martin led their group in studying rural economic development issues in southwestern Virginia. Check out the team's daily journal on Blogger.
Both groups receive funding and guidance from CPL, the Office of Degree Programs and Student Affairs, the Office of the Academic Dean, and CPL’s Student Advisory Board, but they were student-led start to finish.