Fellowship programs are at the heart of Harvard Kennedy School’s mission to forge leaders capable of solving the world’s most pressing problems across the sectors of business, government, and civil society and have become a beacon for the school. Working with Dean Ellwood and Harvard University President Drew Faust, the Center for Public Leadership helped to create and is now "home" to five fellowship programs:
- Dubin Fellowships—Glenn Dubin sculpted his fellowships to serve Kennedy School students who have demonstrated the ability to thrive and lead in the face of adversity, and a commitment to making a transformative impact on their communities.
- George Fellowships—these fellowships, supported by Bill and Penny George, provide a capstone third year for students pursuing joint degrees at the Kennedy School and Harvard Business School; they emphasize character development.
- Gleitsman Fellowships—this fellowship, funded through an endowed gift to CPL from the estate of Alan L. Gleitsman, provides significant financial support and a robust cocurricular experience to promising Harvard Kennedy School students interested in social change.
- Johnson Leadership Fellowships—this fellowship, created by Sheila C. Johnson, brings ten emerging leaders to HKS who are dedicated to improving the lives of the underserved in the United States, including those in the African-American community.
- Wexner Fellowships—these were pioneering fellowships at HKS established by the Wexner Foundation more than 20 years ago, each year bringing eight to ten midcareer students from Israel.
- Zuckerman Fellowships—with funding from Mort Zuckerman, Harvard’s public service schools (the Kennedy School, Graduate School of Education, and School of Public Health) offer full scholarships plus stipends to pursue a second degree for outstanding students in business, law, and medicine.
Our approach at the Center is to attract the most talented members of the next generation, knit bonds of friendship among them, provide them a transformative educational experience, and send them charging forth with skills, drive, and a clear sense of their moral compass.
The Center welcomes 52 Fellows through its five fellowship programs in the 2013-2014 academic year; all told, these Fellowships have more than 550 alumni. What distinguishes these programs from most others at the School is that they are intentionally patterned after the White House Fellowship program that John Gardner began years ago: the fellows come together regularly for programming including dinners, speakers, retreats, and field experiences, to enrich their academic experience and to build lasting ties that can become a powerful force for change. As a former Fellow put it, the close-knit group became "the trustees of my dreams."