Center for Public Leadership

The recipients of the prestigious White House Fellowship for 2014-2015 have been announced and CPL and HKS are well represented. Three of the 15 selected, Jacob E. Donnelly, Jonathan M. Dorsey, and Edward Sheen, were former CPL fellows. Six of the 15 selected are HKS graduates and two others spent time at HKS as fellows. All together, 53 percent of the new fellows either graduated from the Kennedy School or participated in fellows programs at HKS. Read more.


  • 2015-2016 Zuckerman Fellowship Applications | 08/28/14
  • Applications for the 2015-2016 Zuckerman Fellowship are now available! For more information, as well as the application and guidelines, please click here.


  • Warren Bennis, Scholar on Leadership, Dies at 89 | 08/04/14
  • In an age as fluid and uncertain as ours, leaders must prepare for what has not yet been imagined… And Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership is one of a handful of places where prospective leaders at all stages in their careers can both study leadership as a part of a great university and develop their own leadership capabilities. It is a place for people who realize that the most visionary leaders must acquire specific skills and habits. In is a place for pragmatic dreamers. I invite you to join me in taking the Center for Public Leadership to the next level.

    – Warren Bennis, 1925-2014

    More on Bennis



  • Inaugural Class of Sheila C. Johnson Fellows Announced | 07/29/14
  • The Center for Public Leadership is pleased to announce our inaugural cohort of Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellows. The 10 fellows, selected for their outstanding potential and dedication to working in African American and other underserved communities in the U.S., will begin pursuing graduate degrees at HKS in the upcoming 2014-15 academic year. With a diversity of rich work and educational experience—ranging from Teach for America, to the Wharton School, and the AFL-CIO—our fellows represent the best of the next generation committed to fostering sustainable, tangible change in their communities. Read more.


  • Barbara Kellerman Remembers Seminal Scholar and Historian James MacGregor Burns | 07/21/14
  • CPL’s Barbara Kellerman, the James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public Leadership at Harvard, remembers the seminal historian as a quiet but powerful voice for leadership scholarship in the United States. Hear her reflections on Burns as presidential adviser, historian, and prolific author here.


  • Here's a look at upcoming events and dates of note...

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    Last week, the Harvard Kennedy School Armed Forces Committee, in conjunction with CPL and the Belfer Center, was honored to host Admiral Robert F. Willard, Commanding Officer of United States Pacific Command, as the guest of honor for its annual Veterans Day Recognition Breakfast. In attendance at the breakfast were over 60 current Kennedy School students and National Security Fellows who have served or who continue to serve in every branch of our nation’s Armed Forces.

    During his keynote address, Admiral Willard thanked the veterans for their service and commended each of them for their pursuit of academic excellence that will allow them to continue serving our nation in the future. He shared unique insights into the strategic importance of the area within the Pacific Command area of responsibility and what he saw as the critical issues in the future of the region.

    At the conclusion of the breakfast, the veterans were joined by David Ellwood, Dean of Harvard Kennedy School, who thanked the students for their service to our nation and who also thanked Admiral Willard for his contribution to their learning. It was a memorable event for all involved, and a fitting tribute to the many Kennedy School veterans whose service in the military marks only the beginning of a lifetime of public service to our nation and world.

    Regan Turner is currently an MPP/MBA candidate at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School and is a Dubin Fellow.

    On a recent visit to CPL, professor Dean Williams spoke with Gordon Brown about leadership challenges he faced as U.K. Prime Minister (2007–10), as well as factors that all contemporary leaders need to manage.

    For the latest leadership videos, subscribe to CPL's YouTube channel.

    We were honored to welcome back Nate Fick (MPA/MBA '08), last month, to speak with current George Leadership Fellows about his experience as CEO of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a defense and national security think tank in Washington, D.C.

    A former Marine Corps officer, Fick served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and received great praise for his memoir about the experience, One Bullet Away—a New York Times bestseller. After receiving a joint degree from Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School in 2008, Fick joined CNAS as a fellow and Chief Operating Officer. He assumed his current leadership role in 2009.

    Hear what Fick has to say about leadership lessons learned in the military, future threats to American security, and his portrayal in HBO's Generation Kill in an interview with CPL.

    For more information on Nate Fick and the Center for a New American Security you can peruse their YouTube channel, follow them on Twitter @CNASdc, and check out their website for a number of different ways to connect.