Center for Public Leadership

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  • Barbara Walters Speaks with HKS Students | 10/29/14
  • Journalist and television legend Barbara Walters recently sat down with CPL co-director David Gergen as part of the Institute of Politics' annual speaker series. From musings about her own career and wisdom gathered along to way, to her read on the upcoming presidential race, Ms. Walters engaged CPL students and members of the Harvard community in an incredibly frank conversation. You can read more about her interview here.


  • Harvard Kennedy School Establishes Emirates Leadership Initiative; $15 Million Gift to Support Fellowships, Research, and Leadership Development Programs | 10/03/14
  • Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) announced today a gift of $15 million from the government of the UAE to establish the Emirates Leadership Initiative. The five-year program will deepen HKS’s engagement with the peoples and countries of the Middle East through a wide array of new leadership, research, executive education and fellowship programs.

    A collaboration between the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) and the Middle East Initiative (MEI) at HKS, the program will be composed of four elements: fellowships for up to ten exceptional graduate students from the Arab world to study at HKS, a major research initiative focused on the Middle East, executive education for senior officials from the region, and an interactive field visit to the UAE for HKS students. The gift will also contribute to the Campaign for Harvard Kennedy School, a multi-year effort to raise $500 million for financial aid, campus improvements, and key research initiatives.

    Read more.


  • President Obama Announces Key Administration Posts, Including Former CPL George Fellow, Maura Corby Sullivan | 10/02/14
  • On October 1, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint former CPL George Fellow, Maura Cory Sullivan, to the post of Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs. 

    Maura Corby Sullivan is a former Marine Corps Captain and veteran of the Iraq War, serving in Fallujah in 2005.  Ms. Sullivan has served in a number of general management roles at PepsiCo, most recently as Zone Director for Frito-Lay’s Central New England Zone business.  In 2013, Ms. Sullivan was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts to serve on The Board of Trustees of the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea, MA.  She was appointed to serve as Member of the American Battle Monuments Commission in 2010.  Ms. Sullivan received a B.A. from Northwestern University, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

    Read more.


  • 2014-2015 HKS Student Ambassadors | 09/25/14
  • Second-year Dubin Fellow, Deng Chol, is featured on the HKS admissions blog today as the co-chair of the student ambassadors program. Yet another example of some of the great work CPL fellows are doing!

    Read more.


  • 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.