Ronald Heifetz

King Hussein Bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership
Center for Public Leadership
Office Address
Mailing Address
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 4
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-495-7867
Fax: 617-496-3337
Email: ronald_heifetz@Harvard.Edu
Stacy Hannell (617-496-1477)
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Ronald Heifetz is the Founding Director of the Center for Public Leadership and the King Hussein bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Heifetz advises heads of governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations, and speaks extensively, throughout the world.  He cofounded Cambridge Leadership Associates.

 Heifetz developed the groundbreaking model of leadership called Adaptive Leadership.  His research focuses on the challenge of building the adaptive capacity of organizations and societies.  His first book, Leadership Without Easy Answers, (1994) is a classic in the field and has been reprinted and translated many times. He coauthored the best-selling Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading with Marty Linsky (2002).  His third book, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing your Organization and the World, (2009) was coauthored with Linsky and Alexander Grashow.

 Heifetz is also renowned worldwide for developing transformative methods of leadership development and education.  His courses on leadership at Harvard are legendary; they consistently win the alumni award for most influential courses at the Kennedy School and draw students from throughout Harvard’s graduate schools and neighboring universities.  His courses are the subject of the book, Leadership Can Be Taught, by Sharon Daloz Parks (Harvard Business Press, 2005).

 A graduate of Columbia University, Harvard Medical School, and the Kennedy School, Heifetz is a physician and cellist.  He trained initially in surgery before deciding to devote himself to the study of leadership in politics and business.  Heifetz completed his medical training in psychiatry.  As a cellist, he was privileged to have studied with Russian virtuoso, Gregor Piatigorsky.



  • MLD-201-A Exercising Leadership: The Politics of Change


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