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Gleitsman Fellows are entering master's degree students at the Harvard Kennedy School who are emerging social activists and innovators, have demonstrated strong character, academic excellence, and who have an interest in pursuing a career with transformative impact on society. Gleitsman Fellows are awarded a scholarship up to full tuition and health fees, as well as a stipend to support further career development in the field of social change. This fellowship was funded through a gift from the estate of renowned philanthropist Alan L. Gleitsman and recognizes students for their background or potential as activists.
During their fellowship year, the Gleitsman Fellows are part of the Center for Public Leadership's community of graduate fellows and participate in an enriching cocurricular experience designed to enhance and engage their development as the next generation of public leaders. The cocurricular program includes:
This opportunity is open to domestic and international students entering any of Harvard Kennedy School's master's degree programs. Successful applicants will demonstrate their potential as emerging leaders by evidencing strong character, demonstrating on-going commitment to the field of social innovation, excellent academic credentials, a commitment to pursue a career with transformative impact on society, and the ability to thrive and lead in the face of adversity.
Alan Gleitsman began his business career in New York City in sales for Sterling Television, a television program distribution company that later became The Walter Reade Organization. In 1970, he started Alan Enterprises, Inc. in Los Angeles, specializing in the syndication of television programs in the United States. By the time he sold the company in 1986, he had acquired the rights to a substantial library of motion pictures, cartoons and series, and was actively involved in distribution to television and video throughout the world.
With his life partner, Cheri Rosche, Alan Gleitsman launched The Gleitsman Foundation in 1989 based on the belief that if attention is brought to those who have made a positive impact on society, others will realize that determined individuals can indeed make a difference. The foundation honored individuals who, through courage and commitment, have initiated social change.
Mr. Gleitsman passed away in 2006. A generous gift from his estate endowed the Gleitsman Program in Leadership for Social Change at the Center for Public Leadership. The program supports the annual Gleitsman International Activist Award and Gleitsman Citizen Activist Award (given on alternating years), the Gleitsman Leadership Fellows program, the Gleitsman Visiting Practitionership and the Gleitsman Film and Social Change series.
2012-2013 Gleitsman Fellow Profiles
Applications for the 2014-2015 academic year are now closed. Applications for the 2015-2016 academic year will be available in the spring of 2015. In the meantime, general application information and guidelines for the Gleitsman Leadership Fellows program can be found here.
What is the Gleitsman Leadership Fellowship?
Gleitsman Fellows are awarded a scholarship up to full tuition and health fees and participate in a substantial cocurricular program offered by the Center for Public Leadership. Made possible by a generous donation from the estate of Alan L. Gleitsman, this fellowship is open to students studying in any of Harvard Kennedy School’s master’s degree programs. Fellows are emerging social activists and innovators, have demonstrated strong character, academic excellence, and have an interest in pursuing a career with transformative impact on society.
What is required of the Fellows?
Active participation in cocurricular programming during their fellowship term while maintaining good academic standing.
What does the cocurricular experience entail?
Fellows participate in a welcome retreat at the beginning of the academic year that will allow them to get to know one another as well as to begin the process of supporting one another’s aspirations as leaders. Fellows also participate in weekly activities during the academic year that involve leadership discussions with outside speakers, faculty, or other students and engagement with other Center for Public Leadership fellows and Gleitsman Fellowship alumni. Fellows also participate in a “field experience” – a visit to a major U.S. city to gain an understanding of the deep rooted problems of society and innovative approaches to resolving them.
Every effort is made to avoid conflicts between cocurricular programming and coursework. However, awardees should expect fellowship programming to be a significant part of their experience at Harvard.
Who is eligible to apply?
Entering domestic and international Harvard Kennedy School master’s degree students are eligible to apply. Students who have already completed the first year of their Harvard Kennedy School degree are not eligible.
What are the criteria for selection?
Fellowship applicants are considered based on their demonstrated potential as emerging leaders and interest in pursuing a career with transformative impact on society. Successful applicants demonstrate strong character, excellent academic credentials, and the ability to thrive and lead in the face of adversity. Fellows are selected based on outstanding merit, but awards will not exceed demonstrated financial need.
How can I apply?
All fellowship applicants must submit a Gleitsman Fellowship application and supporting documents during the application period, which has closed for the 2014-2015 academic year. Please check back for further information in December 2014 for the 2015-2016 academic year.
If I am selected for a fellowship, can I defer my acceptance?
Students selected for a Gleitsman Fellowship will not be able to defer their fellowship award.
Who can I contact with additional questions?
Please direct any questions regarding the Gleitsman Leadership Fellows Program to Ellen_Levine@hks.harvard.edu or 617-496-2781.