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Edward S. Mason Program

The Mid-Career Master in Public Administration Edward S. Mason Program (Mason Program) is the Harvard Kennedy School’s flagship international program. Each year, approximately 80 demonstrated leaders from developing, newly industrialized and transitional economy countries participate in this intensive one-year master’s degree program designed to prepare them to address the world’s most compelling development challenges. The emphasis of the program is on developing the broad range of analytical and leadership skills required to initiate and implement major political, social or economic change. 

The Mason Fellows bring an impressive range of backgrounds and experience to Harvard. Mason Fellows come from all across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe as well as the former Soviet Union and they are engaged in every aspect of economic, social and political development. A typical Mason class includes experienced professionals who have assumed leadership roles in education, energy, defense, housing, transportation, foreign affairs, public enterprise, rural and urban development, environmental preservation, central banking, journalism, politics and economic planning.

Mason Fellows are enrolled in the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration (MC/MPA). Simultaneously, they participate in a year-long co-curricular program that complements the MC/MPA by exposing the Mason Fellows to the ideas and strategies of leading thinkers and practitioners in economic, political, and social development. Participation in the co-curricular program is a requirement for the Mason Fellows and culminates with the award of the Mason Certificate in Public Policy and Management at the end of the year in addition to the MPA.

The Mason Program begins with two intensive summer sessions. In the first session, known as the Mason Fellows Summer Seminar, participants use cases developed by the Kennedy School faculty as well as cases drawn from their own professional experience to explore questions of leadership, strategic management, communication and policy decision-making. In the second summer session, known as the MPA Summer Program, participants develop their knowledge of applied economics, quantitative analysis, political institutions and globalization. The content of the two semesters of graduate study that follow the summer sessions is largely determined by the student.

More specific information about the program can be found in the links in the upper left corner of this page.

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Student Spotlight

Harvard Gazette photo

For the past 55 years, the Edward S. Mason Fellows Program has been bringing current leaders from around the globe to share their experiences and learn from one another. Read more about two of this year's Mason Fellows, Luther Castillo and Irfan Alam, in the Harvard Gazette.

Photo: Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer