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A trio of Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) students recently got an intimate look inside the British Government. Carlos Rea MC/MPA 2014, Bevan Narinesingh MC/MPA 2014 and Ajay Bangale MPA 2014, who is concurrently working on an MBA at Wharton, spent one week in the United Kingdom under the auspices of the British and Commonwealth Office Future Leader Program. The program is designed to give selected HKS students, who have an interest in international relations in the UK, the opportunity to take a deeper dive into the nation's public and private sectors.
"It was an eye-opening experience for me,” says Rea. “This was my first visit to London. It was valuable for my career and for my view of the world and has influenced me on ideas I have.”
“The entire experience was excellent as it exposed us to workings of Parliament, the government as well as the private sector,” says Narinesingh. “We were thus exposed to cross-sectoral issues that we would not normally encounter in our everyday activities. This, in my view, will enable us to think of 'out of the box' solutions to the problems we face in our everyday work, and to confidently consider novel approaches that we may not have initially thought of.”
Their itinerary included meetings with local and national leaders from Parliament, Whitehall, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), and London City Hall to understand how these leaders and their institutions are working to address critical issues of governance and key policy areas.
“Our third and last day in London was very interesting because we experienced a totally different area of London – where start-ups and tech ventures are taking root, in a region where a few years ago, was poor and abandoned,” says Bangale.
The students also had the fortune of attending a reception with the USA-UK Bicameral Parliamentary Group in the majestic Guildhall.
“It was really an amazing experience to meet several U.S. Congressmen and Members of Parliament working together for the good of both nations,” says Bangale. “Here we understood the real meaning of the term ‘the special relation.’"
“I am thrilled that these students were able to participate in such an exciting week. The Future Leaders program is the type of opportunity we are so pleased to offer to students at HKS," says Amy Davies, director of MPA Programs.
The FCO hosts a similar program for their sitting leaders, such as the UK equivalent to the Governor of Massachusetts.