Dana Born

Lecturer in Public Policy
Center for Public Leadership
Office Address
Mailing Address
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 124
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-495-8810
Email: Dana_Born@hks.harvard.edu
Ashley Davis (617-495-0879)
Dana Born


Dana H. Born (Faculty Chair, Senior Executive Fellows Program; Lecturer in Public Policy) is a retired Brigadier General with 30 years of service in the United States Air Force. Prior to coming to Harvard, from 2004-2013, she served two terms as the Presidentially appointed Dean of the Faculty at the United States Air Force Academy where she was also the Professor and Head of the Behavioral Sciences and Leadership Department. Previously, Dana served as an Exchange Officer with the Royal Australian Air Force, Assistant Director for Recruiting Research and Analysis for the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Force Management Policy), Deputy Chief of the Personnel Issues Team for the Department of the Air Force (DC/Staff Personnel), Aide and Speech Writer to the Secretary of the Air Force, Squadron Commander for 11th Mission Support Squadron at Bolling AFB, DC and in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

A graduate with distinction of the United States Air Force Academy, Professor Born received her B.S. in Behavioral Sciences (1983), M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Trinity University, TX (1985), M.A. in Research Psychology from University of Melbourne (1991) and Doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Penn State University (1994).  She received Penn State’s Alumni Fellow Award in 2012 and an Honorary Doctorate from Simmons College in 2007. 

Born has also been the recipient of numerous senior level military awards including the Secretary of the Air Force’s Eugene M. Zuckert Award for Outstanding Management Achievement, Air Force Association’s Hoyt S. Vandenberg Award for outstanding contributions to Aerospace education, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Active Duty Service Women Veterans Award.

Dr. Born is a Senior Consultant for the Authentic Leadership Institute (ALI), Peer Evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission, Director on Board of the Apollo Education Group - serving on the Compensation, Audit and Litigation Committees, Trustee on the United States Air Force Academy’s Falcon Foundation – serving on the Strategy, Governance and Scholarship Committees, President of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum; member of Women Corporate Directors and the International Women’s Forum; Council Member on Boston Mayor’s Pay Equity Workforce and Advisory Board Member on “A Child’s Guide to War” documentary, Senior Officer for Mission: Readiness, and is the Past-President of the American Psychological Association (Society for Military Psychology).  

Professor Born is married to Timothy Born, a career Marine officer and has two daughters, Hanna, a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy and Heather, a high school student at Lexington High School.  


For a complete list of faculty citations from 2001 - present, please visit the HKS Faculty Research Connection.

Selected Publication Citations:

  • Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles
    • Born, Dana, William H. Hendrix, and Emily Pate. "Three Pillars of Organization Excellence." The Journal of Character & Leadership Integration (Winter 2017): 45-54.
  • Magazine and Newspaper Articles
    • Born, Dana. "Research: Character Counts." Harvard Kennedy School Magazine. Winter 2016, 9.

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