September 20, 2021

A man with short dark hair smiles with a blue background behind himAdil Cader joined the HKS community after completing Leadership and Character in Uncertain times through HKS Executive Education. Read how he's utilized his HKS experience to build upon his leadership, Harvard network and even built out his vodcast most recently featuring former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon MC/MPA 1984

How has HKS influenced your life and career?

The course I did really enabled my understanding of various aspects of adaptive leadership, moral narratives, and leading in society. I am someone with an interest in diplomacy and foreign affairs, and the course really challenged my thinking and helped my analysis on various global issues. Negotiation and ethics were other interesting components of the course. Diplomacy centers a lot around negotiation, so it was definitely beneficial analyzing this from another angle.

I have long appreciated the contribution of the Kennedy School to the discussion of governance and public leadership—especially that of the Belfer Center towards diplomatic practice. I enjoyed listening to the insight from the experienced faculty and staff. Also, the networks built during my time at HKS were valuable. It was great meeting like-minded individuals from across the world, many of whom were involved in a public policy or diplomatic role in their respective countries. I remain in touch with many of them to collaborate with on various projects.

What does public service mean to you? 

Public Service is about having a general desire to help others through your own creative means. We all have our own unique creative skill sets, and if we use them for the greater good, we can be of immense help to society.

It also means reaching out and engaging with sections of society that usually are left out and feel disengaged. It falls upon us as public leaders to ensure that we give a voice to everyone and make sure all sections of society feel engaged.

Public service to me also means being visionary and trying to innovate to solve problems and look at ways to anticipate problems before they arise—something very pertinent in today’s world

What does the HKS community mean to you?

The HKS community means having a global network of aspiring and current leaders in the field of government and diplomacy. I thoroughly enjoyed the group-work aspects of the course and being able to bounce ideas off classmates. Even after completing the program, I enjoy the various seminars we get invited to by the school. It has helped broaden my knowledge on various policy issues around the world.

The staff and the faculty have been of great support, and it is a privilege having the option to discuss various ideas with some of the leading policy thinkers around the world. One of the highlights was having Professor Joseph Nye appear on my vodcast show to discuss soft power.

Being part of the HKS community also enables you to build links with a like-minded global network. I have enjoyed being part of the Harvard Club of Australia and meeting fellow HKS alumni.