A message from Dean Douglas Elmendorf

To HKS Faculty, Staff, and Students:

I am thrilled to report that Harvard is substantially increasing its attention to city governance and that the Kennedy School will be at the heart of this work.  This message offers a brief overview of a new university-wide Center to be based at the Kennedy School, new faculty positions, and new programmatic activities.

Over the past four years, the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative has provided training and support for hundreds of mayors and their top advisors, including the use of newly developed curricula and yearlong team development activities.  Cities from across this country and around the world have benefited.  Funded by a gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Initiative has been a collaborative effort of HKS and Harvard Business School and has been led superbly by faculty director Jorrit de Jong, a Senior Lecturer at HKS.  We should all be grateful to Jorrit, to Faculty Co-Chair Professor Rawi Abdelal from HBS, to all of the faculty members from across Harvard who have been teaching in the Initiative, to Executive Program Director Dave Margalit, and to the whole Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative team for their vision, skill, and determination in creating this program. 

Based on the dramatic success of this Initiative over the past four years, and on Harvard’s unsurpassed ability to bring together the brightest scholarly minds and most influential practitioners, Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced today a new gift to Harvard of $150 million.  Thanks to this extraordinary gift, Harvard will be:

  • Renewing and expanding the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.  Over the next four years, the Initiative will work with more mayors, engage with other senior city leaders, send more students into the field, and collaborate more intensively with our Taubman Center for State and Local Government and our Institute of Politics.
  • Establishing Emma Bloomberg (MPA ’07) faculty positions.  These positions will support faculty members whose work focuses on city governance and will be assigned by the provost to HKS and other Harvard schools.
  • Creating the Bloomberg Center for Cities at Harvard University.  This new, Harvard-wide research center will be based at HKS.  The Center’s inaugural director will be Jorrit de Jong, and the Center will benefit from the continued crucial contributions of everyone who is working on the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.

I am tremendously excited about all of the opportunities that this new gift will give us—at HKS and at Harvard more broadly—to improve city governance and make people’s lives better.




Related Links

Leadership on the front line: Mayors get crisis response lessons from Harvard experts

Helping mayors reckon with troubling legacies