Cambridge, MA — The Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) announced today that Los Angeles Philharmonic President and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Borda will join the Center for Public Leadership community as a Hauser Leader-in-Residence. Borda is the first arts executive to hold the post. Her appointment will begin in September 2015, at which time she will take a four-month sabbatical from the Philharmonic.

Borda is widely regarded as one of the most successful arts executives in the United States, and is known for her innovative approach to shaping the role of orchestras in the 21st century. She has led the LA Phil, which maintains the largest operating budget of any American orchestra, into an era of robust artistic and financial health. In partnership with the LA Phil's lauded Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, Borda has developed a portfolio of influential artistic and educational programs, including such high-profile initiatives as the in/SIGHT series, the El Sistema-inspired Youth Orchestra LA, and the most active commissioning program in the country. Her ambitious vision for the LA Phil, combined with her business acumen, has earned the organization an unrivaled reputation for artistic excellence and creativity worldwide.

Says CPL executive director Patricia Bellinger, “Deborah is an adventurous and smart leader. Through her bold management of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, I’ve witnessed her commitment to social responsibility and her value of collaboration across disciplines—themes woven throughout our leadership curriculum at CPL. Deborah pushes the envelope, and we can’t wait for her to bring her expertise and savvy to our graduate students.”

Continues Bellinger “We are so grateful to longtime CPL supporters Rita and Gustave Hauser for underwriting the Leader-in-Residence program. Their generosity ensures that we are able to bring world-class practitioners to Harvard in a truly unique and intimate student setting, and to build CPL’s legacy as a premier institution for leadership training in the U.S.”

During her tenure at CPL, Borda will contribute as an active member to CPL’s community of scholarship and learning. She will be deeply involved in efforts around cultural entrepreneurship, and will develop mentorship opportunities for students at HKS. In addition to engaging with students across the campus, she will contribute to lectures and leadership development programming for CPL’s community of over 100 student fellows—HKS degree candidates with demonstrated leadership potential who receive scholarships and robust co-curricular programming through the Center’s named fellowship programs—during the academic year.

“This invitation comes at an opportune time for me, as I pause to reflect on the exciting adventure of the past 15 years with the Los Angeles Philharmonic,” said Deborah Borda. “It is a privilege to be asked to develop leaders of the future and to further explore the role of the arts in society and cultural entrepreneurism. I look forward to returning refreshed and filled with new ideas as we prepare for the celebration of the LA Phil’s upcoming centennial.”

“As Board Chair of the LA Phil, I have been fortunate to see Deborah’s remarkable leadership abilities at work firsthand. It was only a matter of time before they captured the attention of one of our nation’s most esteemed educational institutions. This is the first time the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership has welcomed an executive from the performing arts to act as a Leader-in-Residence. It should come as a surprise to no one that Deborah was their first pick. She is a leader of immense gifts, and we are delighted to know that she will have a role in shaping the leaders of tomorrow,” said Diane B. Paul, Board Chair, Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Prior to joining the LA Phil, Borda was executive director of the New York Philharmonic and general manager of the San Francisco Symphony; she continues to work internationally as a consultant and lecturer.


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