The Public Leadership Co-Curricular Program offers leadership development through peer cohorts, workshops, and intensives. These offerings focus on developing the capacities for principled and effective public leadership, leaning on reflective, interactive, and experiential methods on campus and in the field. Offerings are updated every semester.

The program is divided into two sets of offerings: Peer Cohorts and Workshops & Intensives. Generally, Peer Cohorts require a longer commitment than Workshops & Intensives, and prioritize community-building. Workshops & Intensives are more skill-focused, though many offerings also build strong communities.

Explore our archived Co-Curricular Programs from past years.

Fall 2023 Offerings

Led by Timothy McCarthy, Lecturer on Education, HGSE

The rising generation must figure out how to lead and communicate with integrity and courage in an increasingly diverse, divided, and disrupted world. This CPL one day intensive Co-Curricular led by Timothy McCarthy, Lecturer on Education, HGSE, will help strengthen your capacity to do so--in whatever setting or sector you choose.   

Timothy McCarthy is an award-winning scholar, educator, and activist who has taught at Harvard University since 1998. At HGSE, he is core faculty in the Equity and Opportunity Foundations Curriculum and the Online Master’s Program in Education Leadership. At the John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was the first openly gay faculty member and still teaches the school’s only course on LGBTQ matters, he is Faculty Associate at the Center for Public Leadership and Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. He is also faculty co-chair for the "Communicating for Impact" Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School and Scholar-in-Residence on Leadership and Communication at Thayer Academy. An historian of politics and social movements, he teaches courses on equity and education, communication and leadership, and identity and social change. 

Led by CPL Hauser Leader Colette Pichon-Battle, Vision & Initiatives Partner, Taproot Earth. This co-curricular is designed for students who want to apply their policy, law, business, and other expertise to fighting for climate justice.

Scientists predict climate change will displace more than 180 million people by 2100 — a crisis of “climate migration” the world isn’t ready for, says disaster recovery lawyer and Louisiana native Colette Pichon Battle. In this co-curricular session, Battle will engage students in a discussion on the urgency to radically restructure the economic and social systems that are driving climate migration. Together, Battle and students will explore climate migration’s root causes and how to cultivate a multidisciplinary approach—leveraging policy, law, business, and more—to build collective resilience, better prepare for disaster, and advance human rights.

About Colette Pichon Battle

Colette Pichon Battle is an award-winning lawyer and climate justice organizer. She is a trusted voice in the climate justice and Black liberation movements, and her work focuses on creating spaces for frontline communities to gather and advance climate strategies that help us steward the water, energy, and land. A generational native of Bayou Liberty, Louisiana, she is a 2019 Obama Fellow and is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the 2023 Heinz Award for the Environment, the 2022 Catalyst Award from Rachel’s Network, and the 2022 William O. Douglas Award. She is also a Fall 2023 Hauser Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School, Center for Public Leadership.

Led by Monica Giannone, Director, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Collaboratory

The Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Collaboratory is offering a Negotiation Coaching clinic, two-day interactive workshop.The Clinic is designed using best practices in negotiation skill development and a research-based coaching protocol and offer an opportunity to improve your negotiations performance through one-on-one feedback from a trained coach who will understand your personal goals, observe you in three negotiation exercises, and provide feedback and an opportunity for guided reflection.

You are eligible if you:

  • Have taken/are enrolled in a simulation based negotiations course
  • You can commit to attending the full two day workshop on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22 from 9:00am-5:00pm and complete any pre-required preparation.

The Clinic is limited to participants. We will be judging applications on a 100-word motivation statement, a 100-word reflection statement, and will be looking for potential to grow and a desire to learn as opposed to skill as a negotiator.

Combatting Corruption Internationally: A Seminar of the Proposed International Anti-Corruption Court with CPL Hauser Leader Hon. Mark Wolf


Led by Hon. Mark Wolf, Judge, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts; Chair, Integrity Initiatives International, CPL Fall 2023 Hauser Leader

Grand corruption is endemic in many countries and has devastating international consequences. An International Anti-Corruption Court is urgently needed to hold accountable and deter the kleptocrats who have impunity in their own countries because they control the administration of justice. The seminar will be taught by Senior U.S. District Judge Hon. Mark Wolf, the Chair of Integrity Initiatives International, which has catalyzed and is coordinating the rapidly progressing campaign to create the Court.

Led by Carla Dirlikov Canales, SICI Fellow

Finding Your Authentic Voice is designed to help participants find their voice through activities that explore culture, heritage, and identity.  The intention is to draw a parallel between understanding the power of our voices as social change makers and learning helpful tools to explore personal identity and individual authenticity.  Participants will explore tools needed to cultivate their unique voice to be stronger leaders in both ways, and in hopes of also gaining an appreciation and understanding of basic vocal skills for speaking in public. 

This course is intended to compliment "Using Your Voice to Make a Difference" which will be offered in Spring 2024.

Over the course of four sessions, participants will explore ways to find, utilize and amplify their voices.

Peer Cohorts

Peer Cohorts are a multi-week commitment that combine an interest in a particular topic or theme with community building.

Public Issue Cohorts

Peer cohorts that do a deep dive into a public issue structured around 3 program elements:

  • Bringing participants proximate to the community or issue of interest through field experiences 
  • Building a community around a shared purpose and passion for a community or addressing a public issue
  • Providing experiential leadership practice by undertaking a leadership project on the public issue
PUBLIC ISSUE COHORT OFFERINGS FOR SPRING 2023:

Led by Professor of Practice Arthur Brooks and the Leadership and Happiness Lab 

The Leadership and Happiness Laboratory will seek 12-15 students interested in learning about the science of wellbeing and committed to completing research in the field. Students will learn the literature on wellbeing, conduct workshops with participating faculty, and conduct research projects that contribute new insights into an international perspective of happiness and public policy.

PUBLIC ISSUE COHORT OFFERINGS FOR FALL 2022:

As a Public Issue Cohort, the purpose of the Latinx Leadership Initiative is to do a deep dive into the public policy challenges of the Latinx community in the United States. The program structured around 3 program elements: 

  • Building a community of peers around a shared purpose and passion for the Latinx community. This includes sharing meals and social outings together. 
  • Bringing participants proximate to the community through field experiences. As a cohort, we will be interacting with the local Latinx community, and the nonprofit that serve them.   
  • Providing experiential leadership practice by undertaking a leadership project that synthesizes the learning of the field experiences. This could be creating policy recommendations and meeting with policy makers, participating in a conference, or hosting an event. 

The cohort meets the entire 2022-2023 academic year, about once a month. There are 3 field experiences often taking place on Fridays or on weekends.

Leadership Reflection Cohorts

Reflective space for students at HKS to discuss leadership challenges, learnings, growth, and career paths with deep advising from CPL staff and faculty.

LEADERSHIP REFLECTION COHORT OFFERINGS FOR SPRING 2023:

CPL has in its core mission to support students in their learning journey at Harvard Kennedy School by offering co-curriculum activities that help them advance their public leadership goals. Public Leadership Development Cohorts are a way to bring together small groups of HKS students in various stages of their degree program to:  

  • Build a community of peers who are trying to find a way to have an impact on the complex challenges of our global society, but are not sure how to build a life of work and learning focused on making change 
  • To create opportunities for thinking and reflection about their interests and how to use HKS to build the skills, capacities and knowledge that will help them in their public leadership journey  

The Cohort is NOT a leadership class. It is a space of reflection, community, and sense making about your education and larger purposes. Our goal is to help students ask and think about questions related to their public leadership journey and their time at HKS.

Led by Senior Lecturer Marshall Ganz and the Practicing Democracy Project 

This is a peer-learning experience that focuses on reflection and restoration as key practices of democratic public leadership and engages race as a critical dimension of those practices. The program explores the idea of race-based caucusing as a transformative space for reflection, synthesizing learning, and building your restorative tool kit to deepen your capacities to engage in long-term leadership and organizing.

Led by Lecturer and Senior Fellow in Environmental Leadership Rand Wentworth

The world desperately needs leaders with the courage, drive, and political skills to fight climate change and help restore the natural world. This mentoring group brings together students interested in dedicating their careers to solving the climate crisis and to fighting for environmental causes. This is a space to reflect on personal leadership capacity, motivations, frustrations, career trajectory, and much more.

Workshops & Intensives

Workshops and intensives build competence in the public leadership capacities while also aiming to inspire students by connecting to these skills to their calling for public service.

Workshops

Workshops range from 1 hour to a full day. They provide basic exposure to fundamental skills relating to public leadership.

Workshops are added throughout the semester and publicized through the CPL listserv.

WORKSHOP OFFERINGS FOR FALL 2023

Led by Monica Giannone, Director, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Collaboratory

The Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Collaboratory is offering a Negotiation Coaching clinic, two-day interactive workshop.The Clinic is designed using best practices in negotiation skill development and a research-based coaching protocol and offer an opportunity to improve your negotiations performance through one-on-one feedback from a trained coach who will understand your personal goals, observe you in three negotiation exercises, and provide feedback and an opportunity for guided reflection.

You are eligible if you:

  • Have taken/are enrolled in a simulation based negotiations course
  • You can commit to attending the full two day workshop on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22 from 9:00am-5:00pm and complete any pre-required preparation.

The Clinic is limited to participants. We will be judging applications on a 100-word motivation statement, a 100-word reflection statement, and will be looking for potential to grow and a desire to learn as opposed to skill as a negotiator. 

Combatting Corruption Internationally: A Seminar of the Proposed International Anti-Corruption Court with CPL Hauser Leader Hon. Mark Wolf

Grand corruption is endemic in many countries and has devastating international consequences. An International Anti-Corruption Court is urgently needed to hold accountable and deter the kleptocrats who have impunity in their own countries because they control the administration of justice. The seminar will be taught by Senior U.S. District Judge Hon. Mark Wolf, the Chair of Integrity Initiatives International, which has catalyzed and is coordinating the rapidly progressing campaign to create the Court.

Led by Carla Dirlikov Canales, SICI Fellow

Finding Your Authentic Voice is designed to help participants find their voice through activities that explore culture, heritage, and identity.  The intention is to draw a parallel between understanding the power of our voices as social change makers and learning helpful tools to explore personal identity and individual authenticity.  Participants will explore tools needed to cultivate their unique voice to be stronger leaders in both ways, and in hopes of also gaining an appreciation and understanding of basic vocal skills for speaking in public. 

This course is intended to compliment "Using Your Voice to Make a Difference" which will be offered in Spring 2024.

Over the course of four sessions, participants will explore ways to find, utilize and amplify their voices.

Interconnected Solutions: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Climate Justice

Led by CPL Hauser Leader Colette Pichon-Battle, Vision & Initiatives Partner, Taproot Earth. This co-curricular is designed for students who want to apply their policy, law, business, and other expertise to fighting for climate justice.

Scientists predict climate change will displace more than 180 million people by 2100 — a crisis of “climate migration” the world isn’t ready for, says disaster recovery lawyer and Louisiana native Colette Pichon Battle. In this co-curricular session, Battle will engage students in a discussion on the urgency to radically restructure the economic and social systems that are driving climate migration. Together, Battle and students will explore climate migration’s root causes and how to cultivate a multidisciplinary approach—leveraging policy, law, business, and more—to build collective resilience, better prepare for disaster, and advance human rights.

About Colette Pichon Battle

Colette Pichon Battle is an award-winning lawyer and climate justice organizer. She is a trusted voice in the climate justice and Black liberation movements, and her work focuses on creating spaces for frontline communities to gather and advance climate strategies that help us steward the water, energy, and land. A generational native of Bayou Liberty, Louisiana, she is a 2019 Obama Fellow and is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the 2023 Heinz Award for the Environment, the 2022 Catalyst Award from Rachel’s Network, and the 2022 William O. Douglas Award. She is also a Fall 2023 Hauser Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School, Center for Public Leadership.

WORKSHOP OFFERINGS FOR SPRING 2023:

Led by Lecturer Hugh O’Doherty, Instructor Monica Giannone, Research Fellow Ons Ben Abdelkarim, and the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Collaboratory 

Crossroads is a two-day interactive workshop that offers an in-depth introduction on how to engage in a dialogue on tough issues that matter to you - a fundamental skill for effective public leadership. The experience offers a platform where you can explore frameworks, apply tools, take risks, make mistakes and receive feedback from faculty and peers. 

Led by Instructor Monica Giannone, Bacon Senior Fellow in Environmental Leadership Rand Wentworth, and the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Collaboratory

Boiling Point is a highly interactive workshop series designed to build leadership and negotiation skills to drive action on climate change. We have invited seasoned international climate change negotiators to join us to share their experiences of how to advance the substance of climate change negotiations, how to shape an effective process for progress, and how to build and maintain relationships that drive change. In addition, we will learn about climate policy using MIT’s EN-ROADS simulator. The workshop culminates in a full-day Capstone Negotiation Simulation, where participants will assume the role of sector stakeholders and countries to negotiate a global policy mix based on the EN-ROADS simulator. Find more information here.

Led by Dr. Sima Samar, former Minister of Women’s Affairs of Afghanistan and Co-Sponsored by the Center for International Development, Women and Public Policy Program, the Carr Center for Human Rights, and the Mittal South Asia Institute

Under Taliban rule, women and girls in Afghanistan face tremendous barriers to education and freedom of expression. Even more serious, child marriage and poor access to reproductive healthcare prevent individuals from fulfilling their human potential. Join Dr. Sima Samar, former Minister of Women’s Affairs of Afghanistan and CPL Hauser Leader, and moderator Fatema Sumar, Executive Director of the Center for International Development, for a two-hour workshop to examine Afghanistan as a “case study” of how extremism and conflict threaten basic provisions of bodily autonomy, free choice, and reproductive healthcare.

Led by Dr. Tim McCarthy, Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

The rising generation must be able to communicate with integrity and courage in an increasingly diverse, divided, and disrupted world. This workshop is designed for people who want to become more honest, authentic, and brave. This one-day workshop will help strengthen your capacity to do so-- in whatever setting or sector you choose. This workshop will include some light pre-work, group discussion, and exercises on various aspects of BRAVE communication, as well as opportunities to workshop, practice, and receive feedback on a short speech.

Join us for the famous "Climate Fresk", an interactive workshop that allows you to engage with climate science and think collaboratively about solutions.

Climate Fresk is based on the latest science from the IPCC reports and has been developed based on the philosophy of "learning by doing". It is widely used around the world from senior leadership of Fortune 500 companies to the general public. More than one million people worldwide have attended a Climate Fresk workshop. 

Facilitators from the Cambridge/Boston Climate Fresk community will join us at HKS to help develop awareness, build community, and encourage action. Refreshments will be provided. 

You can find more information on Climate Fresk here

WORKSHOP OFFERINGS FOR FALL 2022:

Systems Thinking and Leadership Workshop

A half-day workshop offered under the CPL Co-Curricular Program 

Hosted by Christopher Pietroni, Professor of Leadership Practice at the University of Birmingham (UK) and Director of the Birmingham Leadership Institute

Friday 28th October, 2022 - 10am-4pm

Lunch Provided

The most pressing challenges we face are systemic, and often the leadership we have is fundamentally unsuited to the needs of the systemic challenges we face.

Whether we are concerned with trans-national peace building, local economic prosperity or organizational productivity and innovation the same systems principles apply. The injustices we want to end and the value we want to create are properties of whole systems which cannot be predicted or addressed by focusing on each of the parts individually. Yet the practice of leadership is almost always focused not on whole systems but on the organizations, communities, companies, and people make them up. 

In this workshop we will introduce key concepts from systems thinking such as emergence, boundaries, complexity and uncertainty and explore what implications they have for the practice of leadership. We will work with the confusing reality of what it feels like to try to exercise leadership in complex and uncertain systems and introduce you to practices and frameworks that can help. With you, we will investigate what it means to exercise leadership systemically and apply these insights to the systemic leadership challenges that matter most to you. 

About the instructor:

The workshop will be led by Christopher Pietroni, Professor of Leadership Practice at the University of Birmingham (UK) and Director of the Birmingham Leadership Institute. His work focusses on leadership and change in complex systems. He is known for his innovative programs on systemic leadership with practitioners across public, private and non-profit organizations and the ground-breaking Systems Thinking and Leadership MSc at the University of Birmingham. In 2017-18 he was Fellow of Practice at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and he has been a Senior Fellow at the Leadership Centre and a Senior Associate at the Kings Fund. Christopher is an HKS alum (MC/MPA 2010) where he was awarded the Lucius N. Littauer Fellowship.

Intensives

Intensives provide a deeper dive into a topic than a workshop and are usually set up as series of workshops of varying lengths. Some intensives take the form of recurring study groups or simulations.

INTENSIVES OFFERINGS FOR SPRING 2023:

Led by Senior Lecturer Hannah Riley Bowles and CPL Research Fellow Ons Benabdelkarim

This intensive is designed to help you broaden your perspective on the range of possible Work, Education, Life and Leadership-related negotiations and coach you to employ negotiation skills to advance your goals. With this training, you’ll learn to prepare systematically for negotiation opportunities, search for mutually beneficial solutions with negotiation counterparts, and recognize the situational circumstances that moderate gender and other factors effects in negotiation.

Led by Lecturer Mark Fagan 

Lobbying is often called the 4th branch of government since this multi-billion dollar industry significantly impacts policymaking. This intensive provides the opportunity to understand the fundamentals of lobbying while learning first-hand about the lobbying efforts of advocacy groups representing a variety of perspectives.

Led by Lecturer Mark Fagan 

Police-mental health collaborations (P-MHC) offer great potential to better handle mental health crises. These collaborations have been successful piloted in many cities with encouraging results. However, few have been successful taken to scale. Join Mark Fagan and your colleagues to explore the tools for taking policy to scale and the role of leadership in successful scaling. A new teaching case and computer-based simulation for scaling P-MHC provide the scaffolding for the session.

Led by Lecturer David Wood

Practitioners of responsible and impact investing must take particular social and environmental issues or goals and make them tractable to financial practice. In this intensive you will meet a series of three practitioners facing specific challenges, and work with those practitioners to think through the kinds of decisions they have to make to meet those challenges.

Led by CPL Executive Director Ken Himmelman, Rappaport Institute Executive Director Kathryn Carlson, and Senior Vice President of Community Impact at Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation Anil Hurkadli

The United States has long relied on philanthropy to fill in gaps in government capacity, particularly around the social safety net. This offering explores key questions between the relationship of philanthropy and public policy. Using the Greater Boston region as a lens, we will explore the role of philanthropy in local settings, how this translates into public policy adaptation, and analyze the different philanthropic models that exist today.

Led by Carla Dirlikov Canales, Fellow at the Social Innovation and Change Initiative 

Using Your Voice to Make a Difference is designed to help participants find their voice, both literally and figuratively, through activities that explore culture, heritage, and identity as well as through voice lessons and other forms of artistic expression. The intention is to draw a parallel between understanding the power of our voices as social change makers and learning vocal technique in order to physically strengthen one’s voice. Participants will explore tools needed to cultivate their unique voice in order to be stronger leaders in both ways, and in hopes of also gaining an appreciation and understanding of basic vocal skills for speaking in public as well as for singing.

Led by Instructor Monica Giannone, Research Fellow Anselm Dannecker, and the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Collaboratory

SimSoc or Simulated Society is an immersive simulation where participants aim to build a thriving society by overcoming the initial challenges that the society faces. SimSoc is an immersive simulated exercises that allows students to practice and reflect on key skills of negotiation, leadership, and organization. This exercise has been run in conflict regions around the world to help parties understand the roots of conflict in an experiential setting. The exercise has been ran at HKS only two times so far and several participants reported that it was one of the most impactful and profound learning experiences they had.

Led by Setti Warren, Executive Director of the Institute of Politics, and Co-Sponsored by the Institute of Politics

The Campaign and Advocacy Program (CAP) is a workshop-style program that develops students’ electoral and advocacy campaign skills. Members will attend weekly meetings led by the student chair and professional facilitator Setti Warren (interim director of the IOP and former mayor of Newton, Massachusetts).


This semester, CAP will work to develop students’ movement-building skills so that they can enter the world of advocacy, answering the question: what strategies, influences, and issues are at play?
CAP members are given the exclusive opportunity to build valuable relationships with the program facilitator, speakers, and guests during program meetings. The program will provide students with a well-rounded knowledge of advocacy structure and strategies that prepare them to take active roles in future advocacy efforts. CAP encourages students to get involved with real issues that matter to them and provides resources to connect students with active advocacy roles.
This semester, CAP will focus primarily on advocacy issues, teaching students how to advocate for themselves and causes about which they care. At the end of the semester, students will have the opportunity to present a capstone project based on an advocacy issue of choice after learning how to build a movement.

INTENSIVES OFFERINGS FOR FALL 2022:

The State of Democracy in the Philippines: Populism through Institutionalized Disinformation

With Leni Robredo, 14th Vice President of the Philippines; Chairperson, Angat Pinas, Inc.; Fall 2022 Hauser Leader, CPL

All Harvard students are invited to apply for this seminar series that will explore the condition of democracy in the Philippine context through a close study of the vice presidency of Leni Robredo, 14th Vice President of the Philippines from 2016-2022. Vice President Robredo will share the recent history of the democratic process in the country and the deleterious effects of disinformation and misinformation on media, politics, government, and civil society.

Students from countries facing similar challenges to democracy are encouraged to apply.

Students can expect a lecture and discussion format, with opportunity for direct exchange with the vice president. Each session will build on the last, culminating in predictions for the future of democracy in the Philippines and worldwide. Dinner will be served at each session.

Sessions and Dates

  • The Philippine Context | Thursday, October 13, 2022 | 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Proliferation of Disinformation | Thursday, October 27, 2022 | 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Effects of Disinformation in the Philippines | Wednesday, November 2, 2022 | 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Although leadership can be exercised by people who don’t have any explicit authority, much can be learned about what makes for good leadership by interrogating the efforts of those wielding significant political power. And those lessons needn’t only be captured by examining real world cases. Staged productions, poetry, film, television series, sequential art, sacred stories—all of these can be rich sources of insight into good and bad leadership. This study group will explore the triumphs and failures, the virtues and vices, the righteous deeds and horrible crimes, of fictional and fictionalized individuals who possess tremendous political power.

With Dov Seidman, Founder and Executive Chairman, The HOW Institute for Society and LRN; Fall 2022 Hauser Leader, CPL 
 
All HKS students are invited to apply for this Public Leadership Co-Curricular Intensive that will explore the dynamics and conditions of our world that call leaders and organizations to reflect and renew their commitment to moral methods of leadership, decision making, and organizational behavior. 
 
With guidance from Dov, participants will develop their own playbook for leading and operating in the 21st century. In addition to suggested learning materials provided by Dov, participants will also receive access to a 1:1 advising session with Dov, community dinners prior to each session, a free copy of Dov’s book HOW: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything.

30-minute community dinner followed by 90-minute workshop: 

  • Why HOW Matters More than Ever in a Reshaped World 
    Thursday, September 15, 2022 | 6:30-8:30 p.m.
     
  • Operationalizing HOW (A case study) 
    Thursday, October 13, 2022 | 6:30-8:30 p.m.
     
  • Developing Your Own Playbook: The Mission, Purpose, Values that Drive and Guide Your Work & Journey 
    November Date TBA

Interested in running for office or working on a campaign? 

The Building a Modern Political Campaign seminar convenes graduate students from Harvard Kennedy School and undergraduates from Harvard College for 8 sessions focused on building a successful election campaign.  

Led by Interim IOP Director Setti Warren, former mayor of Newton, MA (2010-2018), the program will teach students unique approaches on how to grow, build, and lead successful campaigns in today’s political environment. Click here to see the program’s drafted syllabus. 

Additional Details   

  • Building a Modern Political Campaign is open to Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard College students only. 
  • Participation is by application only. 
  • Sessions will take place on Mondays from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. on the Harvard Kennedy School campus, starting Monday, September 19, 2022.