David M. Rubenstein established a fellowship in 2008 for first year joint degree students at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Business School.

Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School have created a fully integrated joint degree program in business and government that represents an innovative approach to preparing leaders for a growing area of practice of critical importance to global society. Students enrolled in the joint degree program will be prepared to work in positions of influence at the intersection of business, government, and nonprofit organizations, dealing with challenges in such critical areas as health care, the environment, economic development, and government.

Download the David M. Rubenstein Fellowship one pager.

How to apply:
Step 1: Apply to Harvard Kennedy School.
Step 2: Apply to Harvard Business School.

Selection: Applicants admitted to the HKS/HBS joint degree program will be contacted about participation in the Rubenstein Fellowship.

The fellowship provides:

  • Financial support for the first-year of a joint master’s degree program at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School
  • A comprehensive co-curricular program to augment your leadership development
  • A network of exceptional peers and mentors who will enhance your ability to impact the communities you serve

Recipients of the Rubenstein Fellowship will receive a scholarship award.

Student applicants admitted to the HKS/HBS joint degree program, who are not a part of another CPL fellowship, are eligible for the Rubenstein Fellowship during their first year at Harvard Kennedy School. Applicants will be considered based on their demonstrated commitment to public service, leadership potential in the tri-sector space, and interest in the fellowship. Successful candidates will also demonstrate excellent academic credentials.


Fellows will participate in a yearlong co-curricular program designed by Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. This not-for-credit program is intended to inspire, to provide concrete opportunities for leadership skill-building, and to connect fellows with an interdisciplinary network of like-minded peers and mentors that will last a lifetime. The fellowship co-curricular program includes dinner seminars, an annual retreat, and experiential learning grounded in discussions with visionary leaders whose work has had significant impact in the world. The program will also focus on strengthening the capacity for public leadership through reflection, mentorship, and skill building.

The Fellows will create a vibrant network of students and alumni committed to advancing knowledge, collaborating on solutions to pressing problems affecting marginalized communities, and building leadership capacity in their communities, their nation, and the world.

Note: We expect that you have thoroughly reviewed all pertinent information related to the Rubenstein fellowship, including but not limited to: program requirements, eligibility information, and the background and purpose of the fellowship. Being a CPL fellow carries with it certain responsibilities including maintenance of good academic standing as required by your degree program; attendance at all fellowship programming for the entire duration of the fellowship; leading program sessions and service activities including a field experience trip; and responsible conduct in representing CPL and Harvard University. Please visit our Fellowship FAQs page for more information.

Commitment to Nondiscrimination: As a matter of commitment, policy, and law, Harvard Kennedy School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, gender identity, color, race, age, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, intellectual focus, disability, or veteran status. The School strongly believes diversity enhances the value of all its activities, from research and teaching to degree programs and public events. The School encourages applications from candidates who are interested in careers in public service and acknowledges a special responsibility to train effective leaders in public policy and management.

Program manager

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Jim West


The Center for Public Leadership acknowledges the generosity of the David M. Rubenstein for his support of the Rubenstein Fellowship.