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Upcoming Sessions
  • Online
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    Please note there will be a mandatory onboarding session and program sessions on Thursday, February 23rd from 9am – 12:30pm. 

    Executive Certificate: This program is a core program in the Public Leadership concentration. This program can also be used as a third program for any concentration in the Executive Certificate series.
    Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs): This program aligns with one or more Executive Core Qualifications.

Program Overview

You can’t control the timing or the nature of the next crisis that will affect your institution. But you can control your response. Adequate preparation to protect your students, faculty, and staff—and to safeguard your reputation—is an absolute must.

Harvard Kennedy School’s Crisis Leadership in Higher Education is a five-day online Executive Education program that will show you everything you need to do in a crisis. You will develop protocols for responding more effectively, including training to proactively implement effective crisis management systems. Plus, you will develop frameworks to quickly make critical distinctions between different types of crises and to heighten situational awareness.

The online format is tailored for senior leaders with busy schedules. Through the virtual classroom, you will work in small groups in a highly interactive program that emphasizes team-building exercises with both the faculty and your peers.

    illustration of scheduleProgram Curriculum

    Crisis Leadership in Higher Education was developed by Harvard Kennedy School faculty and is led by Faculty Chairs Herman B. (Dutch) Leonard and Judy McLaughlin. Using real-world case studies and asynchronous materials, you will learn to prepare for and respond to practical challenges ranging from natural disasters to emergent infectious disease to reputation-threatening campus incidents.

    Learning Objectives

    Crisis Leadership in Higher Education is specifically designed to help you:

    • Diagnose and understand a crisis event
    • Understand and manage both policy and operational concerns
    • Ensure appropriate accountability, both during and after crisis events
    • Clarify the role of training and exercises
    • Manage the transition from immediate response to long-term recovery

    Application Information

    Sample Schedule

    In addition to the five program days, you will attend a mandatory onboarding session on February 23, 2023. View a sample program schedule from a previous session. Note that module titles, speakers, and sequence may change.


    “Crisis Leadership in Higher Education was a unique and highly enriching experience, from the opportunity to acquire knowledge and build skills, to the practical application and networking opportunities.”

    Anna Sadecka, PhD, International Relations Office, University of Warsaw
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    Faculty & Research

    Faculty Chairs
    Herman B. (Dutch) Leonard Photo

    Herman B. (Dutch) Leonard

    George F. Baker, Jr. Professor of Public Management, HKS; Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration, HBS
    Judith McLaughlin

    Judy McLaughlin

    Senior Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

    Harvard Faculty and Guest Speakers
    Arnold Howitt Photo

    Arnold Howitt

    Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy

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