Christopher S. Burley, a recent participant of the Harvard Kennedy School’s (HKS) executive education program Senior Executive Fellows (SEF), currently serves as a Supervisory Personnel Security Specialist with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). With his day-to-day work requiring sensitive tasks and material, Chris attended SEF to further his growth and skills as a leader in a high-stake working environment.
Chris came to HKS with multiple goals he was hoping to achieve through the four-week SEF program. His top priority was elevating his overall leadership abilities, and the program provided him with many different frameworks to make this goal a reality. He now brings a more strategic vision, stronger communication, and a mindset of continual learning to his team at CISA. He is also proud to now be a leader that’s providing the exact culture he would hope to have within an organization. “By becoming a stronger ethical leader, I promote a culture of integrity, ethical decision-making, and accountability within our organization,” he said. “I lead by example and try to establish ethical guidelines and values that guide our actions.”
Another of Chris’s aims was to expand his global perspective within his field. “In an increasingly interconnected world, understanding global trends, policies, and challenges is crucial,” he explained. “Attending an executive education program at HKS provided me with a broader perspective on global issues and helped me to develop strategies to navigate this complex international environment.”
Chris’s list of objectives also included developing his analytical and problem-solving abilities and growing and deepening his professional network, both of which he achieved. He is still in touch with his cohort, many of whom are from different industries and backgrounds, and he has strong confidence in the new approaches he learned to tackling multifaceted problems.
Following his time at HKS, Chris plans to grow his career at CISA. He is working towards becoming a member of SES (Senior Executive Service) and is looking forward to sharing his newfound knowledge and skills with other members of his department to enable long term success.
When asked how he would describe the value of HKS Executive Education to anyone considering attending SEF, he couldn’t have been clearer. “I would tell them it would be the best decision they will ever make in their lives. I wish it was longer. The faculty have worked with so many of our former and current leaders; it is absolutely amazing. My classmates are forever with me. We came from all walks of life to make the world a better a place.”
Read more stories of our alumni and their accomplishments here.