Upcoming Sessions

Program Overview

In today’s rapidly changing  and challenging world, successful leaders must act with integrity and authenticity. How do you balance your own personal values with those of a diverse community? How can behavioral sciences provide you with the tools needed to bring about impactful institutional change? Being equipped with this knowledge and the skillset to address current issues of conflict, division and disagreement in real time has never been more important.

Leadership and Character in Uncertain Times is a Harvard Kennedy School executive program delivered fully online so that you can become a more agile, impactful leader without disrupting your work and personal life. Led by Faculty Chair Chris Robichaud, along with a world-class teaching team of HKS scholars, you will engage with the highest caliber of colleagues from around the world to explore new adaptive leadership concepts; gain cutting-edge strategies that you can apply immediately in your own organization or community; and strengthen your ability to exert stronger moral leadership and bring about change, especially as it concerns advancing social justice.

Program Curriculum

illustration of schedule
Live sessions will take place Tuesdays and Fridays
10:30am to 12:00pm ET.

Leadership and Character in Uncertain Times  is a five-week online program that requires on average just six to eight hours of learning each week. This includes live faculty lectures, expert video content to watch on your own time, engaging small group projects, interactive simulations, robust case-study discussions along with offline self-paced readings and individual work. During the program, Faculty Chair Chris Robichaud is joined by a distinguished roster of renowned Harvard professors and guest speakers, including Iris Bohnet, Dana Born, Cornell Williams Brooks, Farayi Chipungu, Ronald Heifetz, and Jennifer Lerner. See the faculty section below to learn more.

Learning Objectives

Throughout Leadership and Character in Uncertain Times, you and your global cohort of emerging leaders will discover, discuss and delve into several key concepts, including:

  • An adaptive leadership framework
  • Moral narratives
  • Negotiating community values
  • Leading within organizations
  • Leading in society

Application Information

Week One: The Adaptive Leadership Framework

During week one, you will be introduced to the concepts of adaptive leadership and moral leadership. Through lectures and videos with Faculty Chair Chris Robichaud and Professor Ron Heifetz, you will learn the basics of the adaptive leadership framework and how it can be applied to your work. 

Week Two: Moral Narratives

A crucial part of leadership involves acting with integrity and authenticity. To do this, you must first look inward to discover your core values. During week two, you will engage in online learning with Professor Dana Born to help you discover your true north through a series of exercises. 

Week Three: Negotiating Community Values

In the third week of the program, you will explore how to balance your own values with the values of a community, especially when there is conflict and disagreement. You will learn about Haidt's Moral Foundations Theory, cover cases on Nelson Mandela and the ANC, and continue to explore adaptive leadership content from many faculty you’ve already met, as well as Professor Farayi Chipungu. 

Week Four: Leading Within Organizations

Together with your cohort, you will explore behavioral sciences and how they can give us tools to bring about institutional change, especially as it concerns advancing matters of social justice. You will learn about choice architecture and nudges from faculty, including Professor Iris Bohnet and Professor Jennifer Lerner.

Week Five: Leading in Society

The final week will focus on advancing social justice outside of organizations, in society as a whole, and all the challenges that come with it. Cases discussed will include Eric Garner, Black Lives Matter, and the NYPD, featuring a unit with Professor Cornell Brooks.


“I left the program with powerful, concrete tools that I could apply immediately to my leadership and decision-making process, plus valuable new connections I can call on for inspiration or a different perspective.”

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Christopher Robichaud Discusses Leadership and Character in Uncertain Times

Hear Faculty Chair Christopher Robichaud discuss the Leadership and Character in Uncertain Times executive program and how it can help leaders navigate this increasingly difficult landscape.

“Professor Robichaud and all the incredible professors inspired each of us to examine our own leadership styles and actions. If you want to make a difference in the world, this is the program for you.”

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Christopher Robichaud Photo

Christopher Robichaud

Senior Lecturer in Ethics and Public Policy

Iris Bohnet Photo

Iris Bohnet

Co-Director, Women and Public Policy Program
Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government
Dana Born Photo

Dana Born

Lecturer in Public Policy

Cornell William Brooks Photo

Cornell William Brooks

Hauser Professor of the Practice of Nonprofit Organizations; Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Social Justice

Farayi Chipungu Photo

Farayi Chipungu

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy

Ronald Heifetz Photo

Ronald Heifetz

King Hussein Bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership

Jennifer Lerner Photo

Jennifer Lerner

Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy, Decision Science, and Management
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