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Upcoming Sessions
  • On Campus
    Session Date
    -
    Application Deadline
    Program Fee
    $9,900
    Program Director

    For information about requirements to participate in an executive program on the Harvard Kennedy School campus, please visit this page.

    Program Fee: The program fee includes tuition, housing, curricular materials and most meals.

    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

An executive program created jointly by Harvard’s Kennedy School and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Public health emergencies. Natural disasters. Infrastructure failures. Major technology breaches. Terrorist attacks. These are the kinds of extraordinary challenges that leaders like you face every day. Do you feel fully prepared to handle them?

Leadership in Crises is a five-day executive program designed to prepare you to successfully manage, survive, and recover from the unexpected. During the on-campus program, you will learn how to build the expertise needed to ensure a more successful crisis management process. You will also learn how to effectively gather critical information, adapt to unique circumstances, and prioritize effectively.

Led by faculty chairs Herman B. (Dutch) Leonard and Arnold Howitt, the curriculum explores how to build bridges across boundaries—presenting perspectives on planning, training and implementing—so that senior managers like you can have systems in place in advance of a critical event. 

PROGRAM CURRICULUM

The on-campus program features intensive, interactive discussions using the Harvard case-study method, supplemented by lectures with faculty, and group exercises.

Through the use of case studies, Leadership in Crises will task you with tackling real-world issues. Together with a global cohort in the classroom, you will work through possible approaches and solutions to problems that actual managers have confronted. The case teaching reveals the power of a diverse learning group and makes for open and lively discussion.

Samples of cases used during Leadership in Crises include:

  • The Triple Catastrophe: Japan’s Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Crisis
  • Ready in Advance: The City of Tuscaloosa’s Response to the 4/27/11 Tornado
  • The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: The Politics of Crisis Response
  • Columbia’s Final Mission

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Leadership in Crises will provide you a with a greater understanding of:

  • Dynamics of emergencies overall and what differentiates crisis situations from routine emergencies
  • Role leadership plays in crafting and executing appropriate responses and preparing organizations in advance of a crisis
  • Multiple dimensions of situational awareness
  • Skills leaders need for working decisively in the highly concentrated timeframe of an emergency, while maintaining a focus on managing and motivating a team
  • Critical coordination demands of large-scale crises that engage multiple response organizations from many jurisdictions and levels of government
  • Tensions that frequently arise between senior emergency management professionals and political leaders and how they can work together effectively

Application Information

Sample Schedule

Immerse yourself with a cohort of fellow emerging leaders on Harvard’s historic campus. View the draft program schedule from a previous session. Note that module titles, speakers, and sequence may change.

WHAT PARTICIPANTS ARE SAYING

“This program led me to reevaluate many of my current practices and views. I left with a renewed understanding and will return to my job reinvigorated.”

JIM FEATHERSTONE, GEN. MANAGER, EMER. MGMT. DPT., CITY OF LA
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Hear From the Faculty Chair

What have we learned since 9/11 about organizing responses to large-scale and novel attacks and other large-scale emergencies? Faculty Chair Dutch Leonard and co-authors reflect on the topic in this short essay.

Faculty & Research

Faculty Chair
Herman B. (Dutch) Leonard Photo

Herman B. (Dutch) Leonard

Appointment
George F. Baker, Jr. Professor of Public Management, HKS; Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration, HBS
617-495-1117
Arnold Howitt Photo

Arnold Howitt

Appointment
Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy

Harvard Faculty and Guest Speakers
Juliette Kayyem Photo

Juliette Kayyem

Appointment
Belfer Senior Lecturer in International Security
617-494-7325
Deval Patrick Photo

Deval Patrick

Appointment
Co-Director, Center for Public Leadership
Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership
617-496-0556
James Waldo Photo

James Waldo

Appointment
Professor of the Practice of Public Policy, HKS; Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science, SEAS

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