Session Date-Application DeadlineProgram Fee$17,400Faculty ChairProgram DirectorSession Date-Application DeadlineProgram Fee$17,400Faculty ChairProgram 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 and Public Policy concentrations. This program can also be used as a third program for any concentration in the Executive Certificate series.
Today’s senior executives in state and local governments face greater demands from a skeptical public than at any time before. Leading effectively in this environment is an enormous challenge. Senior executives in government and nonprofit organizations need the skills and insights to develop creative solutions under tight constraints and increased public scrutiny.
Senior Executives in State and Local Government, a three-week, on-campus program, provides those skills and insights through a combination of traditional and hands-on learning experiences.
Under the direction of Faculty Chair David King, the interactive classroom serves as a forum for raising difficult issues in a way that encourages productive and positive conversation. You, your peers, and the faculty will work together to apply lessons in real time using real-life case studies. By learning from each other, you will acquire fresh insights into an array of strategic management and leadership issues.
As a seasoned public official, you will learn to develop new conceptual frameworks for addressing policy issues. You will examine your own leadership style and how you can be more effective. And you will explore the relationship between citizens and their government.
- Leadership: Learn to exercise leadership without authority while analyzing and managing dynamics that impede progress
- Negotiation: Move beyond positional bargaining to build strong, resilient relationships with key partners
- Effective partnerships: Create and manage key relationships for maximum impact
- Policy modeling and implementation: Discover how to craft policy to address critical issues—and how to determine whether you are successful
- Urgent and real-time challenges: Delve into the issues that state and local leaders confront every day, such as finance and budgeting, crisis management, community safety, and economic development
Senior Executives in State and Local Government is designed for government officials, elected officeholders, and executives with nonprofit organizations, community foundations, national associations, and private corporations. Because professional expertise and experience are critical to the learning process, participants reflect a broad spectrum of functional responsibilities and geographical diversity.
Those who will benefit from this program include:
- Elected and appointed officials, including mayors, state senators and representatives, secretaries of state, attorneys general, treasurers, comptrollers, and auditors
- Leaders in police, fire, EMS, and health departments
- Department heads and deputies, including chiefs of staff, general counsels, public affairs officers, chief financial officers, and policy advisors
- City managers
- Educational leaders, including school board members and school superintendents
- Social service directors
- Leaders of nonprofit organizations
At the end of the first week, you will participate in a one-day experiential program at Outward Bound on scenic Thompson Island, part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. The tailored program addresses the theory and practice of leadership, communication style, and personal, professional, and team dynamics. Participation on Thompson Island is required to successfully complete the program.
Fellowship Opportunities for the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program
Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education recognizes that tuition payment is an obstacle for some applicants. We have identified several fellowship opportunities available to individuals who are applying to Senior Executives in State and Local Government (other programs may apply).
The following fellowships are administered by separate organizations and have a selection process entirely independent of Harvard Kennedy School. We encourage participants to explore relevant opportunities from this list, and to search for additional sources of fellowship support.
For city/county managers in Arizona:
The Arizona City/County Management Association gives full fellowships to two applicants from Arizona each year. Applicants should apply directly to ACMA. Click on the link above for instructions on how to apply for this fellowship.
For state, local, and nonprofit officials in California:
The Josefowitz California Fellowship Fund is awarded annually to three senior-level civil servants working in California with a preference for applicants from the Bay Area. The fellowship covers all but $1,000 of total tuition costs, which includes housing, all curricular materials, and most meals. Click here for more information on this fellowship.
For state, county, and local officials in Colorado:
The Gates Family Foundation provides up to five partial fellowships for state, county and local officials from Colorado. To be considered for this fellowship, please complete the online program application. In response to the “Who will be the financial sponsor of your participation?” question, type “Gates.” Click here for more information and deadlines.
For state, county, and local officials in Maine:
The Brooks Foundation partially sponsors public officials from Maine each year. To be considered for this fellowship, please complete the online program application. In response to the “Who will be the financial sponsor of your participation?” question, type “Brooks.”
For state and local officials in New Hampshire:
The Caroline and Martin Gross Fellowship of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is given to one applicant each year and covers full tuition. Only New Hampshire state and local officials who demonstrate the highest standards of performance in public service are considered for this Fellowship. Candidates must be nominated for the award. Click on the link above for more information on this fellowship.
For state, local, and nonprofit officials in Rhode Island:
The Hassenfeld Family Foundation Rhode Island Public Service Fellowship provides advanced public management training to individuals committed to the public welfare of Rhode Island’s citizens through outstanding service in its state, local and nonprofit agencies. The fellowship can be applied to selected Executive Education programs that run between May 1 and November 30. The award provides full tuition (including housing and most meals) for one of seven Executive Education programs at Harvard Kennedy School. Click here to learn more about these programs and the application process.
For local elected officials from SEMCOG's member communities:
SEMCOG's Taubman Fellowships, sponsored by the Taubman Company, cover the costs of tuition, room, and board for elected county, city, village and township officials working in Southeast Michigan communities which belong to SEMCOG. Southeast Michigan is the home to Taubman Company headquarters. Applications must be submitted directly to SEMCOG. Contact Amy Malmer, Membership Manager, SEMCOG, for more information.
For Members of ICMA:
Full Members of the International City/County Managers Association who are either Managers or Assistant Mangers in their local jurisdiction are eligible to apply for a fellowship from ICMA. For more information, or to apply for the scholarship, please click here.
For openly LGBT state, county, and local officials:
The David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellowship provides a limited number of fellowships for openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender state, county and local officials. For more information and to review the additional requirements for this Fellowship, please click here.
For senior state, county, and local officials planning to run for office
The Cahn Public Service Fellowship supports senior public officials who plan to bring problem-solving skill and acumen to elected office. The Fellowship is open to officials from any American state or municipality. Applicants can be in non-elected positions or already in elected office and planning to seek higher office. Selected recipients must attend the July session of Senior Executives in State & Local Government. The fellowship covers all but $1,000 of total tuition costs, which includes housing, all curricular materials, and most meals. To be considered for this fellowship, please complete the online program application. In response to the “Who will be the financial sponsor of your participation?” question, type “Cahn.”
Information on VA benefits for U.S. participants is available here.