fbpx Senior Managers in Government | Harvard Kennedy School
Upcoming Sessions
  • On Campus
    Session Date
    Application Deadline
    Program Fee
    Faculty Chair
    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 part of the Public Leadership and Public Policy Executive Certificate series.
    Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs): This program aligns with one or more Executive Core Qualifications.


Senior Managers in Government is a transformative leadership program that offers you an exclusive opportunity for professional and personal enrichment. The curriculum is designed to address the needs of the U.S. Senior Executive Service in the federal government and their military, corporate sector, and international counterparts.

Faculty Chair Linda Bilmes will be joined by Harvard faculty and expert practitioners in government, law, education, and business for a robust two-week program to refresh and expand the core executive leadership skills you need to address the challenges of a large organization. You'll deepen your ability to think broadly, sharpen critical skill sets, and gain the new tools necessary to address today’s complex global challenges.

The Senior Managers in Government executive program will enhance your skills in:

  • Political management
  • Building organizational capacity
  • Policy development
  • Organizational performance
  • Negotiation
  • Planning for the future

Program Curriculum

During the two-week on-campus program, you'll immerse yourself in lectures and group work focused on building your capacity to lead. The materials include cutting-edge research and new ideas that will propel us into the next generation, drawing from across the spectrum of Harvard’s global expertise.

This curriculum makes extensive use of the case study method pioneered at Harvard. Each case describes an actual situation in public management that you and your classmates use to think through possible approaches and solutions to real-world problems. You'll reflect upon your professional experiences and meet daily in small groups and in class to discuss cases and exchange ideas.

Additional components of Senior Managers in Government include networking opportunities, experiential learning, and group outings, all of which allow you to build lasting relationships with the other participants.

Learning Objectives

Senior Managers in Government focuses on the multi-dimensional issues faced by senior managers and key areas of learning that you’ll experience include:

  • Policy Development: Structuring a decision-making process that draws on knowledge from all parts of an organization and designing policies to optimize implementation
  • Political Strategy: Mobilizing the support of key parties in an environment of shared responsibility to build support for a policy
  • Performance Management: Defining, assessing and improving organizational performance
  • Negotiation: Creating win-win outcomes, resolving differences and breaking stalemates
  • Leadership: Evaluating and improving leadership styles, including leadership in crisis situations

Application Information

What Participants are Saying

"The program was a great opportunity for me to broaden my thinking about issues facing us today. The participant interaction could not have been better. I'd highly recommend it."

Arrow Down

Faculty & Research

Faculty Chair
Linda Bilmes Photo

Linda Bilmes

Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy

Harvard Faculty and Guest Speakers
Hannah Riley Bowles Photo

Hannah Riley Bowles

Co-Director, Center for Public Leadership
Co-Director, Women and Public Policy Program
Roy E. Larsen Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Management

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
Ash Carter Photo

Ash Carter

Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Belfer Professor of Technology and Global Affairs
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

Gary Orren

V.O. Key, Jr. Professor of Politics and Leadership, Emeritus
Deval Patrick Photo

Deval Patrick

Co-Director, Center for Public Leadership
Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership

Roger Porter Photo

Roger Porter

IBM Professor of Business and Government
Malcolm Sparrow Photo

Malcolm Sparrow

Professor of the Practice of Public Management
Request More Information
Access brochure and receive more information about the program
Start your application and take the next step in your learning journey.

For general questions or more information about how to apply, please contact exed@hks.harvard.edu or +1-617-496-9000.