Stephen Deluca headshot
Steven DeLuca
Vice President, Head of State and Local Government Relations, Capital One

For Steven DeLuca, every day operates at the intersection of the private and public sectors. As Vice President, Head of State and Local Government Relations for Capital One, Steven leads a team that frequently faces many complex and layered challenges. Those challenges inspired Steven to choose Harvard Kennedy School’s (HKS) Public Leadership Credential (PLC), a decision that has allowed him to hone his leadership expertise to bring back to his work at Capital One. 

“I've used several of the skills from the PLC program in my current job. The PLC provides a strong foundation of practical skills valuable to anyone working in the government, non-profit, or corporate sectors,” Steven said. “It’s a great program for anyone looking to establish or strengthen their leadership, analytical, and problem-solving skills in a fast-paced and flexible way.”

“The exposure to top-notch faculty, interactions with fellow learners, all from your own home or office on your schedule makes this a very rewarding experience,” he added.  “The cases are real-life examples, grounded in academic theory but definitely with practical applications.” 

In addition to the actual content of the program that he was excited to immerse himself in, as well as the flexibility of the online format, another primary factor that drew Steven to the PLC was the wide range of professionals from different areas of expertise that he was able to connect with. “I've worked at the same company for 24 years and the PLC gave me the chance to connect with people from different sectors, backgrounds, and geographies who I otherwise would never get a chance to meet. The group time and projects were my favorite part of the experience.”   

Steven’s time in the PLC program made such an impact on him that he decided it would be just the beginning of his HKS journey;, he’s now building on the skills and knowledge he gained as he pursues his  Mid-Career Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MC/MPA). “When I was close to finishing the PLC, I started learning more about the PLC pathway and the opportunity to complete the degree in one-ish semester and at a reduced cost if I were admitted,” he said. “This is a very compelling value proposition, especially for anyone trying to balance career and family life. I was thrilled to be accepted into the MC/MPA Class of 2024 with a great class of 220 leaders from around the world, including many PLC alumni.”

Steven is eager to continue employing what he learned through the PLC and is currently learning in his master’s program and apply it back to his work at Capital One. “Everything I learn here will enhance my skills as a people leader and government affairs professional,” he said. “I hope to continue to work on tackling adaptive problems at the state and local levels.”