Robert Wilkinson Photo
Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Leadership
Assistant: Stacy Hannell

Robert Wilkinson is a Senior Lecturer on Public Policy and Leadership at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  Rob teaches graduate courses on negotiation and leadership effectiveness.  In 2023, he won the Harvard Kennedy School Carballo Award for Excellence in Teaching.  

Rob has more than 30 years of experience, in over 50 countries, across the public, private and not-profit sectors. He supports numerous organizations of all kinds to help them increase their overall effectiveness.

Rob's non-profit and public sector clients include the United Nations, World Bank, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), US Postal Service, Oxfam, CARE International, and several others. Corporate clients include IBM, Deloitte, Merck, ExxonMobil, Bank of America, Walmart and many others.

Since 2011, Rob has consulted for the White House, and currently supports the Leadership Development team within the White House Presidential Personnel Office. 

Previously, Rob worked overseas for 15 years, on a variety of international projects. This included spending three years in Rwanda working with Hutu and Tutsi communities, two years working with the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Angola, and 18 months in Laos, consulting on a variety of community development programs. 

Rob also led a 2-year Security Sector Reform project in Burundi, bringing together government and rebel forces to support the formation of a unified military and police force.  He began his overseas work in Nicaragua, in both Sandinista and Contra areas. 

In 2007, he won a Governors' Service Award (from the Governor of Massachusetts) for leadership in delivery of development aid operations.

Rob earned his Masters of Science (MS) from Stanford University, and Bachelors of Science (BS) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  

His recent publications provide a new Leadership Development Framework, called the 4P Framework for Strategic Leadership:

Executive Education Programs

Transparent Engagement 

Harvard Kennedy School is proud of its energetic involvement in the world. To better understand how to solve public problems by improving policy and leadership, we engage directly with policymakers, public leaders, governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses whose activities affect those problems. However, we recognize that such engagement can raise questions about perceived and potential conflicts of interest, so we disclose publicly the key professional activities of our faculty outside the Kennedy School. The activities disclosed below are for the most recent reporting period, as defined by University policy. Some may be paid, some may be unpaid, and others may be in exchange for expense reimbursement only.

Outside Professional Activities For Robert Wilkinson

Organization Relationship
Lockheed Martin Corporation Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
LEADx Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation


Assistant: Stacy Hannell

Mailing Address

Harvard Kennedy School
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138