Sanderijn Cels Photo
Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy

Sanderijn Cels specializes in strategy, social change, and collective memory. A historian by training, her research and teaching focus on strategic challenges and choices facing change agents who engage in public problem-solving and promote justice.

As an adjunct lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, she currently teaches two graduate courses: Reckoning with History: Collective Memory, Public Leadership and the Politics of Remembrance and Sparking Social Change through Arts & Culture. She also teaches in multiple executive education programs at Harvard University and around the world.

Her scholarly work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including The Leadership Quarterly and Political Psychology. She is the first author of Agents of Change: Strategies and Tactics for Social Innovation (Brookings Institution Press, 2012) and seven other books. Cels received her Ph.D. degree in Social Sciences (no corrections) from Loughborough University (UK) and a master’s degree in history (with honors) from Leiden University (the Netherlands).
A specialist in adult learning and interactive teaching, Cels has authored or co-authored over 40 teaching cases. She also facilitates case writing and teaching workshops for faculty and trainers about the Harvard case method.

Cels has held fellowships at several research centers at Harvard, including the Carr Center for Human Rights, the Shorenstein Center on Media Politics and Public Policy and the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. She is currently a faculty affiliate at the Center for Public Leadership.


Fairness & Justice
Public Leadership & Management
Social Innovation & Philanthropy

HKS Affiliations

Mailing Address

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