Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative

Equipping Mayors with Cutting-Edge Training and Support

Mayors are in charge of running large, complex organizations but often lack the opportunity to learn from world-class experts how to develop their leadership skills and create more effective organizations. In an effort to equip city leaders with the tools and techniques needed to tackle their toughest challenges and develop a culture of continuous innovation inside city halls, Bloomberg Philanthropies is helping provide mayors and senior city hall staff with high-quality leadership development that rivals similar programs for business executives.

Through a $32 million initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Harvard University are collaborating to provide hundreds of city leaders customized executive education and support. The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative blends the public administration expertise of the Harvard Kennedy School and the management expertise of the Harvard Business School with Bloomberg Philanthropies’ global innovation network and experience in hundreds of cities around the world. The program includes:

  • Classrooms (In-person and Virtual). Sessions to help participants hone a range of skills, including effectively communicating their personal narrative
  • Coaching and In-City Support. In addition to in-person programming in New York City, mayors will also get one-on-one support to better understand their leadership strengths and how to apply them in managing organization-wide change
  • Fellowships. Harvard graduate students competitively selected for fellowships in the offices of participating city halls in which students are matched according to skills sought by the mayors
  • Research and Networks. Support from the Initiative’s faculty, dedicated staff, and students in policy research to help cities identify best practices and make meaningful connections to experts and practitioners

To advance leadership, management, and innovation in cities around the world, the Initiative will make the products of all of its research, including assessment tools, videos, case studies, and instructional technology, freely available.

The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership program is part of the American Cities Initiative, a suite of investments that empower cities to generate innovation and advance policy that moves the nation forward.