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The Center for Public Leadership (Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University) was established in 2000 through a generous gift from the Wexner Foundation. Since its founding, the center has grown to provide teaching and research as well as training in the practical skills of leadership for people in government, nonprofits, and business.

Center for Public Leaderhsip
Established 2000
Type Education
Director David Gergen
Location Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

The Center for Public Leadership is an American learning institution that provides teaching, research and training in the practical skills of leadership for people in government, nonprofits, and business. It was established in 2000 with a gift from the Wexner Foundation at the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University. In January of 2008 the center moved from its offices at 124 Mt. Auburn Street to its current location in the Taubman Building on the main campus of Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Faculty Affiliates


Six fellowships at Harvard University are currently operated by the center, including: Dubin Emerging Leader Fellowship, George Leadership Fellowship, Gleitsman Leadership Fellowship, Reynolds Foundation Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship, Wexner-Israel Fellowship, and the Zuckerman Fellowship.

Gleitsman Program in Leadership for Social Change

Through a gift of $20 million from the estate of Alan Gleitsman, the center endowed the Gleitsman Program in Leadership for Social Change in 2007.[1] The program supports the annual Gleitsman International Activist Award and Gleitsman Citizen Activist Award (given on alternating years), Gleitsman Leadership Fellows, and social change scholarship.


Gleitsman International Activist Award winners

Gleitsman Citizen Activist Award winners

Gleitsman Visiting Practitioners

National Leadership Index

The Center for Public Leadership publishes an annual survey of Americans' confidence in the leaders, by sector, known as the National Leadership Index. The survey was first taken in 2005 under the direction of Professor Todd L. Pittinsky, Ph.D., Seth A. Rosenthal, Ph.D., Brian Welle, Ph.D., and R. Matthew Montoya, Ph.D.[2]

Past Affiliates

Since its founding in 2000, the Center for Public Leadership has hosted faculty, scholars, and practitioners for appointments ranging in length from one semester to multiple years.


  • Todd L. Pittinsky, Associate Professor, Stony Brook University (Affiliated Faculty & Research Director, Center for Public Leadership, 2006–2010)
  • Marshall Carter, Chairman, New York Stock Exchange Group (Affiliated Faculty, 2003–2004; Senior Fellow, 2004–2006)
  • J. Richard Hackman, Edgar Pierce Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology, Harvard University (Affiliated Faculty, 2004–2005)

Visiting Scholars

  • Roderick Kramer, William R. Kimball Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford Graduate School of Business (Visiting Scholar, 2005; Visiting Professor & Center Advisor, 2009–2010)
  • Ruth Wageman, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College (Visiting Scholar 2006)
  • Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada (Visiting Professor of Practice, 2001–2003; Senior Fellow, 2003–2006)
  • Warren Bennis, University Professor, University of Southern California (Visiting Scholar, 2003–2004)



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