Compare courses
Harvard Kennedy School

Senior Executive Fellows

Add course to comparison

Next dates

Jun 2—28
24 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 24200
USD 1008 per day
Oct 20—Nov 15
24 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 24500
USD 1020 per day
Jan 19—Feb 14, 2020
24 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 24500
USD 1020 per day
+2 more options


In today’s complex, ever-changing world, management expertise is not enough to drive change and ensure success: You must also be a leader. That means you need a skill set defined by the ability to build coalitions, drive results and performance and guide organizational change.

Senior Executive Fellows is the preeminent professional development program for public sector executives who want to sharpen their leadership and managerial skills. It's designed for GS-14/GS-15 federal employees and their corporate sector, international and military counterparts.

A Different Approach

Led by renowned Harvard faculty and expert practitioners, this immersive four-week executive leadership skills program will not provide you with the answers to specific challenges. Rather, you will learn a strategic approach and framework for problem-solving, conditioning you to ask the right questions. You'll immediately take on a leadership role in the classroom and gain the tools necessary to look at issues from a new perspective.

This leadership skills program incorporates the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) for Senior Executive Service (SES). Many government agencies offer it as part of their Senior Executive Services (SES) Candidate Development Programs (CDPs).

Senior Executive Fellows will enable you to:

  • Gain the skills for impactful, effective leadership.
  • Learn from the nation’s top educators, researchers and practitioners.
  • Share experiences and build a lasting network with peers from the U.S. and international governments.
  • Become a member of the Harvard Kennedy School global alumni community.


Senior Executive Fellows helps promising top-level managers like you gain the skills needed for practical, effective leadership. The curriculum incorporates the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) for Senior Executive Service (SES), focusing on skill development in the areas of negotiation, persuasion, problem resolution and decision making.

During this intensive four-week program, you'll immerse yourself in classroom lectures, problem-solving, simulations, role playing, group exercises and team building experiences. Senior Executive Fellows also makes extensive use of the case study method pioneered at Harvard. You'll analyze real-world situations—including those submitted by current and previous program participants—that place you in the role of decision maker.

You'll explore issues such as cooperative versus competitive interactions with governmental agencies, political appointees, the media, as well as private sector organizations and individuals. Through analysis of the experience and interactive discussions about the critical choices made by key players along the way, you'll gain valuable insights, training and practice in making challenging leadership decisions about actual situations in real time.

The Senior Executive Fellows curriculum will help you to:

  • Identify and analyze the challenges and opportunities facing your organization—and master them both politically and technically.
  • Develop strategic plans of action using communication, negotiation and coalition-building skills.
  • Manage the tensions between long-term policy goals and short-term political pressures.
  • Create an organizational environment that is responsive to change, but also true to its purpose and tradition.

Who should attend

The Senior Executive Fellows program is designed for top-level managers who aspire to be executives in all types of organizations.

Recommended applicants include:

  • Top managers from the U.S. federal government (GS-14 and 15)
  • Senior officials from the military (O-5 and O-6)
  • Executives from the corporate and nonprofit sectors
  • International participants from backgrounds similar to the above

The typical composition of a cohort is 70-80% U.S. federal government and military; the balance comprises leaders from the corporate and nonprofit sectors, state and local governments and those outside the U.S.


Dana H. Born, Lecturer in Public Policy, is a retired brigadier general with 30 years of service in the U.S. Air Force. Prior to coming to Harvard, from 2004-2013, she served two terms as the President appointed dean of the faculty for the U.S. Air Force Academy where she was also a professor and...


Detailed Description
Detailed Description
Show more