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Harvard Kennedy School

Senior Managers in Government

Understanding the 2016 Election and Its Consequences - Roger Porter

Next dates

Jul 21—Aug 9
20 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 22100
USD 1105 per day


Tackling today’s most complex challenges requires flexible and skillful leaders capable of developing innovative solutions and enduring partnerships. Successful performance in this dynamic context demands skill, insight and an ever-expanding range of talents and tools.

An Opportunity for Professional Development

Senior Managers in Government is Harvard Kennedy School’s premier executive program for elected, appointed and senior career officials in the U.S. federal government and their military, corporate sector and international counterparts.

You'll join renowned Harvard faculty and expert practitioners in government, law, education and business for an intensive three-week program building the core executive leadership skills you need to address the challenges of a large organization. You'll deepen your ability to think broadly, sharpen critical skill sets and gain the tools necessary to address a range of complex global challenges.

This Senior Managers in Government executive education program will enable you to enhance your skills in:

  • Political management
  • Building organizational capacity
  • Policy development
  • Organizational performance
  • Negotiation


Senior Managers in Government is a transformative leadership program that offers you an exclusive opportunity for professional and personal enrichment.

During this three-week program, you'll immerse yourself in lectures and group work focused on building your capacity to lead. Key components of the program include networking opportunities and group outings, all of which allow you to make lasting relationships with the other participants. Time will also be set aside for reflection and application of the material.

Further, this program makes extensive use of the case study method pioneered at Harvard. Each case describes an actual situation in public management and serves as a stimulus for you and your classmates to think through possible approaches and solutions to real-world problems. You'll reflect upon your professional experiences and meet daily in small groups and in class to discuss cases and exchange ideas.

The course focuses on the multi-dimensional issues faced by senior managers including:

  • Policy development: Structuring a decision-making process that draws on knowledge from all parts of an organization and designing policies to optimize implementation.
  • Political strategy: Mobilizing the support of key parties in an environment of shared responsibility to build support for a policy.
  • Performance management: Defining, assessing, and improving organizational performance.
  • Organizational design: Building authority and communication structures to optimize performance in an organization.
  • Negotiation: Creating win-win outcomes, resolving differences, and breaking stalemates.
  • Leadership: Evaluating and improving leadership styles, including leadership in crisis situations.

Specific Benefits:

  • International participants will learn about management systems and methods whose relevance transcends national borders taught in a broadly applied U.S. context.
  • Private-sector participants will have an unparalleled opportunity to gain perspectives on decision making within government, sharpen their leadership skills and capabilities and share their understanding of the corporate world.
  • Nonprofit-sector participants will examine best practices in public sector management, share insights on their unique agency demands and needs and learn alongside executives facing similar concerns in different arenas

Who should attend

Senior Managers in Government is designed for senior-level public leaders who wish to expand their professional and personal capabilities.

Recommended applicants include:

  • Elected, appointed and senior career officials in the Senior Executive Service
  • Senior-level military officials (General Officer level)
  • International counterparts to the above (roughly half of participants come from outside the U.S.)
  • Congressional staffers
  • C-level executives in the corporate and nonprofit sectors

All participants will have the unique opportunity to gain global perspectives on public policy and management, strengthen their leadership skills and gain new insights in managerial practice, while learning and working with other high-level executives.


Steve Kelman is the Weatherhead Professor of Public Management at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, with a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, he is the author of many books and articles on the policymaking process a...
Herman B. ("Dutch") Leonard is Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the George F. Baker, Jr. Professor of Public Sector Management at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition, he serves as co-chair of the ...
Mark H. Moore is the Hauser Professor of Nonprofit Organizations. His current primary focus is studying the processes that enable social innovation and change to occur in response to changing political, economic, and social conditions. He began his career at the Kennedy School as a member of the...


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