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Alumni Spotlight

Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education participants leave campus with valuable new skills, lifelong connections with peers from around the world, and a renewed sense of passion for their work. Alumni return to their countries and make meaningful changes and improvements in their communities, organizations, and lives.

Every other month, we highlight an alumnus and the incredible work they are doing to solve complex challenges and make the world a better place. If you would like to share your story, please email ee_alumni@hks.harvard.edu.

January Alumni Spotlight



As an HR Development Manager at DB Services [the national rail service] in Germany, Leysan Keller has witnessed firsthand the struggle of Muslim women to navigate employment opportunities while wearing headscarves. To address this, she co-founded the initiative Karriere mit Kopftuch (Career with a Headscarf) which strives to create greater economic opportunities for these women.

Keller believes attending the Harvard Kenney School executive programs Mastering Negotiation and Leadership for the 21st Century gave her the courage and skills to scale this initiative and spread it throughout Europe.

Keller feels the programs she attended provided her with the valuable insights needed to start building a network across Muslim and Jewish communities in Germany and gave her the tools to develop connections with the Office of Labor Issues in federal government and the major political parties. Keller, who was born a part of the Muslim minority of Tatar in central Russia, came to Harvard Kennedy School committed to impacting change across Europe. She says her courses, and the influential professors and peers she studied with, gave her the courage to really address the topic of workplace discrimination. Keller feels that her involvement in the programs initiated a significant personal transformation, empowering her to “be the change” she wanted to see!

Update: Keller’s team has just started a social media campaign, My Dreamjob. The campaign, designed in cooperation with the Antidiscrimination Network Berlin, aims to shift negative Islamophobic narratives within society through the power of storytelling.


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