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“The YGL Harvard experience was a true learning journey in every sense of the word. It helped me connect all the pieces of my life puzzle and has provided clarity of direction for my life and leadership going forward. What made the experience particularly unique was spending almost two weeks with some of the most brilliant people I have ever met and making new friends for life.”

- Nina Jensen, CEO, World Wildlife Fund, March 2016

The objective of the Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century program is to prepare you to expand your leadership horizon to address our most pressing problems. You will have the opportunity to think more deeply about the major issues facing future generations and acquire the leadership skills necessary to effect significant change.  

Young Global Leaders who are committed to addressing some of the most pressing issues facing our world today are invited to attend this program. 

Participation in the program is by invitation only.

Admission | Curriculum | Faculty | Download Brochure

To submit an application, please click here.

For additional assistance with the application process, please visit our How To Apply page.



The next session of the program is scheduled to take place from Tuesday, March 21 – Friday, March 31, 2017.

This program is the result of a partnership between Harvard Kennedy School and the World Economic Forum. It is made possible through the generosity of David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group, The Bill & Penny George Family Foundation, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, and Howard Cox, Jr. The contributions of these generous donors will cover tuition-related expenses. Travel and incidentals are the responsibility of participants.

Withdrawal fee
Withdrawals must be received in writing by both Harvard Kennedy School and the World Economic Forum. There is a cancellation fee of 1,000CHF for any withdrawal within six weeks of the program start date.

Travel & Accommodation
Young Global Leaders participating in the program must pay for their own travel and accommodations for the duration of the program. Program participants will have the option of staying at the Charles Hotel or the Harvard Square Hotel, which are both a short walk to Harvard Kennedy School, at a special discount rate. For any questions regarding financial assistance, please contact the World Economic Forum at


The Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century program curriculum integrates theory and practice, emphasizing the advanced skills and knowledge necessary to serve as a powerful force for progress. Each session is tailored to challenge its unique group of Young Global Leaders and is led by expert senior faculty. The program focuses on critical global policy areas, with an emphasis on implementing innovative solutions in dynamic, multiple-stakeholder arenas.

Working with faculty and in teams, participants will:

  • Identify the essential elements of a problem
  • Assess the industry, regional, and global dynamics
  • Analyze the consequences of inaction
  • Explore alternative solutions and their economic, social, and political implications
  • Learn leadership strategies involving multiple stakeholders – the private sector, political leaders, and civil society
  • Develop strategies for “acting in time”

Cultivating Authentic, Adaptive and Well- Anchored Leaders
In addition to developing policy area expertise, faculty will guide you through discussions and exercises that build skills for truly effective leadership: negotiation; persuasion; conflict resolution; decision-making in crises; leading in diverse environments and across boundaries; and remaining grounded and focused. Our aim is to equip you with skills that can be used on a daily basis, to enhance your ability to directly impact your immediate environment.

In-Depth Policy Study
The substantive component of this highly interactive program consists of examination of critical policy areas, with an emphasis on understanding the landscape that will shape the next twenty years:

  • International Security
  • Economic growth, poverty, reduction, trade
  • Sustainable development, climate change, energy
  • Global public health


Given the special nature of Young Global Leaders community, this program will feature senior faculty from across Harvard University, including Harvard Business School, with expertise in the corporate, public, and nonprofit sectors and will include experienced faculty and speakers from other world-class academic institutions. 

Chairing the faculty team will be:

Iris Bohnet

Program Co-Founders:

Joseph S. Nye Jr.

David Gergen

Additional members of the faculty team include:
Max H. Bazerman

Herman B. Dutch Leonard

Bill George

Ricardo Hausmann

Mahzarin Rustum Banaji



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