Skip Navigation Links

Senior Executives in State and Local Government

Program Session(s):
July 10, 2017 - July 28, 2017
June 4, 2018 - June 22, 2018

Application Deadline(s):
April 5, 2017
April 4, 2018

Program Fee:$14,100

Applications may be submitted after the deadline and will be considered if space remains. Please contact the program director for additional information.

Program fee includes: tuition, housing, curricular materials, and most meals.

See the Admission section for fellowship information.

Faculty Chair: David King

Program Director: John Williams

Request Brochure Apply

Faculty Chair David King on the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program.



The program curriculum is centered on the case method pioneered at Harvard. Participants will analyze and discuss cases selected to provoke insight into a wide array of strategic management and leadership issues. Each case is a real-life situation that stimulates participants to think through problem-solving methods and possible solutions. In the last two weeks of the program, participants will work on their own and each others cases based on actual challenges in their organizations. This activity serves to bridge the gap between conceptual learning and real-life experience.  

Key topics covered during the program will include the following:

  • Leadership - Exercising leadership without authority, and analyzing and managing dynamics that impede progress.
  • Negotiations - Moving beyond positional bargaining to build strong, resilient relationships with key partners.
  • Public/Private Partnerships - Creating new and non-traditional alliances among the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build support for effective solutions.
  • Cooperative Governance - Developing new operational methods and governance arrangements that can increase capacity and reduce costs.
  • Behavioral Decision Making - Reducing decision biases in an organization, and designing smart accountability systems for decision-making.

EXPERIENTIAL EXERCISE, OUTWARD BOUND, THOMPSON ISLAND At the end of the first week, students are required to participate in a tailored one-day experiential program at Outward Bound on scenic Thompson Island, part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area. The program is an extension of the previous week's classroom work and addresses the theory and practice of leadership, communication style, and personal, professional and team dynamics. It is an essential element of the curriculum.

Through the Outward Bound process, participants are encouraged to examine and challenge their assumptions and reflect on personal practices and learning. The Outward Bound experience serves as a learning laboratory which creates an opportunity to investigate and compare perspectives and those of colleagues. By the end of the day, participants recognize transference and relevance to their work environments, offering the opportunity to keep the aspects that are functioning well, and to consider changing those less optimal.

The Outward Bound Professional program encourages participants to challenge themselves and each other in a supportive environment.

Recent Faculty News and Publications
David King, faculty chair, examines whether and how a divided Congress can work.


Copyright © 2016 The President and Fellows of Harvard College