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New leadership initiative for global mayors

Hundreds of mayors from around their world and their top lieutenants will be headed to Harvard University for executive education and training. (Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/Shutterstock)

Bloomberg Philanthropies and Harvard University are launching an ambitious executive education program for mayors from around the world, as well as their top lieutenants.

The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative expects to mentor up to 300 mayors and 400 senior aides over the next four years on innovative approaches to governance.

A key goal is to provide municipal leaders with more opportunities to learn from scholars, experts and each other. Research and training materials would be available to all cities via an extensive information hub. Participating mayors would have opportunities to become mentors themselves. Former New York City Mayor and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg has donated $32 million to the initiative, according to the announcement. The program will be administered by prestigious Harvard University, located near Boston in the city of Cambridge.

With many national governments mired in political gridlock and inefficiency, mayors are increasingly taking a lead role on issues such as climate change and public health. “By giving mayors tools and resources — and by connecting them with peers facing many of the same challenges — this program will go a long way toward helping them run cities more effectively,” Bloomberg emphasizes here. Douglas Elmendorf, dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, notes that another goal is to provide city leaders with an “even greater understanding and capacity to solve the many problems that they face in their cities.”

Harvard Kennedy School

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