A new Harvard program intended to address the needs of nongovernmental organization (NGO) leaders will debut in Greece March 25 through 29 at the Athens Information Technology institute (AIT). The “Strategic Management for Leaders of Non-Governmental Organizations” executive education program is designed for NGO leaders in Southeastern and Eastern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Middle East who are committed to improving the performance of their organizations.
The program will focus on business and strategic planning, partnership and collaboration, performance measurement and maintaining organizational focus, and governance and accountability. Christine Letts, senior associate dean for executive education and the Rita E. Hauser Lecturer in the Practice of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, will serve as the faculty chair of the program. Letts saw an opportunity to bring Harvard’s expertise to NGO leaders who would be unable to attend a program in the United States. “There is a huge demand for nonprofit executive education. Relative to other management education, it’s a field that is still developing,” she said. “Our goal is to bring the educational models we’ve developed to the global community, and AIT provides the perfect forum to do this.”
The program is designed for open enrollment, meaning that any NGO leader can apply. It is being offered in collaboration with three Kennedy School partners: the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, the Kokkalis Program on Southeastern and East-Central Europe, and the Middle East Initiative.
Harvard Kennedy School has been developing innovative programs to make its faculty and curriculum accessible to NGO leaders from around the world. In addition to this program, they are developing a suite of online education courses that was prototyped last year. Letts views these programs as a way of extending the Kennedy School mission. “Our challenge is to figure out how we can provide some sort of educational resources to leaders who can’t come to campus,” she said. “Partnerships and technology are key ways to do this.”
Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, as tuition support for participants may be available from institutional partners and third-party funding sources.