Advanced Leadership Initiative welcomes its most diverse group of fellows

Lecture hall.

Photo by Russ Campbell

2 min read

Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI) announced the selection of its 2021 cohort which includes 61 distinguished leaders. The cohort is made up of 53 fellows­ — its largest number of fellows ever — and eight partners, who will take part in ALI’s multi-disciplinary program during the coming year.

ALI aims to unleash the power of experienced leaders to solve society’s most pressing challenges. Under the leadership of Meredith B. Rosenthal, ALI Faculty Chair and C. Boyden Gray Professor of Health Economics and Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, ALI has committed to prioritizing diversity and racial justice in both programming and operations.

This year’s cohort will make history as the most diverse cohort to date. The group represents a 78 percent increase in participation of people of color from the U.S. compared to past years, including the greatest representation to date from both the African American and Latino communities.

ALI welcomes 26 female fellows, the greatest number in its history. The cohort also comprises the largest number of both African and European countries in an ALI cohort to date. All members of the cohort will bring diverse professional leadership experiences in law, finance, arts, education, communications, public affairs, and more to campus this January.

In response to the current pandemic, the fellowship program will engage these social impact leaders through expanded virtual programming during Spring 2021, and will continue to promote innovation and collaboration through virtual engagement with on and off-campus partners.

While Rosenthal will be on sabbatical this coming year, ALI announced that James Honan, senior lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, will serve as ALI’s Faculty Advisor in 2021, leading the ALI Core Seminar from January through December 2021.

2021 also marks the first year of engagement for two new members of ALI’s faculty board: Professors Jerold Kayden of the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Cornel West of the Harvard Divinity School and Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “The expertise in sustainability, urban planning and design, and racial justice that our new board members bring to ALI comes at a critical time as the world begins to recover and rebuild from the pandemic.” Rosenthal said.

View the complete listing of ALI’s 2021 Cohort.