Former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been appointed as a Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow for the fall term at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
During her tenure as mayor, which ended May 15, Lightfoot led a coordinated, citywide response across government, business, and community organizations to safeguard public health and minimize economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other steps, she created a Racial Equity Rapid Response Team and the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force.
Chicago’s first Black woman and first openly gay mayor, Lightfoot also focused on generating inclusive economic growth across the city’s neighborhoods. Her accomplishments included landmark ethics and good governance reforms, worker protection legislation, and key investments in education, public safety, and financial stability. In August of 2021, Lightfoot secured a $15 minimum wage for most workers in Chicago, including domestic workers, years ahead of the state’s planned phase-in of a living wage.
Before taking office as mayor, Lightfoot held several other leadership roles in city government and served as a federal prosecutor.
In the Department of Health Policy and Management, she will teach a course (tentatively titled) “Health Policy and Leadership.”
The Menschel Senior Leadership Fellows Program offers a rare opportunity for those who have recently served in top-level positions in government, multilateral institutions, nonprofit organizations, and journalism to spend time at the School mentoring and teaching students who aspire to similar roles. Lightfoot will hold regular office hours to meet with students, faculty, and staff during her time on campus.