Hamilton mayor joins Harvard’s city leadership program

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Published August 1, 2023 at 9:00 am

Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath attends a session at the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in New York City in July 2023. COURTESY CAROLE SAAB VIA TWITTER
Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath attends a session at the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in New York City in July 2023. COURTESY CAROLE SAAB VIA TWITTER

Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath is the first mayor from the city to participate in a yearlong leadership and management training program taught by Harvard University faculty, which her spokesperson said is “an investment in the city’s future.”

Horwath is one of 40 mayors from nine countries and six continents participating in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, which is done virtually except for a four-day “immersive classroom experience” in New York City in July and a similar follow-up in-person meeting in August, spokesperson Michelle Shantz told inthehammer.com.

The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative covers all expenses for participants, Shantz said.

“Hamilton is not the only city in the world that is dealing with serious issues of homelessness, mental health, affordable housing and the growing pressures of increased refugee populations,” Shantz said. “Mayor Horwath understands that addressing these issues involves learning from other mayors and discussing best practices and approaches that are being deployed elsewhere. The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative that Mayor Horwath attended in July is an opportunity for municipal leaders to discuss these shared challenges face to face, so real solutions can be advanced.”

In a tweet on July 19, Horwath said Regina Mayor Sandra Masters had nominated her to take part in this year’s program. She mentioned that three other Canadian mayors were participating as well — Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek, Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and London Mayor Josh Morgan.

On the same day, Horwath wrote: “I am immensely appreciative for the opportunity to learn from instructors and fellow municipal leaders, to share insights and swap strategies, and to analyze interesting case studies from around the world. …

“Like Hamilton, cities everywhere are facing crises of affordability, public safety, homelessness, and climate change. I am excited to return to City Hall with bold new ideas and innovative solutions to the issues most pressing to Hamiltonians.”

The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative is a flagship management and leadership training program of the Bloomberg Center for Cities at Harvard University. It’s a collaboration between Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, a charity founded by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. According to its website, it allows mayors and senior city officials to step back from their day-to-day responsibilities to gain the tools, skills and knowledge “to tackle complex challenges in their cities and improve the quality of life of their residents.”

From strategic leadership and management to using data and evidence to improve decision-making, Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School faculty are teaching courses in the program to help mayors and senior leaders spend time on their “personal leadership and organizational practices within their cities.”

COURTESY BLOOMBERG HARVARD CITY LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE VIA TWITTER

Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath, foreground left, participates in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in July 2023. COURTESY BLOOMBERG HARVARD CITY LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE VIA TWITTER

“The mayor’s participation is an investment in the city’s future,” Shantz, Horwath’s spokesperson, told inthehammer.com.

The intensive curriculum focuses on helping mayors address complex problems and improving residents’ quality of life in their cities, she added.

“Mayors will build management and leadership capabilities that will aid them in developing policy, managing their city hall, and leading civic and resident engagement,” Shantz said. “During the program, city leaders learn from one another as well as from some of the world’s leading academics and thought leaders.”

According to the program’s website, city leaders can access research and resources to improve their problem-solving abilities, build an effective city hall, and improve outcomes for residents.

Started in 2017, the program has trained 465 mayors and 2,271 senior city officials in 524 cities worldwide.

“The program combines an intensive classroom experience with broader training and capacity-building to help participants foster their professional growth, advance key capabilities within their city hall, and lead more effective, efficient, and equitable cities,” according to the website.

COURTESY CAROLE SAAB VIA TWITTER

COURTESY CAROLE SAAB VIA TWITTER

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