Student Fellowship

Summer Fellowships

Graduate students from across Harvard are competitively selected for the opportunity to spend the summer embedded in local government, where they will meaningfully contribute to improving government services and present their deliverables and recommendations to the mayor and senior leaders. A multi-disciplinary cohort of fellows will learn how to apply the tools of data-driven decision making, human-centered design techniques, and cross-sector collaboration to help city leaders drive government performance and address pressing social problems.

Applications for 2022 Summer Fellowships will be opened in Winter 2022. Please email cityleadership@harvard.edu with any questions or if you would like to express interest. Examples of 2021 Summer Fellowships include:

Affordable Housing & Community Development

Achieving Equity Through Housing Innovation and Economic Development
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Quantifying Financial Barriers to Housing Development
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Neighborhood Preservation: Reducing Problem Properties Through Process Improvements
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Economic Recovery

Inclusive Growth, Racial Justice, and Economic Resilience
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Fostering a Startup Ecosystem to Diversify Boca Raton’s Post-COVID-19 Economy
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Rethinking Engagement to Spur Entrepreneurship
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Streamlining Processes and Expanding Access to Opportunity for Small Businesses
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Downtown Revitalization: Building a Shared Sense of Place
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Driving Toward Equity Within and Beyond City Government
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Building Resilience Through E-commerce
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Providing Business Aid to Boost the Local Economy
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Revitalizing Neighborhoods through Zoning
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Racial Equity & Access

Resource Mapping to Inform Diversion, Wellness, and Healing
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Equitable Customer Service at City Hall
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Equitable Delivery of Library Services
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Early Childhood Development

Assessing Gaps in and Barriers to Early Childhood Development
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Student Fellows Stories

A map of a holistic picture of the affordable housing landscape and needs in Rochester

Andrea Ringer, MPP 2021 & Adam Staveski, MPP 2021

Andrea Ringer, HKS MPP 2021, and co-fellow Adam Staveski, HKS MPP 2021, worked to address the affordable housing gap in Rochester, New York – a key priority for Mayor Lovely Warren. Using available data and frameworks published by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, Andrea and Adam created a holistic picture of the affordable housing landscape and needs in Rochester. “Although learning on the job was difficult at first, I was continually supported by the city employees in Rochester and by the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative. Because of them, I was able to complete an incredibly complex data task in just six weeks,” Adam said. He found that the housing supply could be reworked to better accommodate the population in need of affordable housing by increasing the stock of 1-bedroom apartments. Their findings gave city officials valuable insights as they began to rewrite the city’s zoning code, and it was recently cited by Mayor Warren in her State of the City address.

Mock website of a mayor's dashboard

Lauren Lombardo, MPP 2021

Lauren Lombardo, HKS MPP 2021, worked closely with the mayor’s office in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, to improve the city’s use of data and performance evaluation in policymaking. Lauren found that the city’s existing system, LNKStat, was outdated and had been abandoned by the intended users. After 20 interviews with stakeholders, Lauren developed a new metrics toolkit to be used alongside policymaking that will provide a guide for identifying key performance indicators and monitoring metrics during policy development. Her solution ensures a flexible system that can adapt more readily than static metrics. In addition, Lauren scoped and tested a data dashboard for city officials that would make data more accessible to the public and promote data-driven governance. Lauren said of her experience, “During a time of pandemic and social unrest, my summer fellowship with Lincoln came with unexpected challenges and unanticipated rewards. I learned the importance of making data accessible and flexible and saw first-hand how to impact organizational change within governing institutions.”

Protest in Chicago in the wake of the murder of George Floyd

Zoe Bulger, MPP 2021

Zoe Bulger, HKS MPP 2021, started her fellowship in the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Equity and Racial Justice days after protests had erupted across the city in response to the murder of George Floyd and legacy of police brutality, state violence, and racism. “While my work for the summer was focused broadly on racial equity in response to COVID-19, it was clear that Chicago needed a way forward through the trauma caused by systemic racism and the pandemic – it needed to heal,” she said. Working closely with Chicago’s Chief Equity Officer, Zoe engaged a range of stakeholders to explore strategies for healing and identify work already underway in the city. She also examined cases of reconciliation in other cities in the US and abroad. At the end of the fellowship, she submitted a proposal for how Chicago can launch a city-wide healing journey and drive transformation for racial equity.

A crowd gathers for peaceful protest held in Oklahoma City

Andrew Loh, MPP 2022, MBA 2022

Andrew Loh, HKS MPP 2022 and Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA 2022, worked with the Oklahoma City Mayor’s Office to analyze the impacts of COVID-19 in the city and strengthen civilian oversight of the police force. Joining a special task force to address these connected issues, Andrew conducted a comparative analysis of responses from other US cities in order to support employing a mask mandate. Andrew’s team also examined a variety of police oversight systems, and he presented to Mayor David Holt the legal and policy reforms that would be necessary to make civilian oversight of the police department more effective. His proposal serves as a key resource as policymakers take up police reform in Oklahoma City.

Mockups of a waste management app

Oluwatosin Alliyu, MDE 2021

Oluwatosin Alliyu, HGSD MDE 2021, spent the summer working with the public and private sector stakeholders of Accra’s waste management system in order to develop a data strategy to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa. Oluwatosin conducted research on data strategy and waste management, as well as the intricacies of public-private partnership in Accra, mapping the relevant stakeholders in order to uncover areas for improvement. Oluwatosin developed three prototypes and an implementation guide in order to address issues with cross-sector collaboration, data collection, and service delivery to remote citizens. On her Harvard faculty and client support system, Oluwatosin said, “The support of my two Harvard faculty advisers and feedback from stakeholders in Accra were instrumental in the development of both the prototypes and implementation guide. While the keen guidance from my Harvard faculty advisers provided much needed insights and encouragement when I felt stuck, the feedback and continued engagement with those in Accra kept me grounded.”

Adam Hawksbee

Adam Hawksbee, MPP 2019

While pursuing his graduate degree, Adam Hawksbee, HKS MPP 2019, worked closely with the city region of West Midlands on inclusive economic development, first during a summer internship, then during his Policy Analysis Exercise, and finally as a research fellow with the Initiative. Just months after being hired as the Policy Director for the city, he was thrust into supporting its response to COVID-19. “I moved from a strategic, forward-looking role to a day-to-day crisis management and emergency response role,” he said. “As we turn towards recovery and reimagining what the region looks like, I’ve been able to bring in what I learned at Bloomberg Harvard to push us to thinking ambitiously and imaginatively about what comes next.”

Nneka Edwards-Jackson

Nneka Edwards-Jackson, MPK 2022

As a COVID-19 Response and Recovery fellow, Dr. Edwards-Jackson, Harvard Chan MPH 2020, who is a pediatrician by training, is developing community-based solutions at the intersection of public safety and mental health. Her analysis of peer city approaches and policy recommendations will inform the overall strategy of the new community-based public safety task force, formed in the wake of the Black Lives Matter and Indigenous Lives Matter movements. Edwards-Jackson’s project is a continuation of the city’s work within the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative’s Collaboration Track on community-driven mental health and addiction strategy.

Allison O’Shea

Allison O’Shea, MBA 2021

Allison O’Shea, HBS MBA 2021, is working on research on city innovations to advance the status of women and girls. Her work aims to identify promising approaches, common issues of focus across cities, partnership models, and how cities measure success. “I was drawn to this research project because the challenges facing women and girls are extremely complex and intersectional in nature. In other words, the most pressing challenges facing women and girls vary across age, race, class, and geography, and the solutions can rarely be developed and executed by a single department or agency within city hall."

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Mockups of a waste management app

Oluwatosin Alliyu, MDE 2021

Oluwatosin Alliyu, HGSD MDE 2021, spent the summer working with the public and private sector stakeholders of Accra’s waste management system in order to develop a data strategy to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa. Oluwatosin conducted research on data strategy and waste management, as well as the intricacies of public-private partnership in Accra, mapping the relevant stakeholders in order to uncover areas for improvement. Oluwatosin developed three prototypes and an implementation guide in order to address issues with cross-sector collaboration, data collection, and service delivery to remote citizens. On her Harvard faculty and client support system, Oluwatosin said, “The support of my two Harvard faculty advisers and feedback from stakeholders in Accra were instrumental in the development of both the prototypes and implementation guide. While the keen guidance from my Harvard faculty advisers provided much needed insights and encouragement when I felt stuck, the feedback and continued engagement with those in Accra kept me grounded.”

A crowd gathers for peaceful protest held in Oklahoma City

Andrew Loh, MPP 2022, MBA 2022

Andrew Loh, HKS MPP 2022 and Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA 2022, worked with the Oklahoma City Mayor’s Office to analyze the impacts of COVID-19 in the city and strengthen civilian oversight of the police force. Joining a special task force to address these connected issues, Andrew conducted a comparative analysis of responses from other US cities in order to support employing a mask mandate. Andrew’s team also examined a variety of police oversight systems, and he presented to Mayor David Holt the legal and policy reforms that would be necessary to make civilian oversight of the police department more effective. His proposal serves as a key resource as policymakers take up police reform in Oklahoma City.

Protest in Chicago in the wake of the murder of George Floyd

Zoe Bulger, MPP 2021

Zoe Bulger, HKS MPP 2021, started her fellowship in the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Equity and Racial Justice days after protests had erupted across the city in response to the murder of George Floyd and legacy of police brutality, state violence, and racism. “While my work for the summer was focused broadly on racial equity in response to COVID-19, it was clear that Chicago needed a way forward through the trauma caused by systemic racism and the pandemic – it needed to heal,” she said. Working closely with Chicago’s Chief Equity Officer, Zoe engaged a range of stakeholders to explore strategies for healing and identify work already underway in the city. She also examined cases of reconciliation in other cities in the US and abroad. At the end of the fellowship, she submitted a proposal for how Chicago can launch a city-wide healing journey and drive transformation for racial equity.

Mock website of a mayor's dashboard

Lauren Lombardo, MPP 2021

Lauren Lombardo, HKS MPP 2021, worked closely with the mayor’s office in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, to improve the city’s use of data and performance evaluation in policymaking. Lauren found that the city’s existing system, LNKStat, was outdated and had been abandoned by the intended users. After 20 interviews with stakeholders, Lauren developed a new metrics toolkit to be used alongside policymaking that will provide a guide for identifying key performance indicators and monitoring metrics during policy development. Her solution ensures a flexible system that can adapt more readily than static metrics. In addition, Lauren scoped and tested a data dashboard for city officials that would make data more accessible to the public and promote data-driven governance. Lauren said of her experience, “During a time of pandemic and social unrest, my summer fellowship with Lincoln came with unexpected challenges and unanticipated rewards. I learned the importance of making data accessible and flexible and saw first-hand how to impact organizational change within governing institutions.”

A map of a holistic picture of the affordable housing landscape and needs in Rochester

Andrea Ringer, MPP 2021 & Adam Staveski, MPP 2021

Andrea Ringer, HKS MPP 2021, and co-fellow Adam Staveski, HKS MPP 2021, worked to address the affordable housing gap in Rochester, New York – a key priority for Mayor Lovely Warren. Using available data and frameworks published by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, Andrea and Adam created a holistic picture of the affordable housing landscape and needs in Rochester. “Although learning on the job was difficult at first, I was continually supported by the city employees in Rochester and by the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative. Because of them, I was able to complete an incredibly complex data task in just six weeks,” Adam said. He found that the housing supply could be reworked to better accommodate the population in need of affordable housing by increasing the stock of 1-bedroom apartments. Their findings gave city officials valuable insights as they began to rewrite the city’s zoning code, and it was recently cited by Mayor Warren in her State of the City address.

Students in the News

Student Fellowship FAQs

Q: Is there a stipend?  

A: Yes, Harvard will pay $8,500 for the 10-week fellowship.

Q: What does the matching process look like?

A: After the application window has closed, we review all candidates’ applications and select the top candidates for first round interviews in late February through early March. Once we have determined the top candidates for each city, the cities will meet with the finalists and provide their feedback to us. We will then compare the cities’ priority candidate against the students’ ranking. In instances where there is not an immediate match, we will revert to the candidate pool and conduct the search and match procedure until all positions are filled.

Q: Will this year be virtual?  

A: We do not yet know if fellows will be able to travel to their cities, but we will abide by Harvard policy and will let you know as soon as a decision is made. All fellowships were completed virtually last summer and fellows enjoyed the experience and added value despite the distance and inability to meet in-person. Some fellows have shared that they felt they were able to accomplish more and sit in on more meetings than they otherwise could because of the remote nature of the fellowship. We have chosen projects that can be completed virtually and have been working with the cities to ensure they are equipped to host fellows virtually if needed.

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Q: Will I need any special hardware or software for the work (if it ends up virtual)? What are the IT security measures I should take to protect the confidentiality of government documents?

A: No special hardware or software is needed to complete a virtual fellowship. However, if the fellow may require access to a secure city application, the city will work with that fellow and Bloomberg Harvard to make sure the fellow has the appropriate setup to host city applications.

Q: Will the cohort be engaging in activities together?

A: Yes, Bloomberg Harvard fellows will meet regularly to get to know one another and build a community of practice that will include problem-solving collectively and with Bloomberg Harvard staff, engaging in professional development workshops designed to fill gaps in fellows’ skillset going into their fellowships, as well as meet for virtual happy hours.  Examples of previous professional development workshops include sessions such as “Making Yourself Useful” with David Eaves; “Survey Design” with Bloomberg Harvard staff; and “City Hall 101” with former Mayor Sly James and former Los Angeles Chief Data Officer Sari Ladin-Sienne.

Q: May international students apply?

A: Most international students can apply, but you may need to check with the International Office ​here​ to discuss your specific visa situation. Note: Harvard University, not the city, will be your employer and Harvard will pay you for the fellowship.

Q: May undergraduates apply?

A: The summer fellowship is only open to graduate students.

Q: Do I choose my own faculty advisor?  

A: We will assign you a faculty advisor as well as an Initiative staff “champion” to serve as your advocate within our program.

Q: When is the application period and deadline?  

A: Applications will be live on February 4, and applications will close on February 12.

Q: Is this open to students graduating in May 2021? What about if I graduated in 2020 or earlier?

A: You can apply if you are graduating in May 2021, but not if you graduated in 2020 or earlier.  Students who started Harvard graduate courses and then went on a leave of absence fall 2020 or spring 2021 (or both) and are retuning fall 2021 are eligible. Students who deferred this academic year and will not start at Harvard until fall 2021 are not eligible this summer (but would be eligible summer 2022).

Q: How are participating cities selected?

A: We select from cities that are part of our current cohort or alumni cohorts.

Q: Where can I see the list of participating cities and projects?

A: https://www.cityleadership.harvard.edu/student-fellowship

Q: How does city placement/choice work?

A: In the application, you will be asked to make a case for your top three choices. In the application, you may use up to 125 words ​per project to explain your interest.

Q: How integrated are fellows with their government teams?

A: We ask cities to integrate fellows with their teams as much as possible. In remote fellowships, fellows and city supervisors will need to make an extra effort.

Q: From which Schools at Harvard do you typically attract candidates?  

A: We love to see a diversity in programs and Schools represented. Prior candidates have attended HKS, HSPH, HBS, HGSE, the Extension School, and the GSD.

Q: Have any past fellows been selected without prior government experience?

A: Yes! We accept fellows with all types of backgrounds - public, private, and non-profit.