Gleitsman Leadership Fellowships are funded through an endowed gift to CPL from the estate of Alan L. Gleitsman. These fellowships provide significant financial support and a robust cocurricular experience to promising Harvard Kennedy School students interested in social change.
Gleitsman Fellowships recognize Harvard Kennedy School students for their background or potential as activists. With the income generated by a $20 million endowed gift from the estate of Alan L. Gleitsman, CPL launched the Gleitsman Program in Leadership for Social Change (GPLSC) in 2007. It was Mr. Gleitsman's hope that if the world knew of the accomplishments of social activists, others would be inspired by their stories and would fight to correct some of the other problems facing the world, thereby improving the quality of life for all of us.
Gleitsman Fellows are awarded a scholarship up to full tuition and health fees for one year plus a $1500 stipend. During their fellowship year, the Gleitsman Fellows are part of the Center for Public Leadership's community of graduate fellows and participate in an enriching cocurricular experience designed to enhance and engage their development as the next generation of public leaders. The cocurricular program includes:
- Welcome Retreat: CPL Fellows interact with and get to know one another and begin the process of supporting one another's aspirations as leaders.
- Leadership Discussion Series: On a weekly basis, the Fellows engage one another as well as eminent practitioners and local and national leaders on topics of service and leadership.
- Field Experience: Fellows, along with selected students from the broader Kennedy School community, take a multi-day trip to a major U.S. city and meet with area leaders in order to gain an understanding of the deep rooted problems of society and innovative approaches to resolving them.
- Connection with CPL and Gleitsman Fellows Network: Fellows engage with these other emerging leaders as they begin their careers through opportunities like roundtable discussions, mentoring experiences with fellowship alumni, leadership skills workshops, and networking events.
This opportunity is open to domestic and international students entering any of Harvard Kennedy School’s master's degree programs.
Applications for the 2013–2014 academic year are closed. Applications for the 2014–2015 academic year will be available in December 2014.
Past Fellowship Cohorts
2010-2011 Gleitsman Fellow Profiles
About the Gleitsman Program in Leadership for Social Change
With the income generated by a $20 million endowed gift from the estate of Alan L. Gleitsman, CPL launched The Gleitsman Program in Leadership for Social Change (GPLSC) in 2007. It was Mr. Gleitsman's hope that if the world knew of the accomplishments of social activists, others would be inspired by their stories and would fight to correct some of the other problems facing us, thereby improving the quality of life for all of us.
The GPLSC's three principal components are:
- The Gleitsman Leadership Fellowship Program, which provides significant financial support and a robust co-curricular experience to promising students interested in social change;
- A set of programmatic initiatives, including visiting practitioners and curriculum development, through which CPL plays a catalytic role in the School's (and Harvard's) efforts to better prepare students as leaders for social change, whether through activism, social enterprise, or other strategies for change; and
- The Gleitsman Citizen Activist and International Activist Awards, each of which carries a $125,000 cash prize and enables students and the greater Harvard community to learn from the presence of an extraordinary change agent when she or he visits campus.
This year, the endowment will support five new activists with full tuition Fellowships and welcome back four returning Fellows to carry on Alan’s vision as often expressed through his favorite Robert F. Kennedy quote: "Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation."
About Alan Gleitsman
Alan L. Gleitsman, was a successful entrepreneur in the television industry for more than three decades and the founder of The Gleitsman Foundation, which he established in 1989 to honor individuals who have initiated social change. Mr. Gleitsman "wanted to recognize people who make a difference, tell their story and make other people aware of what one person can do."
In addition to the Foundation, Mr. Gleitsman initiated a scholarship program at UCLA designed to help attract outstanding medical students to the field of geriatrics; was honored by the University of Southern California for his contributions to cancer research; participated in the International Peace Walk in the Soviet Union; and established a scholarship program at the high school he attended in Great Neck, New York that is awarded annually to the school’s most outstanding graduate.
Mr. Gleitsman began his business career in sales for Sterling Television, a television program distribution company that later became The Walter Reade Organization. In 1970, he started Alan Enterprises, Inc. in Los Angeles, specializing in the syndication of television programs in the United States. By the time he sold the company in 1986, he had acquired the rights to a substantial library of motion pictures, cartoons and series, and was actively involved in distribution to television and video throughout the world.