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Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative Welcomes Summer 2023 Fellows

Collage of headshots of 2023 Initiative Summer Fellows

Sixteen Harvard graduate students bring their skills to cities in the U.S. and abroad.

May 22, 2023, Cambridge, Massachusetts – The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, the flagship program of the Bloomberg Center for Cities at Harvard University, welcomed its newest class of Summer Fellows today. After receiving more than 100 applications across five Harvard Schools this year, the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative selected 16 accomplished graduate and doctoral degree students.

Fellows will spend the summer embedded in local government in the following cities, all recent participants in the Initiative’s programming for mayors and senior city leaders:

  • Allentown, PA
    Alejandra Fernández
    City of Spanglish Speakers: Solidifying Language Access in Allentown
  • Cleveland, OH
    Alan Neider
    Creating Generational Wealth through Program Development for State Forfeiture Parcels
  • Durham, NC
    María José Milla Pavón
    Equitable City Contracting: Increasing Participation of Minority and Women Underutilized Business Enterprises
  • Glasgow, Scotland
    Jessica Shakesprere
    Advancing Glasgow’s GreenPrint for Investment and Green New Deal
  • Lusaka, Zambia
    Mehvish Jamal
    Improving Local Area Planning Processes to be More Inclusive and Replicable
  • Milwaukee, WI
    Aundrey Page
    Establishing and Developing a Municipal Community Court
  • Monterrey, Mexico
    Sharon Welch
    Government Digitalization: Establishing the Data Foundations for Monterrey’s Smart City Agenda
  • New Bedford, MA
    Gabriel Kelvin
    Permitting Process Improvements
  • Riverside, CA
    Naman Sharma
    Supporting and Further Strengthening Civic Engagement Efforts in Riverside
  • Rochester, NY
    Oghenetega Ogodo
    Let’s All Eat: Improving Access to Healthy Foods and Reducing Health Disparities
  • South Yorkshire, UK
    Alice Duncan-Graves
    Net Zero by 2040: Using Data to Craft a Compelling Vision for a Sustainable Transition
  • Toledo, OH
    Robert Benner
    Crafting a Resident-Focused Smart City Strategy and Action Plan for Toledo
  • Topeka, KS
    Mher Tarakjian
    Accelerating Equitable Commercial & Residential Development
  • Vancouver, WA
    Tara Bassi
    Equity in Climate Action: Establishing a Frontline Communities Advisory Panel on Climate Resilience and Mitigation
  • West of England, UK
    Praggun Aggarwal
    Unlocking Environmental Action: Using Engagement Insight to Shape Action
  • West Yorkshire, UK
    Olivia Novick
    Engaging the Private Rented Sector in Retrofitting

Fellows will work directly in their host cities in project areas including climate action, equitable economic development, civic engagement, government and technology, and community-centered governance.

“Summer Fellows bring critical capacity to work on mayoral priorities aimed at producing deliverables with high impact potential for residents,” said Pascha McTyson, the Initiative’s Program Director for Student Engagement. “Fellows were selected based on their clear articulation of their interest in cities, how their skills could be effectively and creatively applied to the project scope, and how the experience could support their postgraduate career goals.”

Since 2018, the Initiative has placed 108 Harvard graduate students in paid summer roles in 86 cities across 16 countries. Eight Summer Fellows were hired for full-time roles in their cities after the fellowship concluded.

Fellows work closely with city leader supervisors, addressing their city’s most pressing problem, such as affordable housing, community safety, early childhood development, equitable economic recovery, or racial equity and access. Fellows deliver work such as recommendations, analyses, plan designs, and new resources to the mayor, senior leaders, and other key stakeholders in the city.

This year’s class of Summer Fellows includes graduate and doctoral candidates from the Harvard Kennedy School, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the Harvard Business School.

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