Bloomberg Philanthropies is donating $150 million to Harvard University to establish the Bloomberg Center for Cities. The new center will provide training, research, and resources for local government leaders globally.
The investment builds on the success of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, which has provided training and consultation to 159 mayors and their 800 top advisers from 153 cities since its inception in 2017.
“This is a major new investment in the people who have enormous and unique powers to attack society’s biggest challenges: mayors. The pandemic has driven home just how important mayors are to the everyday lives of billions of people. They are the most creative and effective problem-solvers in government – and that’s exactly the kind of leadership that the world urgently needs more,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Building on our partnership with Harvard, this new investment will help more city leaders learn from one another and get even more big things done locally.”
The new center will expand the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative with a new program for recently elected mayors; support research on city governance; fund new, two-year City Hall Fellowships for Harvard graduate students to work in mayoral offices around the world; create the endowed Bloomberg Center for Cities as a permanent component at the university; and endow ten faculty positions.
“Harvard is honored to partner with Bloomberg Philanthropies to strengthen the ways in which we support local leaders whose cities are facing unprecedented challenges,” said Harvard President Lawrence Bacow. “The University is home to many people who are committed to serving the public and improving communities through deep expertise, useful knowledge, and wide-ranging research. The prospect of helping to bring about more effective leadership through collaboration and innovation is as exciting as it is inspiring. We look forward to seeing the resources, tools, and support provided by the center put to good use in city halls around the world.”