Lumumba. Image: City of Jackson

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba is going back to school this summer to study leadership and management practices, as one of 40 mayors chosen for an intensive education program with the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.

As a participant in the Initiative’s 2018 program, Mayor Lumumba is part of a class of dedicated mayors attending a program delivered by faculty from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School as well as world-class experts from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ global network.

The yearlong program launches with a three-day convening in New York City which began Sunday, July 22. The Mayor is attending at no cost to Jackson.

Each day of the convening, mayors will attend classroom sessions focused on the latest management and leadership practices, using case studies and workshops developed at Harvard.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to engage with and learn from leaders from all over the globe.  I’m here with mayors from as close as Birmingham, AL and as far away as Freetown, Sierra Leone and Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The experience is enriching and inspiring, to say the least.  I’m certain that all of our cities will benefit from what we learn from one another this week and the relationships we will foster moving forward,” said Mayor Lumumba.

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City, collaborated with outgoing Harvard University President Drew Faust to create the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in 2016.

Collectively, Harvard University and Bloomberg Philanthropies aim to help mayors and their leadership teams manage the complexities of running a city, and to have opportunities to learn from one another. The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative will connect Mayor Lumumba to some of the university’s top educators, coaching from experts, a network of peers, and technical assistance. The program provides an opportunity to share best practices and learn from fellow mayors about the promising ideas that are already helping to enhance the quality of life in cities around the world.

After the mayors convening, two senior-level city officials nominated by each mayor will attend a similar convening in August. From Jackson, Chief of Staff, Dr. Safiya Omari and Chief Administrative Officer, Dr. Robert Blaine will participate in the yearlong program, as well, and help Mayor Lumumba translate what they learn into organizational changes that improve life in Jackson.

Mayor Lumumba’s participation in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative and that of his two senior leaders – including tuition, accommodation, meals, and airfare – is fully funded by the program.

The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative is a collaboration among Bloomberg Philanthropies, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Kennedy School. Its mission is to inspire and strengthen city leaders as well as equip them with the tools to lead high-performing, innovative cities.

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