Harvard University will establish a new Bloomberg Center for Cities thanks to a $150-million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, reports Michael T. Nietzel for Forbes. “The new center will focus on building the capabilities of mayors and other city leaders by providing extensive professional training and sharing best practices in municipal management.” Its goals include expanding the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative through a new program for recently elected mayors, supporting research on city governance, funding City Hall fellowships for graduate students, and endowing ten new faculty positions.
The center focuses on mayors as “people who have enormous and unique powers to attack society’s biggest challenges” due to their roles as leaders embedded in their local communities. “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,” Bloomberg Philanthropies founder and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press release. Harvard President Lawrence Bacow praised the initiative as a step toward improving collaboration and the sharing of resources among city leaders. “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.”