Associate Professor Monica Higgins has been promoted to full professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Higgins expertise is focused on areas of leadership development and organizational change. After 11 years teaching at the Harvard Business School, Higgins joined the Ed School as an associate professor in 2007.
"In her research, Monica Higgins brings insights from organizational behavior to the study of leadership. In so doing, she has been able to identify the indicators that help or hinder organizational change," said Dean Kathleen McCartney. "As our students will attest, Monica is an extraordinary teacher. And as her faculty colleagues know, she has already contributed a great deal to the community through her work in the planning of the new doctorate in education leadership (Ed.L.D.). I am thrilled for Monica as well as for the school."
Higgins' work straddles higher education and urban public schools. Her most recent research is a multimedia project examining the careers and social networks of the Harvard Business School Class of 1996. Additionally, Higgins is studying the conditions that enhance the effectiveness of senior leadership teams and organizational learning in large urban school districts across the United States. She is involved in three current research projects: "Organizational Learning in New York City Public Schools," which seeks to better understand how to create work environments that hold teachers accountable without undermining their ability and motivation to innovate on the job; "Senior Leadership District Teams in Connecticut," which focuses on the role of senior leadership teams in implementing instructional improvement strategies districtwide; and "Principal Leadership in Chicago Public Schools (CPS)," where she acts as an expert in leadership and worked closely with doctoral students to design a teacher survey to assess principal effectiveness in the CPS.
A beloved member of the HGSE faculty, Higgins teaches in areas of leadership and organizational behavior, entrepreneurship, self-assessment and career development, and strategic human resources management. In 2009, she was recognized by HGSE students with the Morningstar Family Teaching Award, presented annually to a faculty member for his or her generosity in providing time and support to students. Higgins has also taught in leadership programs for The Broad Foundation and for New Leaders for New Schools.
On top of teaching, she currently works as a consultant with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan leading learning roundtable discussions for his senior leadership team.
Higgins holds a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from the Harvard Business School and Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, a master's degree in psychology from Harvard University, an MBA from Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, and an undergraduate degree in policy studies from Dartmouth College.