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Grant to Support Ed.L.D., Leadership Convenings

Dean James Ryan has announced a $5 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation that will fund fellowships in the Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) Program.

Dean James Ryan announced today a $5 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation that will fund fellowships in the Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) Program.

The grant, jointly led by Lecturer Elizabeth City, director of the Ed.L.D. Program, and Associate Professor Martin West, will also enable the creation of online content for system-level leaders, as well as a series of convenings on the topic of education leadership.

“I am thrilled about the generous support from the Walton Family Foundation, which represents a significant investment in high-quality leadership development for education, and I’m grateful to Liz and Marty for their leadership throughout this process,” Ryan said. “The Foundation’s support will not only strengthen our Ed.L.D. Program, but it will also help to make the program’s innovative content more widely available so that more leaders can benefit from our faculty’s expertise. I am also delighted that this investment will enable us to collaborate on conferences that will focus on important questions about leadership in education.”

Today’s first leadership convening, “Building Leadership Pipelines,” attracted 60 leaders from the field to identify the essential attributes of successful leaders and explore areas for collaboration and impact across a diverse group of organizations. On Thursday, HGSE hosted the Askwith Forum, “Being and Becoming an Education Leader,” which focused on how to recruit and develop effective leaders for a diverse set of education organizations at a dynamic and challenging time for educators.

"Throughout this relationship we hope to learn from the considerable and forward-thinking team at Harvard, and from the legions of Harvard alumni who are hard at work in the field,” said Marc Sternberg, who leads the foundation’s K–12 area. “To achieve our mission of providing high-quality education choices to all families, we have to do our part to ensure the leadership is in place to provide these choices. Our hope is that this collaboration with Harvard will yield future leaders, insight, and best practices to impact school districts nationwide.” 

Begun in 2010, the Ed.L.D. is a full-time, three-year program built on a cohort learning model. Cohorts consist of 25 students from diverse professional backgrounds — including entrepreneurs, nonprofit directors, principals, teachers, and policy researchers — who progress through the program together. While on campus, students take courses from faculty at HGSE, the Business School, and the Kennedy School.  All students receive a full tuition funding package plus stipends, work opportunities, and a paid third-year residency at a partner organization.

“This generous gift from the Walton Family Foundation helps support the sustainability of the Ed.L.D. Program by investing directly in students through endowed student fellowships,” City said, “and also helps us increase our impact by supporting leaders in the field, both our own alumni and other system-level leaders.”