Lori Lightfoot, former Chicago mayor, named Senior Leadership Fellow for fall 2023

June 7, 2023 – Former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will serve as a Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health during the fall semester of 2023.

Lightfoot served as mayor of Chicago from May 2019 to May 2023. She made history as the city’s first African American, female, and open gay mayor. During her term, she worked to safeguard public health and minimize economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic and tackled health equity issues—topics she’ll address in a Harvard Chan School fall course on health policy and leadership. As a Fellow, she’ll also hold regular office hours to meet with students, faculty, and staff during her time on campus.

In a June 1 Chicago Sun-Times article, Eric Andersen, director of the Senior Leadership Fellows Program, noted that the School was interested in bringing Lightfoot on board as a Fellow because, “as mayor and as a leader she faced many pressing public health issues, most notable navigating the pandemic.” He added, “We believe our students will benefit from her experiences, insights, and knowledge of leadership decision-making.”

Noted Dean Michelle Williams in a Boston Globe article, “As a mayor, she showed strong leadership in advocating for health, equity, and dignity for every resident of Chicago.”

Lightfoot joins a roster of leaders—from government, multilateral institutions, nonprofits, and journalism—who have taught at Harvard Chan School as part of its Senior Leadership Program. Most recently, Andrew Dreyfus, recent president and chief executive officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, was a Fellow in spring 2023. Prior Fellows have included former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Boston Mayor Kim Janey, and former Costa Rican ambassador to the U.S. Roman Macaya.

Read the Chicago Sun-Times article: Former Mayor Lori Lightfoot to teach at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Read the Boston Globe article: Former Chicago major Lori Lightfoot appointed as Harvard fellow