The Senior Leadership Fellows Program provides a bridge from the world of decision-making to the world of academia.

This program offers a unique opportunity for those who have recently served in high-level positions in government, multilateral institutions, nonprofit organizations, and journalism to spend time at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to share reflections of their own career and leadership expertise with the next generation of world leaders.

Senior Leadership Fellows mentor students who aspire to similar roles and collaborate with renowned academic colleagues, exploring important issues pertaining to strategic decision-making and leadership development in public health.


Upcoming and Recent Senior Leadership Fellows

Spring 2 2022: Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin, who served for more than a decade as mayor of Columbia, S.C., will serve as the Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow for our Spring 1 term. The dates of his fellowship will be January 24-March 11, 2022.

Mayor Benjamin, a past president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, will teach a course in health policy and leadership. In each class, he will share his approach to tackling a different challenge, including the Covid-19 pandemic, gun violence, climate resilience, and racial justice.

During his tenure as mayor from 2010 to 2021, Mr. Benjamin drew national attention for several of his priority initiatives. Among them:
  • His “Justice for All” initiative sought to improve accountability and build trust between law enforcement and local residents. Steps included founding a citywide Human Rights Commission and appointing civilian representation to the police department’s internal affairs review board.
  • In 2017, Columbia became the first city in the nation to ban bump stocks, which enable semiautomatic weapons to fire more rapidly.
  • The city responded to the financial impact of COVID-19 with a comprehensive economic plan that included forgivable loans to small businesses. Mr. Benjamin also moved forcefully to protect his constituents’ health with an indoor mask mandate.

If you have any questions related to the Menschel Senior Leadership Fellowship program, please contact Eric Andersen, Director (eandersen@hsph.harvard.edu) or Salif Mangane, Senior Program Coordinator (smangane@hsph.harvard.edu).

 Fall 1 2021: Dr. Subramaniam Sathasivam, Minister of Health of Malaysia (2013-2018)

Dr. S. Subramaniam was the former Member of Parliament in the Malaysian House of Representatives from 2004 to 2018. From 2004 to 2008, he was appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. Subsequently, he was appointed as the Minister of Human Resources of Malaysia from 2008 to 2013 and eventually as the Malaysian Minister of Health from 2013 to 2018. Under the Human Resources Ministry, Dr. Subramaniam was instrumental in the introduction of minimum wage in Malaysia and brought forward many reforms to protect workers in Malaysia. Subsequently as the Health Minister, he led a major move to bring out transformations to the health system particularly aimed at addressing the issues of non-communicable diseases and sustainability of health financing. He was also the Vice President of the World Health Organization and the Chairman of the Western Pacific Regional Office of the World Health Organization. He has spoken in many international forums in particular the World Economic Forum, World Health Assembly, Regional Health Assembly, Harvard Ministerial Discussion Seminars and at the EATS foundation forums. Dr. Subramaniam is a medical doctor by training who graduated from the National University Singapore and is a consultant dermatologist who was trained in the United Kingdom and Ireland. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, Fellow of The Academy of Medicine Malaysia and honorary Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. He is married to Dr. Umarani, a clinical biochemist in Malaysia, and has three children.

Portrait photo of Peter Shumlin.

Fall 1 2019: Peter Shumlin, US Governor of Vermont (2011-2017)

Peter Shumlin served three terms as the 81st US Governor of Vermont, from 2011 to 2017. Prior, Shumlin represented the Windham County district in the Vermont Senate from 1993 to 2003 and 2007 to 2011, and was elected president of the senate for 10 of those years. Shumlin also served as a member of the Vermont House of Representatives, from 1990 to 1993. As Governor, Shumlin established Vermont as a leader on progressive policies, making the state the first to guarantee universal pre-kindergarten education for all 3 and 4-year-old children, pass a mandatory GMO labeling law, and achieve near-universal health care coverage with the lowest rate of uninsured in the country. Under his leadership, Vermont consistently ranked among the top states in solar energy jobs per capita and enacted a number of laws to boost renewable energy production and combat climate change. Because of Vermont’s leadership, Governor Shumlin was invited by President Obama to the Paris Climate Summit to push for a global climate agreement. Governor Shumlin’s tenure was also marked by his leadership during times of crisis. He helped Vermont recover from the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene. He also turned the nation’s eyes to the problem of opiate and heroin addiction by dedicating his 2014 State of the State Address to the issue and pushing for policies to treat addiction. Shumlin is co-director, along with his brother, of Putney Student Travel, which partners with National Geographic Student Expeditions and New York Times Journeys, sending high school age students on educational programs and service projects across the globe. He is also a partner in several real estate companies that provide housing and commercial space in Southeast Vermont