In 2014, the Emirates Leadership Initiative was established as a Harvard Kennedy School fellowship. It was a research and curricular collaboration between the Center for Public Leadership (CPL), Middle East Initiative (MEI) at Harvard Kennedy School, and the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Emirates Leadership Initiative is a five-year education program with four components. The four components include leadership, research, executive education, and fellowship programs. These programs include yearly educational exchanges and interactive research tours. They will also include yearly leadership development seminars for Emirati Public Sector Officials.

The Emirates Leadership Initiative was created for a variety of reasons:

  • To deepen Harvard Kennedy School’s engagement with the people and countries of the Arab World.
  • To enrich the educational partnership with United States institutions by increasing cultural understanding and by training the next generation of Emirati Leaders.
  • To provide unique opportunities for peer-to-peer exchanges.
  • To help provide Emirati and American students a broader world view.
  • To create a way to invest in the education and training of future leaders.

The Emirates Leadership Initiative will also provide many benefits for students. It will provide full tuition scholarships, health fees, and give generous stipends for up to two years. These scholarships will provide ten graduate fellowships to Arab students and six pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships for researchers with academic expertise on the Middle East.

This Harvard Kennedy School fellowship will allow Middle Eastern students to travel to the United States to study and allow American and other parts of the world students to experience a deeper understanding of the region and to learn from its leaders first-hand. It will also enable more Arab students to attend Harvard Kennedy School. Each participant will benefit from a co-curricular program which will include a welcome retreat, a weekly series of speakers, workshops and seminars, field experience, and opportunities to connect with other Center for Public Leadership fellows and alumni.