Mayor Justin Bibb chosen for Harvard-Bloomberg Mayor’s Leadership Program

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Mayor Justin Bibb is one of 40 mayors participating in a leadership and management program set up by the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative that aims to teach mayors and top city hall employees how to address complex challenges and improve the quality of life for residents.

Bibb traveled to New York earlier this week to attend the first round of classes with other mayors from the United States and abroad, according to a press release.

The program is based on teaching methods developed at Harvard, and courses will cover several topics, including developing new policies and engaging with residents. Participants also identified key policy areas they want to focus on, including poverty reduction, equitable growth and jobs, climate, resilience, affordable housing, transport and infrastructure.

“I am delighted to join this year’s Class of Mayors to exchange ideas and discuss how best to address the concerns we share,” Bibb said in the statement. “All over the world today, mayors are leading the way with innovative approaches to social and economic recovery. I look forward to reporting lessons learned to deliver on the promise of a modern, responsive city hall for all Clevelanders.

Bibb’s class marks the sixth year of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative. Other nearby mayors selected for 2022 are Aftab Pureval of Cincinnati, Wade Kapszukiewicz of Toledo, Jeffrey Mims of Dayton; Joe Schamber from Erie, Pennsylvania and Ed Gainey from Pittsburgh. Most of the other participants are from US cities, but 12 represent cities in other countries, such as Zambia, Finland and Mexico.

It is a one-year program that includes both in-person and virtual classes. In-person classes began Sunday and end Wednesday, according to a city spokeswoman. Virtual classes take place monthly for up to two hours, with other recordings scheduled throughout the year.

Professors from Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School will teach classes, along with experts associated with Bloomberg Philanthropies. The program is billed as “non-partisan” because it “focuses on teaching leadership, organizational and problem-solving skills – rather than specific policy recommendations,” the statement said.

In addition to the chosen mayors, two senior leaders from each participating city will also attend the program. Bibb’s chief strategy officer, Bradford Davy, and chief financial officer, Ahmed Abonamah, are expected to fill those positions.

Bloomberg Philanthropies covers Bibb’s tuition, accommodation and airfare, according to the spokesperson.

Kevin E. Boling