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This week, City of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic has been exploring the latest in leadership and management practices, as one of 38 mayors chosen for an intensive education program with the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.  

As a member of the Initiative’s Class of 2021-22, Mayor Vrbanovic is part of a class of mayors participating in a program delivered by faculty from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School as well as world-class experts from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ global network.  

The year-long program launched with a three-day convening of mayors in New York City, which Mayor Vrbanovic is attending at no cost to the city. Each day of the convening, mayors have been attending classroom sessions focused on the latest management and leadership practices, using case studies and workshops developed at Harvard.  

“I was honoured to be selected for this highly regarded program, which in the past has included Mayors from world-class cities around the world,” said Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “Being immersed in these sessions has been invigorating, and I’m looking forward to meeting with highly regarded global colleagues and faculty to exchange ideas and discuss priority issues for Kitchener like housing affordability, post-covid19 economic recovery, our local response to the climate crisis, social justice issues and innovation.” 

Collectively, Harvard University and Bloomberg Philanthropies aim to help mayors and their leadership teams manage the complexities of running a city, and to give these leaders opportunities to learn from one another. The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative will connect Mayor Berry Vrbanovic to some of the university’s top educators, coaching from experts, a network of peers, and technical assistance. The program provides an opportunity to share practices and learn from fellow mayors about the promising ideas that are helping to enhance the quality of life in cities around the world.  

“I know that Council continues to be invested in building a world-class team that works across sectors, uses data and learns from others in order to help produce the best possible results for our community,” said Mayor Vrbanovic. “I believe this program will help enhance our leadership team’s capabilities in these areas, not to mention connect me with other mayors with innovative approaches to similar issues in their own cities.”  

After the mayors convening, two senior-level city officials nominated by each mayor will attend a convening in October and attend virtual classes throughout the year. From Kitchener, CAO Dan Chapman and General Manager of  Infrastructure Services, Denise McGoldrick will participate in the year-long program, and help Mayor Vrbanovic, City Council and Kitchener’s Corporate Leadership Team translate what they learn into organizational changes that improve life in the City of Kitchener.  

Mayor Vrbanovic’s participation in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, and that of Kitchener’s two senior leaders is fully funded by the program thanks to Bloomberg Philanthropies.  

The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative is the Flagship Program of the newly announced Bloomberg Center for Cities at Harvard University, and a collaboration between Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, and Bloomberg Philanthropies to equip mayors and senior city officials to tackle complex challenges in their cities and improve the quality of life of their residents. Launched in 2017, the initiative has worked with 400 mayors and 1,300 senior city officials in 478 cities worldwide. The initiative has also advanced research and developed new curricula and teaching tools to help city leaders solve real- world problems. For more information, please visit the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.  

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City, collaborated with Harvard University leadership to create the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in 2017.  


Media Contacts:  

Bethany Rowland 
Director of Communications & Marketing 

City of Kitchener 
Paul Grivicic 
Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor and Council