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Chula Vista Mayor Joins City Leaders from Around the World in Bloomberg Initiative

Post Date:07/16/2019 8:50 AM

Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas is ready to explore the latest in leadership and management practices, as one of 40 mayors chosen for an intensive education program with the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.

As a member of the Initiative’s 2019-2020 cohort, Mayor Casillas Salas 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 yearlong program launched with a three-day convening for mayors in New York City beginning Sunday, July 14, 2019, which Mayor Casillas Salas is attending at no cost to the city. Each day of the convening, mayors will attend classroom sessions focused on the latest management and leadership practices, using case studies and workshops developed at Harvard.

“I am honored to participate in this program that brings together city leaders to meet, exchange ideas, and discuss how best to approach solving pressing problems for our citizens,” said Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “We appreciate our partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and look forward to collaborating with mayors representing cities from around the world.”

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 2016.

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 Casillas Salas 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 already helping to enhance the quality of life in cities around the world.

After the mayors convening, two senior-level city officials nominated by each mayor will attend a convening in August and attend virtual classes throughout the year. From Chula Vista, Eric Crockett, Director of Economic Development, and Dennis Gakunga, Chief Sustainability Officer, will participate in the yearlong program and help Mayor Casillas Salas translate what they learn into organizational changes that improve life in Chula Vista.

Participation in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, for Mayor Casillas Salas, Mr. Crockett and Mr. Gakunga – including tuition, accommodation, meals, and airfare – is fully funded by the program thanks to Bloomberg Philanthropies. 


The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative is a collaboration among Bloomberg Philanthropies, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Kennedy School. Its mission is to inspire and strengthen city leaders as well as equip them with the tools to lead high-performing, innovative cities
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