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Dana Born

Faculty Chair, Senior Executive Fellows Program

Harvard University

John F. Kennedy School of Government

Faculty: Subject/program leads

Cambridge, United States

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Find out more about ANZSOG’s Future public sector leaders’ series, featuring Professor Dana Born

Dana H. Born is the Faculty Chair, Senior Executive Fellows (SEF) Program, Faculty Advisor for the Black Family Graduate Fellowship, and Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) of Government, having previously served as the Co-Director for the HKS’s Center for Public Leadership. She is a retired Brigadier General with thirty years of service in the United States Air Force having served as a military commander in times of peace, conflict and crises. Prior to Harvard she served eleven years at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) as the Dean of the Faculty and Department Chair for the Behavioral Sciences and Leadership Department. Previously, Dr. Born served as the Commander of the 11th Mission Support Squadron, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. In that role she served as an on-scene Commander during the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. Other Pentagon assignments included Department of Defense (DoD) level responsibilities in recruiting analysis, personnel management and policy formulation; and Aide, Speechwriter and Policy Analyst to two Secretaries of the Air Force. Earlier in her career she served as an Exchange Officer with the Royal Australian Air Force and later in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

A graduate with distinction from the USAFA, Professor Born received her B.S. in Behavioral Sciences (1983), M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Trinity University, TX (1985), M.A. in Research Psychology from University of Melbourne (1991) and Doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Penn State University (1994). She received Penn State University’s Alumni Fellow Award (2012) and Distinguished Alumni Award (2018) and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Simmons College in Humane Administration (2007).

Born is the recipient of the Secretary of the Air Force’s Eugene M. Zuckert Award for Outstanding Management Achievement, Air Force Association’s Hoyt S. Vandenberg Award for outstanding contributions to Aerospace education, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Defense Meritorious Service Medal. She earned the HKS’s Innovation in Teaching Award in 2017 and the HKS’s Annual Teaching Awards 2014 – 2020.

Dr. Born is an Independent Director on the Midwest Reliability Organization’s Board serving on the Finance and Audit and the Governance and Personnel Committees; a Trustee on the Board for DeVry University serving on the Audit and Finance and Academic Quality and Student Success Committees; Trustee on the United States Air Force Academy’s Falcon Foundation serving on the Strategy and Governance Committee and formerly the Scholarship Committee; Supporting Director on the Air Force Academy Foundation Board; and Past President and Board Chairman of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum. Previously Dr. Born served as an Independent Director on the Board of the Apollo Education Group having served on the Compensation, Audit and Special Litigation Committees.

Dr. Born also serves as a Distinguished Fellow for the HOW Institute for Society; Consultant for the Core Leadership Institute; Peer Evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission; Advisory Board Member for ”With Honor”; Member of the Women Corporate Directors, International Women’s Forum and Council on Foreign Relations. She is Past-President of the American Psychological Association (APA Fellow, Society for Military Psychology) and Fellow for the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology (SIOP). Dr. Born’s sense of human/institutional behavior and military training, coupled with her large organizational leadership skills, and command experience during 9/11 form the basis of her focus today on change and risk management, organizational behavior/ethics, character-based leadership development, human and social capacity and performance, strategic alignment, inclusive excellence, diversity, decision-making and gender related issues.