Skip to content

Herman (Dutch) Leonard

Professor of Public Management

Harvard University

John F. Kennedy School of Government

Faculty: Expert contributors

United States

Areas of expertise

  • Crisis management
  • Performance management
  • Public leadership

Missing or inaccurate information?

Directory update request


Herman B. ‘Dutch’ Leonard is George F. Baker Professor of Public Management at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Faculty Co-Director of the Kennedy School’s Program on Crisis Leadership as well as Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration and Co-Chair of the Social Enterprise Initiative at Harvard Business School.

Prof Leonard served at the Kennedy School as Academic Dean for Curriculum and Instruction from 1992 to 1996 and as Academic Dean for the Teaching Programs from 1996 to 2000. He teaches leadership, crisis management, organisational strategy and financial management. His current research concentrates on crisis management, corporate social responsibility and performance management. Prof Leonard is the faculty co-chair of the Kennedy School’s Leadership in Crises executive program, the General and Flag Officers executive program, the Leadership in Homeland Security executive program and the joint Kennedy School and Harvard Graduate School of Education executive program on crisis management for higher education institutions.

Prof Leonard was a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Mitigation of Natural Disasters and subsequently a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Catastrophic Risk. He has provided advice to numerous international, national, state, provincial, local, nonprofit and private organisations and executives about crisis leadership, preparation and crisis recovery. He was formerly a member of the Board of Directors of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a 1.1 million member Massachusetts nonprofit health insurance company and a member of the Boards of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, the Hitachi Foundation, the Massachusetts Health and Education Facilities Authority and of Civic Investments. He was also a member of the Research and Education Advisory Panel of the General Accounting Office, a member of the Massachusetts Performance Enhancement Commission and a member of the Alaska Governor’s Council on Economic Policy.

Prof Leonard is the lead author of Why was Boston strong? (Harvard Kennedy School 2014), a widely-read report on lessons from the 2013 Boston marathon bombing, co-author of Managing Crises: Responses to Large Scale Emergencies (CQ Press 2009) and a co-author of Capitalism at Risk: Rethinking the Role of Business (Harvard Business Press 2011). 

Selected publications

Leonard, H. B., Cole, C. M., Howitt, A. M., & Heymann, P. B. (2014). Why Was Boston Strong? Lessons from the Boston Marathon Bombing. Program on Crisis Leadership and Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, Harvard Kennedy School.
Rashid, F., Edmondson, A. C., & Leonard, H. B. (2012). Leadership lessons from the Chilean mine rescue. Harvard Business Review, 91(7-8), 113-9.
Bower, J. L., Leonard, H. B., & Paine, L. S. (2011). Capitalism at risk: rethinking the role of business. Harvard Business Press.
Leonard, H. B., & Howitt, A. M. (2010). Organising response to extreme emergencies: the Victorian Bushfires of 2009. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 69(4), 372-386.