About HCLR


The Leadership Institute at Harvard College (LIHC) is a student organization devoted to fostering the awareness, skills, and values of leadership among Harvard undergraduates. By providing skill-building programs and channels for collaboration between student leaders, LIHC aims to inspire and empower students to fulfill their leadership potential at Harvard, in their communities and in their world.


What We Do:

The Leadership Institute achieves this mission through several distinct programs.  You can learn more about them by clicking on the links below.

  • Harvard College Leadership Review (HCLR) is the inaugural publication to present and preserve lessons, interviews, and resources for leadership development through an annual leadership magazine.
  • Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) hosts skill-building workshops and conversations with premier leaders to share lessons and connect undergraduates with role models.
  • The Presidents Forum (TPF) hosts discussion forums to connect student leaders on campus and promote experience-sharing and collaboration.
  • Social Outreach (SO) partners with the nationally-acclaimed Citizen Schools organization to teach leadership as an after-school program for low-income middle school students.
  • External Relations (ER) serves as the strategic and financial backbone of the Leadership Institute. This team works to provide LIHC with the necessary resources, assists each committees achieve their missions, and connects LIHC with the outside world. It serves as the main partner with the Ivy Council, the student government of the eight Ivy League Universities.


Basic History and Purpose

Harvard undergraduates are once and future leaders.

To be a successful applicant to the College, students are expected to have gained leadership experiences in high school.  It is also expected that after graduation, Harvard alumni will achieve positions of authority and influence.

It is the core belief of the Leadership Institute that leaders are developed – through practice, failure, and training – not made.  Yet, despite the connection between Harvard graduates and leadership positions, no program or training existed to develop the nascent leadership skills and provide opportunities to reflect on challenges and lessons. The hallowed classrooms across campus provide venues for academic growth, but not for specific leadership growth.

The Leadership Institute at Harvard College (LIHC) aims to fill this gap. The Leadership Institute was born in 2004-2005 as the fusion of several fledgling student organizations. By bringing together the individual groups that focused on leadership and communication among students, synergies developed and helped propel LIHC to the forefront of leadership training.  Today, LIHC is the premier leadership development organization at Harvard College.

Much of the work to unify the organization came as the fulfillment of a class project, in which the assignment to “find a way to improve the campus” became the motivation to create a coherent and structured approach to training these once and future leaders. Today, LIHC continues to offer more and better programming and aims to be in touch with students to determine the leadership needs and interests of Harvard undergraduates. The organization has won the recognition and esteem of the Office of Student Life for the work LIHC does on campus.


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