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Benazir Bhutto Leadership Program

“Leadership is a commitment to an idea, to a dream, and to a vision of what can be.”   Benazir Bhutto, HR’73

Consistent with our mission to support positive change, ClassACT has developed the Benazir Bhutto Leadership Program (BBLP) in honor of our classmate, the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan. The fellowships support scholars enrolled in the Edward S. Mason Program (MC/MPA) of the Kennedy School of Government. For more information on the Mason Program, visit the MC/MPA Edward S. Mason Program webpage

Using fellowships, relationship-building, and public education as our tools, the BBLP advances peace and human rights consistent with the principles--democracy, equality for women, reconciliation of religious and cultural differences, and education without gender or religious bias. While at Harvard-Radcliffe and later at Oxford, Benazir Bhutto came to value these principles as governing concepts essential to successful modern societies. We are working to accomplish our goals through identifying, educating, connecting and supporting promising leaders from predominantly Muslim countries who share these values. Since women are under-represented in public service and politics in this arc of Muslim majority countries, enhancing their lives, while improving their influence on public policy will be critical to our success.


We expect the leaders we support to return to their home countries (or work in support of change from outside the country, if return is not an option) and apply what they have learned to introduce positive change. The program encourages the ongoing exchange of ideas among these leaders and classmates to further refine and advance each leader’s ability to catalyze reforms. BBLP Fellows and Associates benefit from the culture of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (HKS), the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCIF), Harvard University, and the United States, and from the connections they make with other like-minded leaders from all over the world. In the initial years of the Program there is particular emphasis on attracting women to the Fellowships. Nonetheless, all aspects of the BBLP will be designed for women and men, who have demonstrated leadership potential, and who are open-minded, passionate, brave, and bold— to arm them with an education, a network, and a broad array of tools to address the needs of successful modern societies.

The goals of the program are: 

  • To engage and support effective, creative individuals from predominantly Muslim countries  in the geographic space from Lebanon to Bangladesh who are committed to principle-based positive change.
  • To assist leaders from all sectors of these societies in acquiring  tools they can use to succeed in working with their countrymen and women to effect change.
  • To improve the American public’s cross-cultural understanding of leadership challenges within these countries.
  • To engage HR’73 classmates and others in addressing critical leadership issues.

Advisory Board

 Sanam Bhutto
 Kimball Chen
 Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović
 Al Franken
 Peter Galbraith
 Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend


 Roohi Abdullah (2018-19)
 Natasha Jehangir Khan (2018-19)
 Nadia Rehman (2019-20)

 Zeina Majdalani (2021-22)

 Laila Khondkar (2022-23)

Steering Committee

John Adams
 Ann Bailen Fisher
 Robert Bowie
 Rick Brotman
 Kimball Chen
 Marion Dry*
 Hamilton Fish
 Peter Galbraith
 Sallie Gouverneur
 Leigh Hafrey*
 Terry Hunt

 Andrea Kirsh
 Barbara Brosius Lindsay

Stan Mark*

 Bahman Mossavar-Rahmani*
 Carl Muller*
 George Putnam*
 Jonathan Sprague*
 Therese Steiner*
Holly Weeks

*ClassACT Board

ClassACT HR ‘73

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