De Blasio’s New Gig: Former NYC Mayor To Teach Public Health Course At Harvard This Fall
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 07: Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio attends the "Hometown Heroes" Ticker Tape Parade on July 07, 2021 in New York, New York. Healthcare Workers, first responders and essential workers are honored in Manhattan's Canyon of Heroes for their service during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Noam Galai/Getty Images

Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has landed a new job teaching public health courses at Harvard University.

The former Big Apple mayor will join the faculty of Harvard this fall as a visiting fellow at both the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School, as well as a Senior Leadership Fellow at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He will teach courses in public health leadership at the School of Public Health, and appear at various programs at the Institute of Politics. The two schools introduced de Blasio in separate announcements Wednesday.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mayor de Blasio and [former Boston] Mayor [Kim] Janey to campus as Menschel Senior Leadership Fellows,” Dean Michelle A. Williams said in a statement to the Associated Press. “Their insights and their mentorship will be tremendously helpful to students who aspire to public office, as well as to those who are looking to lead in other sectors.”

In its announcement, the School of Public Health touted de Blasio’s tenure as mayor of America’s largest city, particularly during the COVID pandemic.

“He led New York City through the COVID-19 pandemic, turning what was once a global epicenter into the safest city in the country,” the announcement said. The school also touted de Blasio’s record on issues outside COVID: his initiative to make early childhood education a universal right in the city; his affordable housing projects and action plan against homelessness; his activism and push for a citywide $15 per hour minimum wage; and his passage of the Climate Mobilization Act, also known as the NYC Green New Deal, and initiatives to make the city carbon-neutral by 2050, including ending fossil fuel fuel use in new buildings.

De Blasio will teach an eight-week long course on leadership, focused on navigating major issues in public health challenges, The New York Times reported. He will also hold office hours and meet with students and faculty, and serve as a seminar speaker.

At the Institute of Politics, de Blasio will visit Harvard several times throughout the semester for a variety of discussions and other events.

“Mayor de Blasio’s decades of experience in local government, federal agencies, national campaigns, and running the largest city in the country will provide invaluable insight to our students and the Harvard community,” Setti Warren, the director of the Institute of Politics, said in the news release Wednesday. “We are excited to welcome Mayor de Blasio to campus as we look for pathways forward on the challenges facing our democracy.”

De Blasio expressed his excitement on Twitter Wednesday. “I am VERY optimistic about the generation of leaders and activists coming up,” he tweeted. “It will be a privilege to offer lessons I’ve learned through decades of public service. My key message to them: we CAN make bold progressive change. I know because I’ve lived it.”

The Harvard position is likely a career boost for the former mayor of New York City, who has unsuccessfully sought higher political office several times recently. De Blasio dropped out of the 2020 presidential campaign early in the cycle. He was mulling a run for Governor of New York in 2022, but decided against it. He then announced a run for Congress in the redrawn 10th Congressional District, but dropped out ahead of the primary.

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