Former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Lands Teaching Position At Harvard
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks at an election night rally at Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council on February 28, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.
(Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)

Former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is headed to Harvard University to teach about health policy and leadership.

The Ivy League university confirmed on Thursday that Lightfoot, who lost her bid for a second term as mayor this year, will serve as a senior leadership fellow this fall at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“We believe our students will benefit from her experiences, insights and knowledge of leadership decision-making,” Eric Andersen, director of Senior Leadership Fellows Program at the school, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

In a statement, Lightfoot said she looks forward to teaching about her experience leading the nation’s third-largest city during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ll share specifics about the way we managed the COVID-19 public health crisis, and we’ll delve into how we approached the crisis as an avenue to address long standing public health equity challenges using data and science,” Lightfoot said. “I also look forward to being part of the community of scholars, intellectuals and students at such a world class institution.”

During her single four-year term as mayor, which ended last month when leftist Brandon Johnson took over the role, Lightfoot made headlines for implementing strict lockdown measures and her inability to put a stop to rampant crime in the Windy City. The Harvard Gazette said her “accomplishments” includes “landmark ethics and good governance reforms, worker protection legislation, and key investments in education, public safety, and financial stability.”


After Lightfoot failed to secure a spot in the run-off contest in the mayoral election in late February, ABC7 Chicago reported that in an interview she pointed to the pandemic as well as George Floyd’s death and violence that ensued as factors in her defeat.

“There’s a lot of anger, frustration and fear that is present, not only in Chicago, but across our country. And, the winds of dissension continue to blow at a furious pace,” Lightfoot said. “So, for me, the biggest challenge wasn’t some particular person’s name on the ballot. The biggest challenge was breaking through what I call that ‘anger bubble.'”

Appointed a Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow, Lightfoot is expected to start teaching a course tentatively titled “Health Policy and Leadership” in late August. Others who have become Menschel fellows include former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Boston Mayor Kim Janey.

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