Leni Robredo

‘A huge honor’: Robredo chosen as Hauser Leader at Harvard Kennedy School

Michelle Abad
‘A huge honor’: Robredo chosen as Hauser Leader at Harvard Kennedy School

HAUSER LEADER. Former vice president and Angat Buhay chairperson Leni Robredo visits the Angat Buhay Village in Guinobatan, Albay, on August 14, 2022.

Atty. Leni Robredo Facebook page

Former vice president Leni Robredo will advise students and share expertise with faculty on her advocacies and experiences as a leader

MANILA, Philippines – The Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership (CPL) announced it has chosen former vice president Leni Robredo as one of its Hauser Leaders for the fall 2022 semester.

According to the center’s website, the Hauser Leaders Program “brings distinguished leadership practitioners from across the public, nonprofit, and private sectors to CPL to engage with students, faculty, and wider Harvard community.”

Robredo called her selection a “huge honor.”

“I’m both thrilled and humbled be given this space to share my advocacies and experiences, alongside this roster of distinguished leaders from various fields and sectors,” Robredo said in a Facebook post on Thursday, September 1.

Robredo was chosen alongside former US congresswoman Jane Harman, The Washington Post foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius, United Negro College Fund president and CEO Michael Lomax, and Dov Seidman, founder and chairman of ethics and compliance management firm LRN. Rappler CEO and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa was also a Hauser Leader in 2021.

The Hauser leaders will advise Harvard students and share expertise with faculty throughout the academic year. They are expected to teach skill-building and conduct development workshops in line with the CHPL’s mission to “develop principled, effective public leaders who make positive change in the world.”

Before entering politics, Robredo worked as an alternative lawyer. She served one term as Camarines Sur representative in 2013, and then led the opposition during her term as vice president beginning in 2016. She was a constant critical voice of former president Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial policies, such as his deadly war on drugs and the blunders of his pandemic response.

Despite not having a Cabinet position for most of her term, and dealing with limited annual budgets, Robredo was able to implement numerous programs that catered to the poor and marginalized. This was seen especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when she rolled out services for medical frontliners and COVID-19 patients.

Following her failed 2022 presidential bid, Robredo founded nongovernmental organization Angat Buhay, named after her Office of the Vice President’s signature anti-poverty program.

After election defeat, Robredo to lead ‘biggest volunteer movement in PH history’

After election defeat, Robredo to lead ‘biggest volunteer movement in PH history’

Robredo said her return to Cambridge for the opportunity was a “blessing.”

The Robredo family is no stranger to the ivy league school. The former vice president’s late husband, former interior secretary Jesse Robredo, was an Edward S. Mason fellow, and got his master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

In May 2018, Robredo’s eldest daughter Aika earned her master’s in public administration from the same institution.

In June 2022, Robredo’s second daughter Dr. Tricia Robredo, was admitted into Harvard Medical School’s Master of Medical Sciences in Global Health Delivery program. – Rappler.com

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Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a researcher-writer with the investigative unit of Rappler. She also covers overseas Filipinos and the rights of women and children.