Profiles in Leadership is a series of interviews with leaders in fields such as health care, community organizing, international development, and homelessness prevention. The series, which aims to help health professions students reflect on their own leadership journeys, is a project of the IHI Open School for Health Professions and was made possible with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Lecturer in Public Policy
Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations
Harvard Kennedy School
Marshall Ganz is a lecturer in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 1964, a year before graduating, he left to volunteer as a civil rights organizer in Mississippi. In 1965, he joined Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers; over the next 16 years he gained experience in union, community, issue, and political organizing and became Director of Organizing. During the 1980s, he worked with grassroots groups to develop effective organizing programs, designing innovative voter mobilization strategies for local, state, and national electoral campaigns. In 1991, in order to deepen his intellectual understanding of his work, he returned to Harvard College and, after a 28-year "leave of absence," completed his undergraduate degree in history and government. He was awarded an MPA by the Kennedy School in 1993 and completed his PhD in sociology in 2000. He teaches, researches, and writes on leadership, organization, and strategy in social movements, civic associations, and politics.
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