Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell joins new mayors at Harvard Kennedy leadership program

New Orleans Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell will join new mayors of major cities from across the country at the Institute of Politics’ (IOP), Harvard Kennedy School upcoming Seminar on Transition and Leadership for Newly Elected Mayors. Every two years since 1975, the IOP and the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) host the country’s preeminent ‎educational and preparatory program for new mayors.

“As I often spoke about during my campaign, professional development and partnerships are part of the foundation for effective governing, and this week I am attending a Harvard conference for newly-elected mayors,” Cantrell said.

This year, more than 20 mayors and mayors-elect will gather at Harvard University from November 28 to 30 for the IOP’s conference, which will focus on best practices, supported by dynamic workshops led by experts in public policy, media, the private sector and municipal governments. The IOP invites all first-time mayors from cities with populations larger than 75,000 to this unique program. Harvard is footing the bill for the trip.

“One of our most rewarding activities at the IOP centers around providing a non-partisan, collegial forum for mayors, speakers and experts in a range of fields to form personal relationships,” said Bill Delahunt, IOP Acting Director.

“Challenges facing our cities and their leaders have become increasingly more complex and demanding. We hope to become on ongoing resource for collaboration, information and support to the civic leaders taking on these vital issues,” said Delahunt.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors the IOP together have developed an agenda featuring a diverse group of top policy and media, private and public sector experts including a host of Harvard Kennedy School professors, and former and current Mayors.

New mayors will participate in a variety of sessions. Topics will include Substance abuse and the opioid crisis, Managing city finances, Cross-sector partnerships and inclusive economic development, Principles of good policing, and Crisis response as well as sessions on new technologies, measuring performance, and developing a branding strategy for city development.

“Since my time as a community leader in Broadmoor, we’ve partnered with Harvard University and used its wide swath of resources,” Cantrell said. As we transition into my administration, I will maintain two-way communication with community partners, government colleagues, business leaders, and most importantly our residents, so they know that a Cantrell administration is one of the people and for the people.”






The Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School was established in 1966 as a memorial to President Kennedy. The IOP’s mission is to unite and engage students, particularly undergraduates, with academics, politicians, activists, and policymakers on a non-partisan basis to inspire them to consider careers in politics and public service. The Institute strives to promote greater understanding and cooperation between the academic world and the world of politics and public affairs. More information is available online at


The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,408 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.