Training & Leader Development

Chapter 4
Government/Non-Government Training
Section I - Government Programs

Harvard University Program for Senior Executive Fellows (SEF)

Modern DCPDSCourse Code 11SEF
Length of Program 4 Weeks
Location John F. Kennedy School of Government,
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Suspense Dates
Dates of Program
Course DA Suspense Class Dates
Harvard SEF 12 Aug 16 16 Oct - 11 Nov 16
Harvard SEF 21 Oct 16 15 Jan - 10 Feb 17
Harvard SEF 20 Jan 17 09 Apr - 05 May 17
Eligibility Requirements Army Civilian managers at the GS-14/15 or equivalent levels. This course is directed primarily to promising upper-level managers who have advanced rapidly into senior positions and are now required to focus on "the larger picture" of the organization.

  • Completion of Civilian Education System (CES) Advanced Course or equivalent course or supporting request for waiver documentation.
  • Nominees must have completed three (3) years, or any combination thereof, of service in a permanent full-time Department of the Army civilian position(s) by the HQDA suspense date for the respective session.

To equip leaders to become executives by focusing on the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) spelled out by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Though the faculty adjust the curriculum regularly, emphasis is placed on skills relating to Policy Making, Authentic Leadership, Strategy, Negotiations, Persuasion, Implementation, Decision Making and Understanding and Using Data.

Description The Harvard SEF Program provides participants with practical, effective tools that help:
  • Identify and analyze the challenges and opportunities facing your organization, and master them politically, as well as technically;
  • Develop strategic plans of action using communication, negotiation and coalition-building skills;
  • Manage the tensions between long-term policy goals and short-term political pressures; and
  • Create an organizational environment that is responsive to change, but also true to its purpose and tradition.

This program does not teach answers to specific problems - it provides a strategic approach to problem-solving. From the start, participants will take on a leadership role, discovering ways to look at issues from new perspectives. Through classwork, group work, and individual study, participants will practice strategic analysis daily, until it becomes a natural, ingrained response.

Participants are expected to contribute their professional expertise to complement the program's learning experience, and are selected to reflect a broad cross-section of functional and operational responsibilities. The program is a unique opportunity to gain perspectives on public policy and management, to strengthen managerial skills and acquire insights into managerial practice, and to interact across agency and executive-legislative branch boundaries.

Application Process Application packages (original only) will be forwarded through command channels - respective Army Commands (ACOM), Army Service Component Commands (ASCC), Direct Reporting Units (DRU), or the Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army (OAASA), Civilian Personnel Director. The nomination suspense dates in this announcement are HQDA suspense dates. Please check with your local/command training manager for Army Command suspense dates so your application meets all local/command suspense deadline(s). Application packets received from individuals who do not meet ALL eligibility requirements by the designated HQDA suspense date will be returned without action. Complete application packages (original only) must be sent through command channels for forwarding to G37/TRV - Army Commands will include an Order Merit List. COMMANDS ARE LIMITED TO TWO NOMINATIONS. Command-endorsed nomination packets, to include an OML, may be sent via regular mail or FedEx to the following address:
Headquarters Department of the Army
G-37 Training Directorate
Civilian Training and Leader Dev Division
450 Army Pentagon
Room 2D639
Washington, D.C. 20310-0450

Career Program-Funded Packets: All packets requesting Career Program/ACTEDS-funding support must be submitted via the GoArmyEd process. When selecting a vendor, Careerist must select: Harvard University Program for Senior Executive Fellows (SEF). All HQDA nomination deadlines still apply.


Harvard has been instructed by DA to return all applications that are sent directly to the school.

Selection and Notification

Nomination packets are reviewed/vetted by HQDA and will not be processed if they are incomplete, poorly written, or applicant does not meet eligibility and/or program requirements. Harvard University reserves final selection authority. Selection/non-selection notification is made by DAMO-TRV through command channels. Army receives approximately 11 Harvard SEF allocations per session.


Tuition (program fee) for Harvard SEF is $21,900. This cost includes tuition, curricular materials, housing, and most meals. Funding of tuition, travel, and per diem and incidentals is the responsibility of the nominating activity. All selectees are required to stay in assigned accommodations.

Applicants/commands requesting career program funding support must contact the respective FCR for additional information prior to applying.

Button representing a link to the Application Package