Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

May 26, 2013

Cambridge City Manager to Serve Fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 7:29 pm

Cambridge MA — Robert W. Healy, who has served as Cambridge City Manager for the past 32 years and in city government for more than 40 years, has been named a Taubman Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s (HKS) Taubman Center for State and Local Government and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, it was announced today by HKS Dean David T. Ellwood. Healy will begin the Fellowship in mid-July after leaving his city government position.

Bob HealyThe Fellowship will allow Healy to work with faculty, scholars and students on a range of academic and research projects and to participate in seminars, workshops and public events. Healy will also teach at the Kennedy School as an adjunct lecturer.

"Bob Healy is an extraordinary public servant who has devoted more than four decades of his life to his hometown. As City Manager, he created and maintained a mutually beneficial partnership between Harvard and Cambridge, bringing people together to identify and support common interests and opportunities. The result is a stronger community for all and a remarkable wealth of insight and expertise that Bob will share with future leaders studying at the Kennedy School of Government," said Drew Faust, President of Harvard University.

"We are pleased that Bob Healy has chosen to join us at the Kennedy School," said Dean Ellwood. "Bob brings knowledge and expertise in so many facets of local governance — from budgeting and housing to education and health care — and we look forward to both learning from and engaging with him."

Healy will be anchored at the Taubman Center, whose mission it is to improve the governance of states, metropolitan areas and cities through research, teaching and public events.

"Local government leaders are dealing with myriad challenges, particularly during these times of budget belt tightening and economic stagnation," said Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics and director of the Taubman Center and the Rappaport Institute. "Bob Healy has met and tackled these difficult challenges for decades, allowing the city of Cambridge to grow and prosper, all the while constantly evaluating and improving critical city services to meet the needs of citizens."

Healy was named City Manager in 1981, shortly after Proposition 2 1/2 had been passed and the city’s credit rating was suspended by Wall Street rating agencies. During his tenure the city has seen its financial position improve substantially, and since 1999 Cambridge has been one of only a few dozen cities in the country to earn and maintain three Triple A bond ratings from the three major credit rating agencies. Under Healy’s leadership the city has completed a multi-million dollar sewer and storm water system reconstruction project, renovated virtually all opens spaces in the city, and constructed a new architectural award winning main library and state of the art public safety facility.

"It is a great honor to become part of Harvard Kennedy School and the Taubman Center for State and Local Government," said Healy. "During my over 40 years of municipal administration, I have learned that character and unwavering commitment to professional governance defines great leaders. I am excited to share my many years of practical experience in the creative environment offered at HKS, to inspire and engage our next generation of leaders by fostering the courage, perseverance and dauntlessness necessary to meet the everyday challenges of local governance."

Healy holds a Master’s Degree from UMass, Lowell; and has earned certificates from MIT Sloan School of Management, Urban Executive Program, and from the Kennedy School’s State and Local Executive Program.

This story is taken from a Harvard press release (May 24, 2013).


  1. $peechless.

    Comment by JChase — May 27, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

  2. Speechless? There are many mid-career professionals and late-career professionals in government who spend a year or more at the Kennedy School. Why would it be so strange for a 32-year city manager to spend a year at the Taubman Center? It seems quite appropriate to me.

    Comment by Robert Winters — May 27, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

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