Kimberlyn Leary is an associate professor of psychology at the Harvard Medical School and an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she directs the Enabling Change program. In her role with the DrPH program, she teaches leadership skills to prepare public health professionals for synergistic engagements with complex problems. Increasingly, this work requires the ability to innovate and problem-solve with diverse stakeholders, from diverse backgrounds, towards the goal of making communities healthier. The Enabling Change program is designed to develop leaders with the skills that enable them to sustain collaboration among local and national partners, design interventions that span multiple sectors, and lead change that results in affirmative impact. She also teaches courses in management, leadership, and decision sciences at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Dr. Leary is also the Executive Director of Policy Outreach and of the Center of Excellence in Women’s Mental Health at McLean Hospital. She is a faculty affiliate at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, the Women and Public Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative. She has taught courses on negotiation and conflict transformation to undergraduates at Harvard College, to senior executives at Harvard Law School, and to physicians working in high-conflict zones in Thailand and studied Dutch-Muslim neighborhood conflict as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Amsterdam.
As a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow, Dr. Leary served for one year as an Advisor to the White House Council on Women and Girls helping to develop and then direct “Advancing Equity,” an initiative focused on cross-sector approaches to improve health, education, and economic outcomes for women and girls of color. This work included extensive stakeholder engagement across federal agencies as well as with foundations and external organizations. She then completed a five-month fellowship extension at the Office of Management and Budget’s Health Division, where she worked on the federal response to the opioid crisis, the Zika virus, global health security, and on mental health initiatives.
Dr. Leary’s current research and scholarly work is centered on leadership, negotiation capacity, and large-scale systemic change. She is also engaged in several policy initiatives pertaining to enhancing life outcomes for women and girls of color.
For almost 12 years, she served as chief psychologist at the Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School, directing the division of psychology and its training programs to deliver culturally sensitive care supporting the hospital’s primary care centers, specialty mental health, and acute emergency services. She has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, and an AB from Amherst College, where she is also on the Board of Trustees. She is also on the Board of Trustees at the Austen Riggs Center and the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute.