Harvard University helps Ukraine to create a new generation of leaders
Are leaders born or made? The Harvard University answers – leaders are made and moreover helps Ukraine through the program for young leaders to make a new generation of leaders who will lead the country. A few days ago 11 Ukrainians finished their study at such type of training at the John F. Kennedy School of Government Harvard University thanks to the scholarship of the Boumbouras Foundation. In the near future a meeting will be held between the management of Harvard and representatives of the Boumbouras Foundation to discuss new ideas for the scholarship program.
Ukraine needs qualified specialists for its development and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine is ready to contribute to their training. The U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Ms. Marie Jovanovich declared it at the meeting with the President of the Boumbouras Foundation Mr. Pantelis Boumbouras in September 2017. The meeting was held on the occasion of the participation of 11 Ukrainian young leaders in the program "Emerging Leaders" at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Leadership training programs are regularly held at this prestigious educational institution for the leaders from around the world to develop skills they need to build their countries. Eleven Ukrainian leaders from the government, private and non-governmental sectors went to the United States to participate at the Harvard executive education program. Candidates for scholarship program were chosen on the basis of the contest organized on the initiative of the Boumbouras Foundation. All of them are people who have already achieved certain successes in their industry and the goal of the short-term program is to acquire new skills that will allow them to occupy leading positions and contribute to the development of their countries.
"Ukraine is a country with a great potential and in the coming years it can reach prosperity. But for this we need the appropriate personnel, the management elite, as we used to call them. The elite which is not connected with the Soviet past of the country and will be able to create a system of public administration in accordance with modern requirements. This is not only my point of view but also the opinion of many influential businessmen and officials whom I meet in European countries. Training at Harvard allows to become familiar with a special mentality and necessary knowledge, and we help the Ukrainians to take advantage of these unique opportunities," said Vasilios Boumbouras, General Director of the construction company Gefest and Vice-President of the Boumbouras Foundation, after the meeting with Senior Associate Dean for Executive Education, Harvard Kennedy School, Ms. Debra Iles.
On the photo: Vasilyos Boumbouras, CEO of the Construction company Gefest and Vice-President of the charitable organization Boumbouras Foundation with Ms. Debra Iles, Senior Associate Dean for Executive Education, Harvard Kennedy School.
Ms. Iles thanked Mr. Boumbouras who spoke about the development of a new training program for future Ukrainian leaders and prospects for cooperation with the Harvard University. Ms. Iles stressed that the Harvard management is following developments in Ukraine and believes that this country needs leaders who will lead it along the path of reforms necessary for a modern European power. She recalled that in 2011 Harvard created a special program for the professional development of civil servants in Ukraine "Talent pool of the President." "We hope that the Boumbouras Foundation will continue to support a new wave of Ukrainian leaders. From our side we are ready for a broad cooperation in this direction, " pointed out Ms. Iles during her meeting with Vasilis Boumbouras in Harvard stressing on the importance of private companies in financing the participation of new leaders in educational programs that demonstrates their social responsibility. In the near future a high-ranking representative from Harvard will visit the Boumbouras Foundation to coordinate officially the program of cooperation between the Harvard and the Foundation in the field of education of Ukrainian leaders for the Foundation's scholarships.
In recent years more than 50 young Ukrainians participated at various short-term programs at the Harvard University. The selection criteria as well as the final selection of participants among hundreds of candidates belong to the Harvard. Such programs are in great demand all over the world. "This is one of the most popular programs for managers in the public, private and non-governmental sectors," says program director Sergei Konoplyov. "The competition is very high. This year we selected 65 candidates out of 260 applications. They were representatives of 19 countries. Including 11 representatives of Ukraine - scholarship holders of the Boumbouras Foundation," he added.
As Mr. Konoplyov notes, many of those who participated at these programs later took responsible posts in the country's administrative apparatus. The Director believes Ukraine needs to develop human resources. "I would talk not about knowledge, but about approaches and horizons of thinking - this is exactly what changed significantly after the course at Harvard. After discussing the cases and communicating with the professors you understand that you have to think more global and act more deliberately and locally", said Mr. Yuri Gusev, Advisor to the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine (2015-2016), co-founder of the International Center for Strategies Security and Defense. Mr. Gusev participated at this Harvard program in 2011 and says that this program not only provided an opportunity for his career growth, but also led to positive changes in the country. "Such programs must be continued," Mr. Gusev believes,and his opinion is shared by the majority of those who participated in such programs.
The charitable organization “Boumbouras Foundation” focuses on the assistance in the spheres of such charitable functions as education, health care, ecology, social protection, culture and art, science and sport, etc., as well as on the development and support of these spheres for the public benefit.
Among the Foundation’s goals there is a development of regional programmes, educational programmes, a search and development of talented youth, an assistance in social rehabilitation of financially disadvantaged citizens, disabled and other people who need special care, a development and spread of Greek culture in Ukraine, a protection and preservation of Greek cultural heritage, historical and cultural monuments and many others.