Herman B. Leonard

Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration

Herman B. ("Dutch") Leonard is Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the George F. Baker, Jr. Professor of Public Sector Management at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition, he serves as co-chair of the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative. He teaches extensively in executive programs at the Business School and the Kennedy School and around the world in the areas of general organizational strategy, governance, performance management, crisis management and leadership, and corporate social responsibility. His work on leadership focuses on innovation, creativity, effective decision-making, and advocacy and persuasion. His current work in leadership and management is focused on the relationship between governance, accountability, and performance, and emphasizes the use of performance management as a tool for enhancing accountability. He has also worked and taught extensively in the area of crisis management and on issues related to corporate social responsibility. He is the co-author of Capitalism at Risk: Rethinking the Role of Business (2011), co-editor of Managing Crises (2009), the author of Checks Unbalanced: The Quiet Side of Public Spending (1984), of By Choice or By Chance: Tracking the Values in Massachusetts Public Spending (1992), and (annually from 1993 through 1999) of The Federal Budget and the States (an annual report on the geographic distribution of federal spending and taxation).

Professor Leonard is a member of the Board of Directors of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a 1,000,000-member Massachusetts HMO and a former director of the Hitachi Foundation and of the ACLU of Massachusetts. He was for a decade a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority and of CIVIC Investments, and was a member of the Massachusetts Commission on Performance Enhancement. He has been a financial advisor to the Connecticut Governor's Office of Policy and Management, to the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, and to the Central Artery-Third Harbor Tunnel Project. Professor Leonard was a member of the Governor's Council on Economic Policy for the State of Alaska, of the Governor's Advisory Council on Infrastructure in Massachusetts, and of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee's Private Sector Advisory Committee on Infrastructure. He served as chairman of the Massachusetts Governor's Task Force on Tuition Prepayment Plans, on the National Academy of Sciences Committees on National Urban Policy and on the Superconducting Supercollider, and on the New York City Comptroller's Debt Management Advisory Committee. In addition to his academic studies and teaching, he has been chief financial officer and chief executive officer of a human services agency and has served as a director of public, non-profit, and private sector organizations.

  1. Capitalism at Risk: Rethinking the Role of Business

    The spread of capitalism worldwide has made people wealthier than ever before. But capitalism's future is far from assured. The global financial meltdown of 2008 nearly produced a great depression. Economies in Europe are still teetering. Income inequality, resource depletion, mass migrations from poor to rich countries, religious fundamentalism--these are just a few of the threats to continuing prosperity. How can capitalism be sustained? And who should spearhead the effort? Critics turn to government. In Capitalism at Risk, Harvard Business School professors Joseph Bower, Herman Leonard, and Lynn Paine argue that while governments must play a role, businesses should take the lead. For enterprising companies--whether large multinationals, established regional players, or small start-ups--the current threats to market capitalism present important opportunities. Capitalism at Risk draws on discussions with business leaders around the world to identify ten potential disruptors of the global market system. Presenting examples of companies already making a difference, the authors explain how business must serve both as innovator and activist--developing corporate strategies that effect change at the community, national, and international levels. Filled with rich insights, Capitalism at Risk presents a compelling and constructive vision for the future of market capitalism.
  2. Capitalism at Risk: An Interview with Dutch Leonard and Lynn Paine

    Dutch Leonard and Lynn Paine, Harvard Business School professors and coauthors of "Capitalism at Risk: Rethinking the Role of Business," describe how corporate leaders are responding to the forces challenging the free market.

  3. Frameworks for Dialogue and Research about Social Impact Investing

    Social Impact Investment is a rapidly expanding field, but terminology in the field is poorly defined and imprecise. This note suggests frameworks that help to clarify important dimensions of SII projects, distinguishing and clarifying key differences in approaches to social impact investments undertaken by different organizations and funders.