Faculty chair, Senior Executive Fellows Program; faculty advisor, Black Family Graduate Fellowship; and lecturer in public policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

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Dana H. Born

Faculty chair, Senior Executive Fellows Program; faculty advisor, Black Family Graduate Fellowship; and lecturer in public policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government


Dana H. Born is the faculty chair, Senior Executive Fellows (SEF) Program, faculty advisor for the Black Family Graduate Fellowship, and lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) of Government. She previously served as the co-director for the HKS’s Center for Public Leadership and faculty advisor for the National Security Fellows.

A retired Brigadier General with thirty years of service in the United States Air Force (USAF), Dr. Born served as a military commander in times of peace, conflict and crises.  Prior to Harvard, she served nine years at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) as the dean of the faculty, leading a 750 member faculty and staff with a $350M annual budget.  Previously, Dr. Born served as the commander of the 11th Mission Support Squadron, Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.  In that role she served as an on-scene Commander during the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. Other assignments included: Aide, Speechwriter and Policy Analyst to two secretaries of the Air Force; exchange officer with the Royal Australian Air Force and in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. 

She is the recipient of the Secretary of the Air Force’s Eugene M. Zuckert Award for Outstanding Management Achievement, Air Force Association’s Hoyt S. Vandenberg Award for outstanding contributions to Aerospace education, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Defense Meritorious Service Medal. She also earned the HKS’s Innovation in Teaching Award in 2017 and the HKS’s Annual Teaching Awards 2014 - 2020.

Currently, Dr. Born is an independent director on the Midwest Reliability Organization’s Board serving on the Finance and Audit and the Governance and Personnel Committees; a Trustee on the United States Air Force Academy's Falcon Foundation serving on the Strategy and Governance committee, and formerly on the Scholarship Committee; a supporting director on the Air Force Academy Foundation Board; and past president and board chairman of the International Women’s Forum, Massachusetts Women's Forum.   

Dr. Born also serves as a distinguished fellow for the HOW Institute for Society; a consultant for the Core Leadership Institute; peer evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission. She is past-president of the American Psychological Association (APA Fellow, Society for Military Psychology) and fellow for the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology (SIOP).  Previously, Dr. Born served as an independent director on the board of the Apollo Education Group, having served on the Compensation, Audit and Special Litigation Committees.

A graduate with distinction from the USAFA, Dr. Born received her B.S. in behavioral sciences and M.S. in experimental psychology from Trinity University, TX; an M.A. in research psychology from University of Melbourne and doctorate in Industrial and organizational psychology from Penn State University. She received Penn State University’s Alumni Fellow Award in ‘12 and Distinguished Alumni Award in ’18, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Simmons College in Humane Administration in ‘07.