Neil Boothby, director from 1992-1995, was an advisor to international organizations and governments involved with war and refugee populations in Southeast Asia, Central America and Africa. His interests and network of contacts helped the Hart Leadership Program further its connections to a number of international NGOs and humanitarian initiatives, and laid the groundwork for what would become the post-graduate Hart Fellows Program, a highly competitive and prestigious program that places recent graduates with international humanitarian organizations for ten months.
At the same time, a number of visiting and adjunct faculty members provided greater depth across the curriculum. Publisher, investigative journalist, and philanthropic and organizational management expert Katherine Fulton taught courses that encompassed democracy, organizational leadership, and women as leaders. Tony Brown, who joined the faculty as a professor of the practice in 1994, brought his business expertise to bear on an expanded HLP curriculum. A former chair and CEO of the Covenant Insurance Company, vice president for external affairs at the University of Connecticut, and COO of Credit Suisse First Boston’s Equity Division, Brown developed courses that combined public policy, leadership models, business ethics, and community development. In 2004, Brown launched the Enterprising Leadership Incubator, which helps students pursue innovative solutions to local and global problems.
Alex Harris, founder of Duke’s Center for Documentary Photography and co-founder of the Center for Documentary Studies, introduced Hart Leadership Program students to the uses of documentary work to bring attention to social issues, and effect change in diverse communities. With Kirk Felsman, a senior research scholar at the time, Harris augmented the Hart Fellows Program by adding a documentary component to the Hart Fellows’ work, as well as an increased emphasis on issues affecting adolescents and vulnerable children.
Documentary work, including the art of writing personal narrative essays about what Fellows are observing, continues to be a hallmark of the Hart Fellows Program even as the design of the program has become more structured around community-based research projects. Author David Guy, the HLP writing coach, provides training and ongoing feedback to Fellows, as well as to students in the Service Opportunities in Leadership (SOL) program. The process of critical reflection helps students make sense of their experiences, and also to understand their own character and orienting principles, what we call their “compass of values.”
Lecturer Alma Blount joined the Hart Leadership Program in 1994 and in addition to teaching courses about civic engagement and political participation, helped refine what was then called Summer Opportunities in Leadership. Originally a sister program to the Refugee Action Project, SOL tailored to the needs of students interested in domestic issues. From the start, SOL was a student-driven initiative that addressed students’ desire to combine academic coursework with meaningful, “real world” internships. SOL evolved to be a yearlong leadership development program consisting of an introductory spring course, a summer internship, and a fall capstone seminar. As with Hart Fellows, critical reflection exercises are a central requirement of SOL students.