Lori Lightfoot announces first new role since leaving Chicago mayor's office

Former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced her next venture after leaving office last month.

Lightfoot was appointed a senior leadership fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for the upcoming fall term, where she will teach a course focusing on how she led Chicago through the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I’ve always loved teaching, and the opportunity to get back to it is something I am really excited about. I learned a lot over the past four years, and this gives me an opportunity to share my experiences and perceptions of governing through one of the most challenging chapters in American history. I look forward to interacting with students who are committed to the public sector, particularly in the area of public health," Lightfoot said in a statement.

The course will dive into the public policy decisions she made that outlined Chicago's path through the pandemic. 


"I’ll share specifics about the way we managed the COVID-19 public health crisis, and we’ll delve into how we approached the crisis as an avenue to address long standing public health equity challenges using data and science," Lightfoot said. "I also look forward to being part of the community of scholars, intellectuals and students at such a world class institution."

Lightfoot has classroom experience, teaching law at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.

Lightfoot is the latest among two other former big city mayors to take on a fellowship at Harvard, including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Boston Mayor Kim Janey.

"Among other achievements, she led a successful citywide response to COVID-19, bringing government, business, and community organizations together to safeguard public health and minimize economic impact," said Eric Andersen, Director of Senior Leadership Fellows Program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "Having Mayor Lightfoot on campus to share her experience, including her approach to leadership and the lessons she learned along the way, will greatly benefit our students and community as a whole."

Lightfoot's last day as mayor was on May 15 after a failed re-election bid.