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Kimberlyn Rachael Leary

Board of Governors Member since 2022

Kimberlyn Leary is a senior vice president, managing research and program development across the Urban Institute. She comes to Urban from Harvard University, where she is an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, an associate professor in the department of health policy and management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and was a lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

For four years, she directed the Enabling Change program for the Doctor of Public Health program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Kim also served as executive director of policy outreach and of the Center of Excellence in Women’s Mental Health at McLean Hospital. Before that, she was chief psychologist at the Cambridge Health Alliance for nearly 12 years.

Kim was as an advisor to the White House during the Obama administration. As a Robert Wood Johnson health policy fellow, she helped launch the Advancing Equity initiative for the Obama White House Council on Women and Girls. Kim later served on the Biden-Harris transition as a member of the Agency Review Team for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. She was also a senior policy advisor to the Biden White House’s Domestic Policy Council, and a senior equity fellow at the Office of Management and Budget, supporting the implementation of the President’s executive order on equity.

Kim writes, consults, and teaches on adaptive leadership, leading teams, cross-boundary collaboration, negotiation, and conflict transformation. She holds an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School and a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan, and she completed advanced training as a clinical psychoanalyst at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Association. Kim is on the board of trustees at the Austen Riggs Center, the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. She was previously a member of the Board of Trustees at Amherst College.