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HKS affiliate, Cathy Lanier, receives prestigious award

The Public Service Award Luncheon is the Harvard Club's flagship event of the year. Ten HKS alums from the HKS DC Alumni Council made up a special table to support this year's recipient, former Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier.

Spearheaded by new Councilor, Barbara Zadina, HKS alums enjoyed lunch at the Willard InterContinental Hotel, where Ms. Lanier was presented with the 2017 Public Service Award. Ms. Lanier was a member of the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety from 2008-2011.


Cathy Lanier was hired as the Senior Vice President of Security for the National Football League (NFL) in September 2016. In this capacity, Ms. Lanier oversees all security operations for the League to include investigative affairs, compliance with the Federal government’s SAFETY Act, and NFL venue, fan, player, staff and infrastructure security for all 32 clubs.

Prior to joining the League, she spent 26 years with the Metropolitan Police Department, beginning in 1990. Her police experience ranged from uniformed patrol where she served as a Commanding Officer in different districts throughout the city, as well as Commanding Officer of Narcotics and Vehicular Homicide Units. She was also Commanding Officer of the Special Operations Division where she managed Emergency Response team, Aviation and Harbor Units, Horse Mounted and Canine Units, Special Events / Dignitary Protection Branch and Civil Disturbance Units. Ms. Lanier was also tapped as the first Commanding Officer of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Office of Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism. After assuming the leadership of the Metropolitan Police Department in January of 2007, she was unanimously confirmed as the Chief of Police in April 2007 and held that position for 10 years.

She is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Unit Commanders Academy. She holds Bachelor's and Master’s Degrees in Management from Johns Hopkins University, and a Master's Degree in National Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. She is certified at the technician level in Hazardous Materials Operations.

A History of the Harvard Club's Public Service Award The Harvard Club of Washington, DC, awarded the first Public Service Award (PSA) in 2000, in memory of the late Elliot L. Richardson AB ’40, LLB ’47, LLD ’72, someone who exemplified public service. The award is presented annually to an individual who has attended or been affiliated with Harvard University, who has made significant contributions to the public good, and whose service has at least in part been focused on the Washington, DC, area. Previous recipients have included former Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell AB '87, former Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, JD '87, MPP '87, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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