Farmington Hills resident Theresa Rich is one of two southeast Michigan leaders to receive a scholarship for a three-week executive leadership program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Rich said the Taubman Company annually sponsors two attendees selected by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) for the Senior Executives in State & Local Government program. She’ll head to the Ivy League school in June, with Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens.
The former Farmington Hills city council member currently serves on the Oakland Schools Board of Education and has represented the board with SEMCOG.
“They put a bug in my ear (about the scholarship) a couple of years ago,” Rich said. “It’s a lot about leadership… and building trust in your community.”
Attendees come from across the country to talk about how to develop positions that work for their communities and will be accepted and supported by their communities.
“We’ll spend three weeks in a safe environment where we’re practicing arguing with each other,” said Rich, who shares a law firm with her husband, Brian. “Being an attorney, advocacy is a lot of my job, but just because I’ve been doing it a long time doesn’t mean I can’t learn.”
Rich said she is excited to learn from the school’s world-class faculty and other attendees. She hopes to bring what she learns back to the community and to share with those she sponsors and mentors in local government.
“As a community college graduate, it’s pretty humbling to be going to Harvard,” Rich said.