The Garfield Center for Public Leadership


The Garfield Center for Public Leadership prepares students to assume the responsibilities of public leadership by developing expertise in matters of public policy, foreign and domestic, grounded in Hiram’s traditional liberal arts education.

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Our Mission

The Garfield Center for Public Leadership (GCPL) prepares Hiram students to be proactively engaged citizens by providing them with the theoretical grounding, the necessary data, and the essential skills for engaging in effective leadership on behalf of public policymaking.

This preparation takes place via in-class discussions of great works of political theory, research that students conduct relating to specific policy topics, and a variety of experiential learning opportunities.

These experiential opportunities include: seminars (both at Hiram and in Washington, D.C.) on pressing topics of U.S. policymaking, featuring influential figures from politics, business, and academia; crisis simulation exercises, in which students assume the roles of countries or other organizations responding to a geostrategic crisis; and trips to foreign countries, during which students interact with leaders in those countries.   

The Program’s Elements

The Garfield Center hosts a variety of events throughout the year in an effort to promote civil discourse and provide Garfield Scholars with opportunities to engage in unique educational experiences. These include seminars and crisis simulations focused on relevant political topics, as well as one international trip each year.

This trip is typically taken over Hiram’s week-long spring break and involves chances to engage in meaningful conversations centered around leadership. Past classes of the GCPL have gone to places like Mexico City, London, Paris, Prague, Cuba, Panama, South Korea, and Iceland. We are already looking forward to this year’s adventure!

Ukrainian War seminar

welcoming Students of all majors!

The Garfield Center for Public Leadership accepts students of all majors and varying interests. Developing public leadership skills is relevant to every academic major, since public policy impacts each of the differing positions that our students will hold after graduation. In this program, students are able to make the connection between their public policy knowledge and their future careers, thus equipping them to be leaders in whatever field they choose to pursue. Political Science students may be particularly interested in this program, as the skills and abilities that Garfield Scholars hold directly align with those who work in local, state, and national governments. In general, though, all students engaged in this program will find themselves more confident in their ability to make a significant and purposeful impact in their careers.

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