||Harvard University's Institute of Politics hired Peterson as a resident fellow in January 2008. At Harvard he led study groups on urban politics that he confronted in his time as mayor, including building arts communities, education reform, sports facilities, and homelessness. Living Cities, a national philanthropic organization that conducts research and advocates on behalf of cities, selected Peterson as one of its first two Distinguished Urban Fellows in March 2008. Peterson remains involved in community activities in Indianapolis, particularly as the Chair of the Board of Directors for The Mind Trust, a nonprofit organization he founded in 2006 with his former charter schools director David Harris to promote entrepreneurship in education.
In June 2009, Peterson joined Eli Lilly and Company as senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications. This is the same position Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels previously held.