Dean's Initiative: Inspiring Public Service

Inspiring Public Service

Public service is the very ethos of the Kennedy School. Here, it is imperative to "ask what you can do." Dean Ellwood is committed to emphasizing public service in every aspect and level of the school. Major initiatives to recognize and honor public service include:


Spring 2013 Public Service Week Activities are now online.

Find out more about what's planned for the week of April 1519 2013 on the Spring 2013 Events page.


HKS Serves, August 26, 2011

A cadre of Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) students, staff and faculty -- led by Dean David T. Ellwood -- took to the streets, schools and neighborhood centers across the region on August 26 as part of a school-wide day of service. HKS Serves brought out approximately 400 volunteers to 17 locations across Boston, Cambridge, Newton, and Somerville -- from the Long Island Shelter to Winter Hill Community School.

Office of Career Advancement, Demystifying DC Week, October 28-November 4, 2010.

The Office of Career Advancement is offering "Demystifying DC Week," where students can learn more about career opportunities in Washington, DC, and how best to prepare for those opportunities. 

Harvard Kennedy School Fall Public Service Week, October 12-17, 2010.

Once again, the Harvard Kennedy School celebrated its mission of public service through a week of inspiring discussions, panels, and community outreach events. The Dean's Office, Student Public Service Collaborative, and many HKS centers and programs organized programming, including a networking hour between Mid-Career students and two-year students; a Forum celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps; seminars with high-profile current and former public servants; career briefings focused on public service careers; and a volunteer opportunity to serve at a Special Olympics event held at Harvard Soccer Field. 

Harvard Kennedy School Spring Public Service Week, April 5-9, 2010.

Following the University-wide Public Service Week in Fall 2009, the Kennedy School hosted its own week honoring public service in Spring 2010. The Dean's Office, Office of Career Advancement, the Student Public Service Collaborative, and many HKS centers promoted a series of discussions, workshops, and community outreach programs, all focused on inspiring public service. These included a Forum on Social Innovation moderated by Stephen Goldsmith and featuring New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs of New York City, and Michael Lomax, President & CEO of the United Negro College Fund; a discussion on race, poverty, and inner-city youth with Professor William Julius Wilson; a conversation on the artist as activist with Kevin Bales of Free the Slaves and actor Ashley Judd (MC-MPA 2010); and filming sessions for students, faculty, and staff to share what inspired, and continues to inspire, them to public service.

Inspiring Federal Service Roundtable, October 28, 2009.

We are currently in a once-in-a-lifetime moment to inspire the most talented and dedicated people to enter public service. The Kennedy School, along with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and in close collaboration with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, hosted a roundtable discussion on confronting the human capital challenges being faced by the federal government. The Roundtable, moderated by Dean Ellwood, brought together high-level representatives of the public, private, and non-profit sectors who focused on identifying and promoting effective and innovative hiring practices. Listen to Dean Ellwood discuss the importance of this issue.


Harvard Public Service Week, October 19-25, 2009.

The Kennedy School sponsored and hosted many activities during the University's Public Service Week. These included a conversation with Michael J. Sandel, Christopher Stone, and George Soros,"When Is an Open Society a Just Society?"; a health care reform seminar with Atul Gawande; "Why Human Rights Matter: Human Rights as Public Service," a Forum event with Samantha Power, Sarah Sewall, and Rory Stewart; a conversation with David Axelrod, Senior Advisor to President Obama; a roundtable discussion on Mississippi Delta service; a public address by Governor Deval Patrick, "Inspiring Public Service;" a conversation with Mark Sullivan, Director of the U.S. Secret Service, on "The Case for Government Service," and the HKS Day of Service, where Kennedy School students, faculty, and staff members volunteered their time cleaning up parks around Boston.

Public Service Forum, September 2, 2009.

The first Forum of the 2009-2010 Academic Year focused on alumni in public service positions and careers. Individuals from government, nonprofit, and other organizations discussed how they are making a difference in their communities and around the world.

Office of Career Advancement, Making a Difference Fairs, Ongoing.

The Office of Career Advancement is hosting a series of career fairs aimed at public service of all kinds, including in national and international security, development, healthcare, education, and other sectors.


HKS and Rosie's Place.

HKS faculty, students, and staff volunteer regularly at Rosie's Place, a shelter for poor and homeless women in Dorchester, MA. Volunteer opportunities are regularly advertised through HKS Today.

Green is the New Crimson.

HKS is proud to be a part of Harvard University's sustainability efforts. The HKS Green Team is charged with implementing and emphasizing good practices throughout the school.

Student Public Service Collaborative.

The Student Public Service Collaborative (SPSC) coordinates the public service activities of students across the school. The SPSC works closely with the appropriate senior administrators and faculty to promote public service careers, a public service culture, and public service curricular activities. The 2011-2012 SPSC co-chairs are Tiffany McCormack and Parv Santhosh-Kumar.




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