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Mission Statement

The mission of the Carr Center, like the Kennedy School, is to train future leaders for careers in public service and to apply first-class research to the solution of public policy problems. Our research, teaching and writing are guided by a commitment to make human rights principles central to the formulation of good public policy in United States and throughout the world.

Since its founding in 1999 through a gift from Kennedy School alumnus Greg Carr, the Center has developed a unique focus of expertise on the most dangerous and intractable human rights challenges of the new century, including genocide, mass atrocity, state failure and the ethics and politics of military intervention.

In approaching such challenges, we seek to lead public policy debate, to train human rights leaders and to partner with human rights organizations to help them respond to current and future challenges. We also recognize that the solutions to such problems must involve not only human rights actors, but governments, corporations, the military and others not traditionally perceived as being "human rights" efforts. Thus, we seek to expand the reach and relevance of human rights considerations to all who influence their outcomes.

The Center uses its convening power to create a safe space for human rights organizations and other policy actors to engage in constructive self-criticism and to forge new partnerships.

The Center uses its research capacity to evaluate the human rights policies of the United States and other governments and to analyze the dilemmas that need to be resolved when human rights principles are brought to bear on major public policy choices.

The Center uses its teaching capacity to inspire future leaders to make respect for human rights principles a central commitment of democratic leadership.

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