Diversity Statement

The John F. Kennedy School of Government is committed to advancing the public interest by training enlightened leaders and solving public problems through world class scholarship and active engagement with practitioners and decision makers. This commitment, we believe, includes training our students to lead effectively across lines of difference.

That requires that our faculty, students, and staff be exposed to and understand a broad array of ideas, insights, and cultures. One crucial element involves attracting superlative people from diverse backgrounds and traditions who vary by their race and ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, physical and mental abilities, political philosophy, and intellectual focus. A second essential ingredient is the creation and maintenance of an atmosphere that welcomes new ideas — even unpopular and controversial ones — and encourages an effective and active exchange of views in an environment of mutual respect.

The Kennedy School will work affirmatively to recruit a highly diverse group of students, faculty, and staff. It is committed to increasing the numbers of underrepresented minorities, particularly women and people of color. It will work to ensure that our appointments and selection procedures consciously identify and evaluate a people from underrepresented groups. We will also strive to remove sources of unconscious bias.

The school will also develop a curriculum that deals with issues of diversity and encourages students and faculty to talk openly and effectively about difficult and highly charged issues. The school will provide professional support to faculty on how to teach these issues effectively. It will emphasize the powerful benefit of exchange of ideas. The school will seek to enlist students in efforts to make classrooms and classmates more welcoming of the unique ideas and insights that students from different backgrounds and perspectives bring. And it will seek to correct situations where full and open exchange of ideas has been limited.

One of the John F. Kennedy School’s greatest assets is its wealth and breadth of talent in the community. The school is committed to doing everything it can to increase that diversity even further and to take full advantage of the opportunities for training enlightened leaders and solving critical public problems.

John F. Kennedy School of Government

Additional Information

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HKS Diversity Brochure

Download the HKS Diversity brochure and learn why our current students came to HKS and how they are using their time here to channel their idealism and develop their next steps to help the world.


John F. Kennedy School of Government 79 John F. Kennedy Street
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