Jump to:Page Content
Welcome. Everyone involved with the Harvard Kennedy School is united by a common desire to make the world a better place. We are inspired by John F. Kennedy’s famous call to service: “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” Each one of us believes we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to advance the public interest.
Our mission is to train exceptional public leaders and generate the ideas that provide solutions to our most challenging public problems. A remarkable collection of people join us in that mission. Our graduates include: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon; Mexico’s former President Felipe Calderon; Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong; and the first elected female president in Africa, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
On issues as diverse as climate change, welfare reform, international security, and international development, ideas developed by Harvard Kennedy School faculty, staff, and students are having a vital and highly visible impact. Similarly, ideas about leadership, decision making, or public deliberation all matter and shape our capacity to govern.
Some of the people whose contributions we are most proud of are the ones getting the least attention: students helping to rebuild neighborhoods devastated by the 2010 earthquake in Chile, graduates working in public radio or heading YouTube’s news and politics effort, and those individuals working in private companies or NGO’s striving to support growth in Africa or collaborating with government and civil society to solve public problems.
So as you browse our web site, we hope you will discover new information, ideas, and inspiration. Scrolling through these pages you will learn about our exceptional degree and executive education programs, our distinguished faculty, and our cutting-edge research centers. You will have the opportunity to take a virtual tour of the campus, visit our Research Gateway, watch interesting lectures and panel discussions held in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, and enjoy colorful profiles of our students and alumni.
If you are a prospective student, consider joining the next generation of innovative public leaders. We have students from more than 80 different countries — indeed more than 45 percent of our students are international. Our learning crosses the boundaries of nations; of public, private, and civil society; of disciplines; and of theory and practice. We all aspire to excellence because we believe public leadership and the challenges we face are so important that we must insist on the highest standards of analysis and integrity.
If you are a supporter, you can witness the impact your ideas and resources are having. And if you have thoughts about new opportunities to promote service, or training, or solutions, I hope you will find further insights here and perhaps work with us to do even more.
And if you are already at the school, as a student, staff member, or faculty, I hope you can use this site to make your work even more productive and share with us the ways in which we can do more.
I believe that being the dean of the Harvard Kennedy School is the best job in the world. When I see who our students are and what our graduates are doing, when I see the contributions our faculty and staff are making, and when I contemplate the intense sense of idealism and energy that pervades the school, I am humbled and thrilled. Yet I am struck by how much more each of us can and must do to meet the enormous public challenges we all face. Only then will we have, in the words of John F. Kennedy, “… the unequalled satisfaction of knowing that your character and talent are contributing to the direction and success of this free society.”
David T. Ellwood
Dean, Harvard Kennedy School
Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy