New Faculty Feature: Meet Adjunct Faculty Member Alexis Diamond

January 29, 2013

There are more than 180 faculty members at Harvard Kennedy School, and every semester we are fortunate to welcome a few new ones.

We asked those joining us for this spring semester a few questions – about their research, their teaching, their other interests – so they could introduce themselves to the Kennedy School community in their own words.

Alexis Diamond, adjunct faculty member, has expertise in statistical program-evaluation in experimental and non-experimental settings.

Prior to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), he worked as an independent consultant for the German Ministry of Labor, developing a tool for large-scale evaluation that was used to assess a wide range of job-training activities in the former East Germany.

Q: What are your primary areas of research?

Diamond: I work on program evaluation in international development, because I'm in charge of evaluation at IFC, the World Bank Group institution focused on private sector development. IFC has upwards of 30 evaluations ongoing at any given time, across a diverse set of countries, sectors, and policy streams.

At present, I am about to complete two impact evaluations in India--one studying the effect of commercially-sustainable clean water provision on waterborne illness, and the other looking at whether a training program targeting illiterate sugarcane farmers increased their productivity.

Q: What will you be teaching?

Diamond: I'm teaching API-208, the course on program evaluation, which has been taught by Alberto Abadie for the past several years. Ten years ago I took the course as a PhD student (in the PEG program), and subsequently I was the course TF. This course means a lot to me; it shaped my thinking, my research, and my professional career as well.

Q: What attracted you to Harvard Kennedy School?

Diamond: As a former student, I have fond memories of my time here. I am also grateful to HKS faculty who were very generous with their time and expertise while I was here and afterward. In addition to being terrific professors, I know them to be wonderful people -- Professors Abadie, Avery, and Zeckhauser, just to name a few.

Q: How can the work being done here at HKS help address some of the world’s most significant public policy challenges?

Diamond: When this semester ends, many of my students are going to work for development organizations, fly off to other countries, and actually apply what they've been learning and discussing in their classes. I think this can be a powerful force for positive change in the world.

Q: What are you currently reading?

Diamond: "Design of Observational Studies" by Paul Rosenbaum.

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Alexis Diamond, adjunct faculty member

Alexis Diamond, adjunct faculty member

"As a former student, I have fond memories of my time here. I am also grateful to HKS faculty who were very generous with their time and expertise while I was here and afterward," writes Diamond.