New Faculty Feature: Meet Adjunct Lecturer Steven Strauss

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.

Steven Strauss, adjunct lecturer in public policy, is a leading expert on strategy in the public and private sectors; having worked on projects in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia on topics such as Economic Development, Financial Services Reform, Health Systems Reform, Higher Education Reform, and Investment and Risk Management.

Strauss is a frequent contributor to BusinessInsider, EconoMonitor, The Huffington Post, and Project-Syndicate.

Q: What are your primary areas of research?

Strauss: My interests are focused on management, leadership and strategy (broadly defined) in the public sector. Immediately prior to Harvard, I was in charge of economic development strategy for the City of New York, and I have significant experience in health systems reform and financial services regulation.

Q: What courses will you be teaching?

Strauss: I'm teaching MLD110B Strategic Management for Public Purposes, which focuses on creating value (improving service, creating new services) in the public sectors of democratic societies. Most class meetings will be case discussions. The cases are drawn from Asia, Europe and the United States, and sectors such as: Health Care, Infrastructure and Education. My course is designed for students with management experience, so it should be stimulating, thought-provoking, and highly informative. I'm really looking forward to this semester's discussions!

Q: What attracted you to the Harvard Kennedy School?

Strauss: The Kennedy School is the world's pre-eminent school of government, with fantastic students and a great faculty. It's a wonderful environment for teaching, writing and research - and for my areas of interest, the best place in the world.

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

Strauss: With the tremendous resources and opportunities available to us here at the Kennedy School, our work should not only push back the frontiers of knowledge, but also have positive real-world impact by educating public sector leaders. The insights gained here at the Kennedy School should assist future leaders in approaching and resolving the world's problems.

Q: What are you currently reading?

Strauss: I've just begun "The Victory Lab," and am also reading "Rome's Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar." The books make an interesting contrast. "Victory Lab" is very 21st century, and concerns how behavioral science and computers have changed the shape and methods of political campaigns. "Rome's Last Citizen" is structured around the life of Cato (who lived about 2,000 years ago), but is really about politics during the Roman Republic's last days. It's fascinating how much has changed, and how little!

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Steven Strauss, adjunct lecturer in public policy

Steven Strauss, adjunct lecturer in public policy

"It's [HKS] a wonderful environment for teaching, writing and research - and for my areas of interest, the best place in the world," writes Strauss.