Harvard Kennedy School’s Sustainability Science Program to Receive Additional Funding from Italian Ministry

Contact: Molly Lanzarotta
Phone: (617) 495-1115
Date: March 03, 2008

Cambridge, MA — The Sustainability Science Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government will further its efforts to address some of the world’s most pressing public problems as the result of two new gifts totaling $9.5 million from Italy’s Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. The gifts to Harvard’s Fund for Sustainable Development were announced by Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood during a ceremony at the school this morning.

The Fund for Sustainable Development supports the Sustainability Science Program at the Center for International Development (CID) based at the Kennedy School. William Clark, Harvey Brooks professor of international science, public policy and human development, serves as program director. The goal of the program is to foster shared prosperity and reduce poverty while protecting the environment. The Italian Ministry, with the leadership of Director General Corrado Clini, supported the launch of the program in 2006 with gifts totaling $4 million.
 
The newest gift will extend through 2012 funding for faculty research grants and fellowship programs that recruit young scholars and practitioners from around the world to further their studies at Harvard.

“This gift signals the great confidence that the Italian Ministry has in the Sustainability Science Program under the leadership of Bill Clark and Nancy Dickson. And it provides an invaluable opportunity for Harvard to broaden its collaborative efforts and deepen its research, training, and policy engagement on key challenges of sustainable development,” said Ellwood.

“I am particularly interested in the Program’s experiment of the new San Servolo Forums on Sustainability Science,” Ellwood continued. “These scholar-practitioner dialogues will be held at the Venice International University with the goal of exploring priority topics where policy-driven research can promote sustainable development. This year’s focus on biofuels and international development is a great example of how the Kennedy School can partner with others to bring cutting edge knowledge on sustainability issues into the policy arena in a timely way.”

“We are delighted to continue and strengthen our collaboration with the Kennedy School and the Center for International Development,” said Director General Corrado Clini. “This activity represents a model of how academia and Government should work together. We are committed to meet the challenges of XXI century and we do believe that the best investment is to train researchers and professionals from all over the world on the science of sustainable development.”

Clark said, “The Sustainability Science Program draws on the research strengths of both the practice-oriented traditions of Harvard’s professional schools and fundamental scholarship from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to promote research on what works for better linking knowledge with action in support of sustainable development.”

“The support of Director General Corrado Clini and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea has been central to our success,” said Clark.

“This gift provides a great opportunity for the Kennedy School to attract Italian masters’ degree students interested in pursuing work on environment and development policy issues,” said Joseph McCarthy, Senior Associate Dean and director of Degree Programs. “Our first recipients of the fellowship have contributed to our student life and policy research. And we are delighted to have a larger pool of Italian applicants for next year.”

The Giorgio Ruffolo Fellowship program provides support for two Italian masters’ degree students to study at the Kennedy School and enables an international group of doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers, and mid-career professionals to spend time as Visiting Fellows at CID working on international environment and development policy issues.
 
“I am proud of the Italian Government and its financial commitment to the education of Italians devoted to sharpening their skills in public service and sustainability science. The Ruffolo Fellowship gave me the opportunity to be part of the Harvard Kennedy School, the most amazing community of thinkers and future leaders in the world,” said Massimiliano Santini, Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow in the Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) program.

“The Giorgio Ruffolo Fellowship represented a great opportunity to deepen my knowledge of public policies related to trade, energy technologies, negotiation and competitiveness. But it is much more than this. Most of all, it gave me the unique chance to share experiences with amazing people from all over the world with the same strong interest: public service – the same passion that is driving Giorgio Ruffolo in his distinguished career,” said Gloria Visconti, Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow in the Master in Public Administration/Mid-Career program.

Current research supported by the Fund addresses biofuels and globalization, assesses the impacts of increased water quality in developing countries, and integrates knowledge and policy for the management of natural resources.  The Fund also supports a range of activities aimed at building capacity for better research and research-based policy in support of sustainable development, such as a reader on sustainability science to provide materials to students at low- or no-cost, a book on sustainability science, and training modules on sustainable development.

More information on the program is available at: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/sustsci.

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