Dean's Initiative: Inspiring Public Service

Public service is central to the core of the mission of Harvard Kennedy School. Here, it is imperative to "ask what you can do" – for your community, your nation and your world.

Dean Doug Elmendorf is committed to maintaining the School’s unifying commitment to public service by emphasizing its important role in all elements of school operations and activities.

Members of the Kennedy School community demonstrate their commitment to public service in a variety of ways, including by participating in HKS Serves. Co-sponsored by the department of Degree Programs and Student Affairs (DPSA), the Dean's Office, the Student Public Service Collaborative and other administrative units throughout the School, HKS Serves provides opportunities for students, staff and faculty to volunteer their time and energy on behalf of local organizations.

Events by Day

All Week (Feb. 22-27)

Canned Food and Clothing Drive for Local Homeless Shelters

Location: Various locations around HKS (Littauer, Belfer & Taubman Buildings)
Sponsors: Taubman Center for State & Local Government, Student Public Service Collaborative (SPSC)

Monday, February 22

IOP Forum Event with Max Finberg, Director of Americorp
Moderated by Dean Douglas Elmendorf
6:00 PM - 7:15 PM
Location: HKS John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum
Sponsor: Dean's Office, Institute of Politics (IOP)

Inequality Seminar Series: On the Move: The Changing Mechanisms of Mexico - U.S. Migration
Filiz Garip, Associate Professor of Sociology, Harvard University
12:00 PM - 1:45 PM
Location: Allison Dining Room, Taubman Center, 5th Floor
Sponsor: Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy

ETIP/Consortium for Energy Policy Research: The Paris Agreements
Robert Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Robert Stowe, Executive Director, Harvard Environmental Economics Program, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Bell Hall (5th Floor, Belfer Building)
Sponsor: Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy

Tuesday, February 23

Blood Donation Drive with Mount Auburn Hospital
SPSC, the HKS Student Armed Services Committee and Health PIC are co-sponsoring a blood drive with the Mount Auburn Hospital. The community needs your help - one donation can save two lives and all donated blood serves local patients.
10:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Location: Taubman Center 202
Sponsor: Student Public Service Collaborative (SPSC)

Shorenstein Center Speaker Series
American Conservatism and the Republican Party: E.J. Dionne, Jr.
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: Taubman Building 275

Wednesday, February 24

Young Public Service Leaders Panel

Our panel will feature three Young Service Leaders who have founded organizations that are making a difference at the local, national and international levels:

  • Sarah Rosenkrantz is a co-founder of Y2Y, a youth-led homeless shelter that serves young adults in Harvard Square.  
  • Emily Cherniack is the founder of New Politics, an organization that recruits and trains service leaders (from the military, AmeriCorps, the PeaceCorps and other programs) to run for public office at all levels of government.  
  • Tanvi Girotra (MPP 2017) is the founder of the Becoming I Foundation, a youth-led organization based in India that mobilizes young people to engage with their communities in the fields of women empowerment, primary education and sex trafficking through leadership training, life skills development and youth empowerment.  

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. 

12:00PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Nye A, Taubman Building
Sponsor: Student Public Service Collaborative (SPSC)

Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government 
Seminar in Environmental Economics and Policy

Are There Environmental Benefits from Driving Electric Vehicles? The Importance of Local Factors
Erin Mansur, Revers Professor of Business Administration at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth
4:15 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Littauer Building, Room 382

Thursday, February 25

Alumni/Student Networking Night
Come meet accomplished HKS alums from around the region working in public service, mingle with fellow students, and enjoy delicious refreshments!

Sign up at

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location: NYE BC in Taubman
Sponsor: Dean’s Office; Office of Career Advancement; Alumni Relations & Resource Development; Student Public Service Collaborative (SPSC)

Friday, February 26

HKS Serves Spring 2016
Location: Dependent on sites
Sponsors: Degree Programs Student Affairs (DPSA), Student Public Service Collaborative (SPSC)

Saturday, February 27 

Youth Leadership Conference
The annual Youth Leadership Conference (YLC) invites high school freshmen and sophomores from Greater Boston to the Kennedy School for a full-day of leadership workshops with HKS students and faculty. The theme for this year’s YLC is creating change in our communities. By the end of the conference, students will be empowered to execute their projects and create real change in the schools and neighborhoods they live in. Volunteers will do the following:

  1. Lead icebreakers and team-building exercises
  2. Facilitate discussions with students about social change, communication, and advocacy
  3. Assist student groups in making action plans
  4. Keep the conference moving smoothly

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Location: Various locations around HKS
Sponsor: Student Public Service Collaborative (SPSC)

Inspiring Public Service
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