By Lili Vessereau MPP 2025
I am Lili Vessereau, a Master in Public Policy candidate from France, Fulbright and Dias Scholar, and Teaching Fellow for BGP-610: “Political Economy of Trade.” Before Harvard, I worked at the French General Inspection of Finances, a department evaluating public policies for the French Minister of Economics and Finances. Here at HKS, I am studying international development economics. I’ve come to learn how HKS is an excellent connection point for public servants.
HKS is a wonderful place to dig deeper in your area of expertise—and to discover how issues you thought remote from your primary focus connect to it.
HKS enables you to have access to the most renowned experts in your field, learn from them during your classes, and connect with them further during office hours.
For instance, I’ve been able to take a development policy strategy class with Professor Ricardo Hausmann and to discuss leadership with Jacinda Ardern, who is currently serving as a Hauser Leader in the Center for Public Leadership. The School also offers numerous research and project opportunities that allow you to apply your expertise to new countries and domains. Leveraging my previous experience as a Rapporteur to the French Council on Taxation, I am now working on a research project on taxation in Ghana with Professor Anders Jensen.
As a public servant, HKS will give you opportunities to better understand the perspective of your international counterparts, as well as the perception they have of you.
HKS boasts a remarkably diverse international student body, including a substantial representation of seasoned public servants, many of whom hold high-ranking government positions in their respective countries. This unique composition provides you with a rare opportunity to learn more about how other governments are structured and how they function internally, as well as learn more about their administrative cultures. It also provides you with an opportunity to understand how your own administration, government, and country are perceived abroad, which I have found very enlightening.
Last, but not least, HKS is the perfect place to connect with current and future policy makers with whom you share a commitment to public service and the common good.
The HKS motto, “Ask what you can do,” reflects students’ dedication to serving their countries and communities. In the classroom, in student organizations, in public lectures and seminars, you’ll find a network of individuals who are dedicated to effecting meaningful change in the public policy realm.
I am working together with students and faculty to organize the European Conference, which will take place on the 9th and 10th of February. In addition to giving me the opportunity to connect with ministers and senior officials from Europe, I have found a wonderful community of people for whom European values are dear.
HKS offers a transformative experience for public servants. If you choose HKS, you will enhance your expertise, gain global insights through academic learning and hands-on research, and connect with experts from around the world. What sets HKS apart is its emphasis on understanding the perspectives of international counterparts and the diverse community of individuals united by a shared commitment to public service. HKS is the ideal environment for public servants to connect, collaborate, and collectively strive for positive change on a global scale.