fbpx COVID-19 and the HKS Alumni Community | Harvard Kennedy School

As the coronavirus pandemic upends the professional and personal lives of alumni around the globe, we hope this ever-evolving page provides information and resources that can be helpful to you. Read about HKS alumni taking action during this crisis, how to engage with each other and the School, and the latest insights from our faculty. For more, please visit Harvard Kennedy School’s COVID-19 Information and Updates page.


Town Hall for Alumni

Hear Dean Doug Elmendorf answer questions on preparing students to lead during the pandemic and its aftermath, how the School is planning for the fall semester, and what research faculty are focusing on now to counter the societal and economic effects of COVID-19.

Alumni in action

HKS alumni are putting their Kennedy School education to work to support each other and their communities during this pandemic. Read their stories below and on the HKS Alumni Facebook page.

Rise Justice Labs launches Survivor Safe Haven
headshot of Caitlin Ryan MPP 2016
Caitlin Ryan MPP 2016

“COVID-19 stay-at-home policies have spiked incidents of sexual and domestic violence within a constricted medical and legal landscape. That’s why Rise [Justice Labs] launched Survivor Safe Haven: providing grocery stores and restaurants with resources to reach people at risk. Participating businesses post a flyer with information for survivors and train staff to assist people in immediate need. For more information . . . follow us on social @RiseNowUS.”

photo of Disability Rights Fund grantees
headshot of Diana Samarasan MC/MPA 2004
Diana Samarasan MC/MPA 2004

“Twelve years following [the] founding of the global Disability Rights Fund (DRF)—a pooled fund and collaboration between global disability activists and donors to support disability movements in the Global South—COVID-19 has highlighted the inequities and outright discrimination against persons with disabilities I have spent more than a decade trying to illuminate. In this pandemic, DRF grantees are ensuring accessible public health messaging, inclusion in COVID response.”

photo of child washing hands
headshot of Carl Manlan MC/MPA 2012
Carl Manlan MC/MPA 2012

"During the 2014 Ebola crisis, I led an African Union private sector initiative that raised African resources to send African health workers to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to fight Ebola. As COO at Ecobank Foundation, I am supporting the work of the African Union and the Africa CDC on the African response. In summary, I spread knowledge through opinion pieces, expertise and advisory role for pan-African solutions."

Photo by Gelani Banks on Unsplash

social distancing measures for NYC subway station
headshot of Mark Levine MPP 1995
Mark Levine MPP 1995

Levine, a member of the New York City Council, was featured in a recent article in the The Washington Post, where he said, “Public health is where hardcore science meets public opinion. The best science in the world isn’t worth anything if you can’t make it compelling.”

Photo credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York

emergency room sign
headshot of Alister Martin MPP/MD 2015
Alister Martin MPP/MD 2015

An emergency medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Martin also works in the hospital’s Center for Social Justice and Health Equity, is the founder of VotER, and the founder of Get Waivered. About the intersection between socioeconomic status and COVID-19, he told Boston’s Channel 25, “[W]hen you live in poverty, it’s hard to tell people to do the things we are telling them to do like self-isolate or quarantine."

prototype of low-cost ventilator
headshot of Abdul Mohsen Al-Husseini MPA 2018
Abdul Mohsen MPA 2018

In 2010, Mohsen helped to design a low-cost ventilator while in graduate school at MIT. Now, teams are looking to mass produce this ventilator to get to the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.

Bailey the Therapy Dog is offering free e-visits
photo of Cynthia Martinez MPP 2007 and Bailey the Therapy Hound
Cynthia Martinez MPP 2007

“My dog [Bailey] and I spend our free time volunteering as a therapy dog. Well, we're pioneers in taking our visits online now. We're offering free e-visits with people who are lonely, kids, classrooms, and community organizations. We're also working with other therapy dog groups and teams to teach them about our setup and outreach. More info: @BaileyTheTherapyHound on Facebook and Instagram.”

Your stories
HKS alumni are supporting their communities and each other both professionally and personally during the pandemic. We believe that by sharing alumni stories, we can connect and learn from each other, making today’s challenges a little less daunting.


Engage with your HKS community

You can still connect with the HKS community and learn while self-isolating. As we continue to explore virtual options, please consider participating in any or all of these activities.

covid-19 cases across the world

The work of the Kennedy School has never been more important. Challenging times test the mettle of our leaders, and we must continue to learn from those who have stepped up to save lives, to preserve economic activity, and to strengthen their communities during crises. As the pandemic unfolds, we are expanding remote access to the Kennedy School’s resources, including specific faculty members with relevant expertise.

photo of Arthur Brooks

Our innate desire for human connection has been impeded by COVID-19. What can we do, while under quarantine, to find purpose and happiness? What should our leaders do to calm our anxieties and point a way forward? Listen to  Arthur Brooks to hear answers to these questions and more.

photo of Wendy Sherman

Leaders around the world have taken vastly different approaches to combatting COVID-19. What does it take to be an effective leader during this global pandemic? What should citizens and practitioners do when leadership at the very top falls short? Listen to Ambassador Wendy Sherman discuss this topic and respond to caller questions.

photo of Dani Rodrik

Dani Rodrik, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy, discusses how COVID-19 will affect globalization and which developing economies are best poised to respond to the crisis.

photo of Chris Robichaud speaking

Chris Robichaud, Senior Lecturer in Ethics and Public Policy, discusses and takes questions on the epistemological aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

photo of Amitabh Chandra

In this Wiener Conference Call, Amitabh Chandra discusses the market failures that have left us scrambling for a vaccine and treatment for this infectious disease. He takes callers' questions on the implications that COVID-19 will have on health policy and what changes should be made to ensure rapid and equitable distribution of testing, treatments, and vaccines.

photo of Juliette Kayyem

Listen to Juliette Kayyem discuss the U.S. government’s response to the pandemic. She takes caller questions on COVID-19, including whether measures implemented by the federal and state governments will ultimately prove effective.

cinema marquee that reads "We Are Temporarily Closed"

Dean Doug Elmendorf and Professor Karen Dynan discuss and take questions on the macroeconomic effects of the current pandemic and appropriate policy responses. 

Photo credit: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

photo of Nicholas Burns

Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, discussed how governments around the world are responding to the crisis.

VIRTUAL EVENTS
Harvard Kennedy School is holding many virtual events, including "Fast Forums" and expert-led webinars.
 

Have a virtual conversation with an individual who is interested in applying to HKS.

 

Now, more than ever, it is important to stay in touch with our communities.

 

Make sure other alumni can find you and that you receive HKS news and invitations to virtual events.

 

Share openings in your network to help students and alumni find employment during this crisis.


What HKS faculty are doing

Governments, institutions, and communities in the United States and around the world are grappling with the impact of COVID-19. Harvard Kennedy School experts contribute to solutions and thought leadership on problems ranging from government responsiveness to health to the economy to human rights and more.

COVID-19: Insights and Solutions
HKS experts examine the social, political, and economic repercussions of the global pandemic.
HKS enewsletter
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