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.
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.
“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.”
“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.”
"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
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
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."
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.
“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.”
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.
As developing nations confront the pandemic and its economic fallout, what is the outlook for their recovery? What should governments and the international community do to avoid a catastrophe that could end in currency, debt, banking, and humanitarian crises? Listen to Ricardo Hausmann as he addresses these issues and takes questions.
Mayors and their staff are facing an unprecedented leadership challenge as they deal with the impacts of the virus, the economic recession, and civil unrest over police violence and systemic racism. In this Wiener Conference Call, Jorrit de Jong discusses the ongoing work of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative with cities, the way students are engaging with this work, and more.
Are the COVID-19 stimulus measures doing their job? How can we improve the nation’s economic outlook while controlling the pandemic and saving lives? Listen to Lawrence H. Summers, Frank and Denie Weil Director of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, and Charles W. Eliot University Professor, to hear answers to these questions and more.
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.
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.
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.
Chris Robichaud, Senior Lecturer in Ethics and Public Policy, discusses and takes questions on the epistemological aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
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.
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
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.
Have a virtual conversation with an individual who is interested in applying to HKS.
Make sure other alumni can find you and that you receive HKS news and invitations to virtual events.
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.