Each year, HKS honors several outstanding alumni and one alumni network for exceptional public service and significant contributions to the Kennedy School and to local, national, and global communities.

2024 Alumni Award RecipIents

Alumni Public Service Award

Andrew Natsios MC/MPA 1979 served in the Massachusetts legislature, as leader of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and as presidential envoy to Sudan, among other public and nonprofit leadership positions.  

Emerging Global Leader Award

Catherine Lee MPA/ID 2011 is an economist who uses analytics and narrative to create positive change. She focuses on directing and producing films that tell stories about democracy and justice. 

Julius E. Babbitt Memorial Alumni Volunteer Award

Brooke Ellison MPP 2004 worked to advance inclusivity. Before her death in 2024, she co-founded the Harvard Alumni Disability Alliance to elevate the accomplishments of alumni with disabilities. 

Alumni Network Engagement Award

The HKS New England Alumni Association held more than two dozen events during the past year focused on issues such as democracy, AI, the Transatlantic relationship, and climate change. 

HKS Fund Outstanding Alumni Award

David Chipanta MPA/ID 2005 and Donald Karl MPP 1976 are united by their steadfast dedication to supporting the Kennedy School’s mission through their gifts to the HKS Fund. 

Alumni Innovation Award

Alister Martin MPP 2015 is an emergency room physician who integrates medicine, technology, and civic engagement to address complex social challenges through the nonpartisan health care organizing incubator he founded. 

Learn About the Alumni Awards

This award, established in 1997 and formerly known as the Alumni Achievement Award, recognizes alumni who have significantly improved the human condition at the local, state, provincial, national, or international level. Recipients will have made a substantial difference for people, organizations, or governments through a single influential act or a series of steps that produced positive societal change. Nominations come from HKS alumni, faculty, and staff. Self-nominations for this award are discouraged.

Previous Recipients

2023
Jean-Sélim Kanaan MPP 1996

2022
Marina LeGree MC/MPA 2014

2021
Jay Bhatt MPA 2012

2020
J. Mark Iwry MPP/JD 1976

2019
Cina Lawson MPP 2001

2018
Bryan Stevenson MPP/JD 1985

2017
Frank Pearl MC/MPA 2011

2016
Amara Konneh MC/MPA 2008

2015
Steve Bonano MC/MPA 2009

2014
Leopoldo López MPP 1996

2013
Jian-Li Yang PhD 2001

2012
James R. McCorkell MPA 1999

2011
Jia Yang MC/MPA 2001

2010
Susan Ople MC/MPA 1999

2005
Robert B. Zoellick MPP 1981

2002
Juan Carlos Navarro MPP 1985
Carol Raphael MC/MPA 1979, S&L 1987

2001
Douglas K. Bereuter MC/MPA 1973
Anne F. Reed MC/MPA 1981
Barbara B. Roberts S&L 1989

2000
Sheila P. Burke MC/MPA 1982
Alan “Scotty” K. Campbell MPA 1949, PhD 1952 (Awarded Posthumously)
Donald Y. Tsang MC/MPA 1982

1999
Linda W. Chapin S&L 1988
Klaus M. Schwab MC/MPA 1967

1998
Ira A. Jackson MC/MPA 1976
Harris M. Mule MC/MPA 1967
Paul N. Ylvisaker MPA 1945, PhD 1948 (Awarded Posthumously)

1997
Mollie H. Beattie S&L 1986, MC/MPA 1991 (Awarded Posthumously)
Ian D. Clark MPP 1972
Paul A. Volcker Jr. HKS 1951

This award recognizes alumni under the age of 40 who have stood out as leaders or catalysts for change and who have made meaningful differences to individuals, organizations, or governments.

Harvard Kennedy School established this honor (formerly known as the Rising Star Award) in 2001. Recipients exemplify the HKS goal of educating enlightened public leaders, generating answers to our most challenging public problems, and taking on complex issues that require entrepreneurial efforts. Nominations come from HKS alumni, faculty, and staff.

Previous Recipients

2023
Halimatou Hima MPP 2014

2022
María Soledad Rueda García MC/MPA 2019

2021
Juan Andrés Mejía MPA 2015

2020
Sara Minkara MPP 2014

2019
Kader Kaneye MC/MPA 2017

2018
Dina Buchbinder MC/MPA 2016

2017
Rey Faustino MPP 2012 

2016
Malik Ahmad Jalal MPA/ID 2011

2015
Tarun Cherukuri MPA/ID 2013

2014
Moís Cherem MPP 2009

2013
Ejaj Ahmad MPP 2008

2012
Melodie J. Potts Rosevear MPP 2008

2010
Amit Bouri MPA 2007
Mehmet G. Daimaguler MC/MPA 2005

2003
Raymond M. Jefferson MC/MPA 1989
Nazanin Samari MPP 2002

2002
Jared M. Genser MPP 1998
Jeremy B. Zucker MPP 1997
Gregory H. Zaff MPP 1993

2001
Brett M. Peiser MPP 1996
Claudio Orrego MPP 1995

Established in 2006, this award recognizes alumni who have made exceptional contributions to the HKS community by volunteering their time, creativity, and energy and by advancing the spirit of volunteerism and service to the School. It honors the memory of Julius Babbitt MC/MPA 2001, a member of the HKS Alumni Board who served as both director of HKS alumni programs and chair of the HKS New England Alumni Network. Nominations come from HKS alumni, faculty, and staff.

Previous Recipients

2023
David Rosenberg MC/MPA 1986

2022
Robert Manson MPA 2004

2021
Geraldine Acuña-Sunshine MPP 1996

2020
Theodora Skeadas MPP 2016

2019
Michael Koehler MPA 2014

2018
Yasmin Padamsee Forbes MC/MPA 2008

2017
Jen Tutak MPA 2012

2016
Rudy Brioché MPP 2000

2015
Karen Kingsbury MC/MPA 1998

2014
Doug Levine MPA 2008

2013
Wendy Feldman MC/MPA 1989

2012
Joseph A. Rieser Jr. MPP 1974

2011
Akiteru Maruta MC/MPA 2003

2010
Robert Xie MC/MPA 1994

2007
Lisa-Joy Zgorski MPP 1993

Established in 2015, this award recognizes one Regional Network or Shared Interest Group (SIG) each year that has significantly strengthened the alumni community within its region or affinity group, and advanced the network’s ties with the School. Nominations come from officers of Regional Networks or SIGs on behalf of their network.

Previous Recipients

2023
Harvard Kennedy School Black Alumni Association (BAA)

2022
Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Network (HKSWN)

2021
HKS Spain Alumni Network

2020
Women in Defense, Diplomacy, and Development (W3D) Shared Interest Group

2019
HKS New York Alumni Network

2018
HKS Alumni Network of the United Arab Emirates

2017
HKS Washington, DC Alumni Network

2016
HKS Alumni Network of the San Francisco Bay Area

2015
HKS New England Alumni Association

Established in 2017, this award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated long-term commitment to the Kennedy School community through their dedicated annual support of any amount. Each year’s recipient, who embodies the power of alumni participation and philanthropy, has shown that gifts of all amounts can have a tremendous impact on students, faculty, and alumni. Individuals are nominated and selected by members of the HKS Fund Executive Council.

Previous Recipients

2023
Harriett “Tee” Taggart MCP 1973 and Hien Dao MPP 2005

2022
Amelita Armit MC/MPA 1979 and Hamissou Samari MPP 2012

2021
Luiz Felipe d’Avila MC/MPA 2007

2020
The Honorable Jerome A. Holmes MC/MPA 2000

2019
Jessica Feldman MC/MPA 1989

2018
Mary Kurkjian MPP 1978

2017
Allan Wendt MC/MPA 1967

This award, established in 2018 as the Digital Innovation Award and renamed the Alumni Innovation Award in 2024, recognizes alumni who have 1) identified and clearly defined a problem whose innovative solution would have a positive social impact; and 2) devised a solution to the problem that is measurable, is sustainable, and has the potential to be scaled. Solutions, which can come from any sector, may include (but are not limited to) technology (e.g., artificial intelligence), inclusive excellence, and sustainability, all with the goal of creating positive social impact. While solutions can be early prototypes, they must have been tested with end users. Recipients of this award will have creatively addressed a complex challenge to create positive change for individuals and communities. 

Previous Recipients

2023
Inder Singh MPP 2004

2022
Vilas Dhar MC/MPA 2016

2021
Hla Hla Win MC/MPA 2016

2020
Adamas Belva Syah Devara MPA 2016

2019
Lauren Sager Weinstein MPP 2002