fbpx Shared Interest Groups | Harvard Kennedy School

Bond with HKS alumni who share your commitment to public policy in specific areas of interest. If you are interested in starting a Shared Interest Group, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations and Resource Development.

We currently have six Shared Interest Groups (SIGs):

Current Shared Interest Groups
Adaptive Leadership Alumni

Founded in 2015, the Adaptive Leadership Alumni aim to strengthen people's leadership capacity to meet the adaptive opportunities and challenges facing organizations and societies around the world.

Goals include:

  • Providing a holding environment for cooperation and learning within a community of practitioners and educators
  • Linking like-minded people with each other and with the latest materials on leadership practice and education
  • Fostering the establishment and continuity of alumni consultation groups to support people to "lead and stay alive" as they face important challenges in their work lives
  • Creating a network of referral for alumni seeking to teach or consult in adaptive leadership
  • Further developing the theory and methods of adaptive leadership practice and education

Contact information

Kirsti Samuels MC/MPA 2012, Executive Director
Michael Koehler MPA 2014, Secretary

HKS BAA (Harvard Kennedy School Black Alumni Association)

The HKS BAA, officially approved in 2016, was formed to advance and promote issues affecting HKS’s current students, black alumni, the administration, faculty, staff, and the black community within the United States and globally. The SIG will also support the recruitment and success of black students, faculty, and staff at HKS and members will serve as mentors for current students and help them with their career paths. In addition, the HKS BAA will foster discussions and address potential solutions to the many social issues that disproportionately affect communities of color.

The immediate areas of focus for the SIG are to grow and engage the BAA network, to support current students through the Black Policy Conference, and other key initiatives and to host social and policy-based activities that will galvanize black alumni around issues of concern to the community.

Contact information

Marvin Benton MC/MPA 1988, Co-Chair/Co-President
Marissa Davis MPP 2014, Co-Chair/Co-President
Cathy Wanzo MPA 1994, Treasurer
Terrence Gilchrist MPA 2008, Secretary

HUMAN (Harvard Kennedy School United Mason Alumni Network)

HUMAN mobilizes the academic knowledge, leadership skills, experiences, and convening capacity of the HKS community to advance dialogue and support constructive change in the areas of economic growth, social services, civil society, and governance in developing countries.

Goals include:

  • Strengthening and expanding the professional and social networks of Mason Program alumni, other HKS development-oriented program alumni, HKS alumni, and current students who are interested in international development
  • Encouraging exchange and transfer of knowledge and skills among alumni working in global development and civil society in developing countries while supporting HKS and alumni projects in related fields
  • Promoting alumni involvement in HKS events by linking professional and academic interests in international development
  • Fostering a spirit of community among HKS alumni and current students by identifying work opportunities and exchange programs in developing countries
  • Identifying and encouraging strong candidates in developing countries to apply to the various HKS international development–related programs

For more details or to join HUMAN, please contact Taz Rajwani MC/MPA 2008.

HKS Women's Network

The mission of the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Women’s Network is to connect, support, and amplify the efforts of women and nonbinary people who are HKS students and alumnae in authentic, meaningful, and powerful ways. This includes:

  • Connecting women who are alumnae of the Harvard Kennedy School across geographies, backgrounds, and areas of expertise;
  • Supporting and growing the community of women affiliated with HKS;
  • Partnering with the Harvard Kennedy School Office of Alumni Relations, current student body, the Women and Public Policy Program, and Harvard University to strengthen the network and provide opportunities for collaboration and support;
  • Fostering a spirit of engagement around policy issues, systemic challenges, employment opportunities, and other issues that may arise in the respective community; and
  • Organizing collectively to make the world a fairer, equitable, and just place for women, non-binary individuals, and those who identify as women in a way that is meaningful to them, everywhere.

The group is open to any HKS graduate who identifies as female or nonbinary gender, as well as men looking to be allies.

Contact information

Theodora Skeadas MPP 2016, Co-President
Andrea Blinkhorn MPP 2016, Co-President
Kathryn Roos MC/MPA 2016, Vice President, Strategy & Programs 
Gayatri Sarkar HKSEE 2016, Development Chair
Xevion Baptiste MPP 2014, Treasurer
Kendra Bradner MPP 2013, Member Emeritus
Melissa Sandgren MPP 2013, Member Emeritus

For questions about the City Ambassador Program, please contact Theodora Skeadas MPP 2016, City Ambassador Program Coordinator. 

W3D (Women in Defense, Diplomacy and Development)

W3D (Women in Defense, Diplomacy and Development) is an alumnae network ready to answer President Kennedy’s call to service, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” In that spirit, the women of HKS decided to create an innovative network to build on established HKS relationships. Founded with the idea that trusted relationships and inclusive groups are the keys to real collaboration, the W3D alumni network aims to break down the barriers among defense, diplomacy, and development to create holistic foreign policy decisions and solutions for the United States. This alumnae network also acknowledges the untapped and underutilized power of women. It helps to develop and promote the role of women in leadership, keeping a focus on the common goal of sustainable peace through gender equality.

Goals include:

  • Creating an active network to promote increased women’s participation and representation at all levels of national security
  • Fostering men’s engagement in promoting gender equality
  • Cultivating women as thought leaders in defense, diplomacy, and development.
  • Promoting dialogue, information sharing, and networking to support women working on global peace and security initiatives

Contact information

General Inquiries
Membership Inquiries

Emerging Technologies Alumni Association

HKS-ETAA gathers HKS alumni interested in questions of impact and governance of emerging technologies to. This includes artificial intelligence, neuro-technologies, and gene editing among others. Echoing J.F. Kennedy’s famous vision, it seems that “we stand today on the edge of a new frontier.” Since the turn of the 21st century, nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive sciences (NBIC) are converging and changing the elementary building blocks of matter and machines, our bodies and brains, and even our societies and environment. As our understanding and control over these elements dramatically increases in the coming decades, our societies will be confronted with an array of crucial ethical questions and policy choices. HKS-ETAA aims to address the profound consequences of the current technological explosion. Our mission is to help build a future that enables human flourishing.

Nicolas Miailhe MC/MPA 2015
Cyrus Hodes MPP 2007
Simon Mueller MPA 2015
Yolanda Lannquist MPP 2015