CAMBRIDGE, MA—Harvard Kennedy School has named Asim Ijaz Khwaja as the faculty director of the School’s Center for International Development (CID). Khwaja serves as the Sumitomo-Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development Professor of International Finance and Development at the Kennedy School, and he will remain in that position. He will start his additional appointment as director of CID on July 1, 2019.
“I am delighted that Asim has agreed to serve as faculty director of the Center for International Development at Harvard Kennedy School,” said Dean Douglas Elmendorf. “The Center and School will be well served by Asim’s deep knowledge and experience in international development and by his proven leadership of large research initiatives with direct practical implications.”
Khwaja has been a co-faculty director of the Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) program at CID for the past decade and will continue as an EPoD faculty affiliate. He is also co-founder of the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan. Khwaja’s areas of interest include economic development, finance, education, political economy, public finance, and institutions. His research combines extensive fieldwork, rigorous empirical analysis, and microeconomic theory to answer questions that are motivated by and engage with policy.
“I am thrilled to take up this position and grateful for the opportunity to lead the important work of the center. Under Ricardo’s leadership, the center’s reach has greatly expanded. I hope to continue this expansion by leveraging the amazing talent and opportunities at Harvard to help address some of the most pressing problems we face in the world today,” Khwaja said.
Khwaja succeeds Ricardo Hausmann as director of CID. “Asim is distinguished by his energy, excellence, and commitment to research that can help create a positive and lasting impact. I am delighted that he will lead CID,” said Hausmann, who is also a professor of the practice of international development at the Kennedy School.
Dean Elmendorf commented: “Ricardo Hausmann has led the Center for International Development with great vision and dedication for 14 years, creating an environment of innovation for faculty research and a strong development community for our students. Under Ricardo’s leadership, the center has grown immensely, and I am very grateful for his service. Moreover, Ricardo’s work around the world has shown that the combination of academic insight and practitioner’s experience can create significant positive impacts on public policy. I am delighted that we can honor Ricardo’s contributions by naming him the Rafik Hariri Professor of the Practice of International Political Economy.” That appointment also will be effective in July.
Hausmann will continue to lead the Growth Lab, one of CID’s key research programs, which works to understand the dynamics of economic growth and translate those insights into more effective policymaking. Over the past decade, Hausmann has actively led the lab in developing key concepts such as growth diagnostics, economic complexity, and the product space—tools that are broadly used in development practice. He has also led research-based policy engagements in Albania, Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela. Hausmann will continue his leadership role in the global efforts to address economic challenges facing Venezuela.
The Center for International Development advances the understanding of development challenges and offers viable solutions to problems of global poverty. It is Harvard's leading research hub focusing on resolving the dilemmas of public policy associated with generating stable, shared, and sustainable prosperity in developing countries.