A message from Dean Douglas Elmendorf

To the Faculty, Staff, Fellows, and Students of Harvard Kennedy School,

I write to thank three important leaders at the school who will be stepping out of their roles, and to welcome three new people to the leadership of the Kennedy School.
First, our Academic Dean: Three years ago, Iris Bohnet agreed to serve as Academic Dean of the Kennedy School for three years. We now need to let her return to her teaching, research, and outreach. 

We have all benefited tremendously from Iris Bohnet’s extraordinary service as Academic Dean. Iris has played a crucial role in building the Kennedy School faculty of the future: She updated our procedures for appointments and promotions to reflect the best evidence on how to achieve inclusive excellence; she appointed and worked with the Appointments Committee and all of our search and review committees; and she successfully recruited many amazing new members of our faculty. Iris has been a leader in our multi-faceted efforts to achieve greater diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Kennedy School, bringing to bear her expertise in gender equity and her commitment to truly making a difference on these crucial issues. Iris has been centrally involved in all of our decisions related to the pandemic, ensuring that we adhere to our values of empathy, flexibility, and respect while continuing to advance our mission. Iris has fostered cross-disciplinary collaborations at the Kennedy School to address the future of work, the needs of American communities, possibilities for a new global order, and the future of democracy. And so much more.

On every issue that has come to the leadership of the Kennedy School in the past three years, Iris has brought sharp insight, deep wisdom, good humor, unending energy, and great enthusiasm. Her commitment to the School and compassionate concern for all members of the School community have been evident every day, and I will deeply miss having her as a partner in all of our important efforts. Iris will resume her responsibilities as the Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government and co-director of the Women and Public Policy Program, where she plans to resume her research building on her book, What Works: Gender Equality by Design, and continue to advise leaders from across the sectors of society, including in her new role on the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council.
The work of the Kennedy School goes on, and so …
I am delighted to announce that David Deming will be our Academic Dean beginning on July 1st. 

David Deming is a professor of public policy and will become the Isabelle and Scott Black Professor of Political Economy, moving into the chair that David Ellwood is retiring from. David is also on the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and he and his wife Janine became the faculty deans of Kirkland House last fall, so now he lives right across the street from his office. I think David is also the first alumnus of the Kennedy School (where he earned his PhD) to become Academic Dean!

You may know David as well through his role as director of our Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy—a role he will keep. At the Wiener Center, faculty, students, and staff use research and practice to address public policy questions about health care, criminal justice, education, racism, inequality, poverty, and more. David’s own research focuses on higher education, economic inequality, skills, technology, and the future of the labor market. David was awarded the David N. Kershaw Prize, which is given biannually to scholars under the age of 40 who have made distinguished contributions to the field of public policy and management. 

Fortunately, Suzanne Cooper will remain our Academic Dean for Teaching and Curriculum. In addition to David, Suzanne, and me, the leadership team for the core of the School will comprise (in alphabetical order): Robbin Chapman as Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging; Debbie Isaacson as Senior Associate Dean for Degree Programs and Student Affairs; Christy Jackowitz as Senior Associate Dean for Alumni Relations and Resource Development; Thoko Moyo as Associate Dean for Communications and Public Affairs; Sarah Wald as Senior Policy Adviser and Chief of Staff to the Dean; and Janney Wilson as Executive Dean.

In addition, we are also introducing a new Chair of the International and Global Affairs Area and a new Chair of the Master in Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School. 

Bill Clark—the Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development, who is serving now as Chair of the IGA Area—will be retiring shortly into his new role as Research Professor here. Bill is one of the founders of the crucial field of sustainability science, and he has worked for decades to improve understanding of climate change and other damages we are inflicting on our world and the ways we can act to reduce those damages and realize our hopes for the future. Bill also has been a leader in developing actions to enhance sustainability at the Kennedy School and at Harvard more broadly. You can read more about Bill’s work here. Bill has been a dedicated and skilled Chair of the IGA Area and an important voice on the Faculty Steering Committee.

I am delighted to announce that Kathryn Sikkink will become the Chair of the International and Global Affairs Area and join the Faculty Steering Committee on July 1st. 

Kathryn Sikkink is the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School. Her latest book is The Hidden Face of Rights: Toward a Politics of Responsibility, which argues that discussions of international law, politics, and justice generally focus on rights but also should give important weight to corresponding responsibilities. Her preceding book was Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century. More broadly, Kathryn’s research addresses international norms and institutions, transnational advocacy networks, transitional justice, and human rights law and policies. She teaches a course on global governance and a course on international law and global justice, and she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been recognized in numerous other ways.

Finally, Jack Donahue—the Raymond Vernon Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, who is serving now as Chair of the MPP Program—will be stepping out of his role as Chair, although he will continue his MPP teaching. Jack has led the MPP program for 11 of its 50 years, and he has worked with other faculty members to make many changes to the core courses, including increasing the focus on professional competencies sought by potential employers. As a tireless and committed Chair and key member of the Faculty Steering Committee, Jack has used with great success his background as an MPP and PhD alumnus of the Kennedy School, his research on public-sector reform and cross-sector activities, and his experience as an Assistant Secretary of Labor and then Counselor to the Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration.

I am delighted to announce that Pınar Doğan will become the Chair of the Master in Public Policy Program and join the Faculty Steering Committee on July 1st.
Pınar Doğan was recently promoted to Senior Lecturer in Public Policy in recognition of her exceptional contributions to the teaching mission of the Kennedy School. After appointments in Paris and Istanbul, she came to the Kennedy School and has taught in the MPP core for many years, bringing her economics expertise and heartfelt caring to countless students. Pınar’s innovations in pedagogy include experimenting with classroom layout and using short videos of faculty experts explaining how economics is used in real-world policy settings; she also led the team that transformed API-101 to an online format last fall. Pınar has taught elective courses in game theory and in competition policy, and she has published research on various topics in industrial organization, including innovation, networks, and digitization.

I am grateful to David, Kathryn, and Pınar for their willingness to serve the Kennedy School in these important ways.
Please join me in thanking Iris, Bill, and Jack, and in welcoming David, Kathryn, and Pınar!
Best wishes,