A message from Dean Douglas Elmendorf

Dear Members of the Harvard Kennedy School Community,

As we come to the end of this academic year, six members of the Kennedy School faculty are retiring from active teaching: Bill Clark, David Ellwood, Bryan Hehir, John Holdren, Barbara Kellerman, and Joe Newhouse. 

Several of these faculty members will become “research professors,” which means they will continue to conduct research and engage in other activities apart from teaching, so we will see them around the School and continue to benefit from their presence. But this milestone in the careers of all six faculty members is a good time to celebrate their many, many contributions to the Kennedy School, to public policy and leadership, and to all of our lives.

One email message cannot do justice to any one of these amazing people, much less all of them together. But very briefly:

Bill Clark is the Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development. Trained as an ecologist, Bill’s research focuses on sustainability science: understanding the interactions of human and environmental systems in order to advance sustainable development. He is particularly interested in how institutional arrangements affect the linkage between knowledge and action in the sustainability arena. Bill has not only had very important scholarly impacts but also has played a lead role in Harvard’s and HKS’s actions over the past decade to increase the sustainability of our operations.

David Ellwood is the Isabelle and Scott Black Professor of Political Economy. He served as Dean of the Kennedy School from 2004 to 2015. David has also been Director of the School’s Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, Chair of the U.S. Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, and Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration. David is recognized as one of the nation’s leading scholars on poverty and welfare, and his work has significantly influenced public policy in the United States and abroad.

Bryan Hehir is the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life. He is also Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services serving Cardinal Sean O’Malley in the Archdiocese of Boston. Previously Father Bryan was on the faculty of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Harvard Divinity School, and he served for many years on the staff of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. His teaching, research, and writing on ethics and foreign policy have played a key role in shaping our thinking about religion in world politics and American society.

John Holdren is the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy. He also holds faculty positions in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. John is Co-Director of the School’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, which brings together scientific and policy perspectives. From January 2009 to January 2017, he was President Obama’s science advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. John’s research and policy engagement have changed public policy in myriad important ways.

Barbara Kellerman is the James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public Leadership. She was the founding Executive Director of the School’s Center for Public Leadership, where she also served as Research Director. Barbara has taught at numerous universities and was Co-Founder of the International Leadership Association. She is author or editor of many books on leadership, including most recently Professionalizing Leadership and Leaders Who Lust: Power, Money, Sex, Success, Legitimacy, Legacy. Barbara’s leadership books have won numerous awards.

Joe Newhouse is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Health Policy and Management. He is a member of the faculties of Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Medical School, the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Joe is Director of Harvard’s interfaculty initiative on health policy. Joe is the Founding Editor of the Journal of Health Economics, and he was the inaugural President of the American Society of Health Economists. His research and outreach have had a huge impact on both academia and public policy. 

Please join me in congratulating these outstanding faculty members who have contributed so much to the Kennedy School—as teachers, scholars, and valued members of our community—and to the world around them. I know that all of us wish them well in their future pursuits!