A message from Dean Douglas Elmendorf

To HKS Students, Faculty, Staff, and Fellows,

At Harvard Kennedy School, fostering a diverse and welcoming community where everyone can thrive is a matter of basic fairness consistent with our core values and is essential to our mission of improving public policy and leadership. Our values and mission call on us as well to oppose racism and other systemic injustices, helping to build a world with respect and dignity for all.

Over time, the Kennedy School’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni have advocated for and implemented changes to advance these crucial goals. I am writing today to provide some updates on this work.

First, I encourage everyone to visit the webpages describing the School’s approach to diversity, equity, and anti-racism. These pages present our strategy and ongoing actions.

Second, we just released this year’s report on basic information about the School’s demographic diversity. Publishing these data on a regular basis was an important recommendation of the student-faculty-staff task force on diversity and inclusion that I convened just after starting as dean.

Third, I hope you will read a new article that highlights a few selected diversity, equity, and anti-racism efforts at the School. The article previews a map depicting the global diversity of our students, describes some of the research and outreach of Professor Sandra Susan Smith, and offers highlights from the School’s recognition of the Latinx and LGBTQ+ heritage months.
If you are interested in participating in our work on these crucial issues, please reach out to the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging to learn more about our programming, resources, and student-staff-faculty Diversity Committee.

Fostering a diverse and welcoming community is essential to our mission because recruiting and empowering the best people makes us better at what we do, because we learn more from people with different perspectives, and because we work in diverse groups and serve diverse societies. I look forward to continuing to work with you all to strengthen diversity, equity, and anti-racism. Helping to create a better Kennedy School and a better world is our collective responsibility.