A message from Dean Douglas Elmendorf

To HKS Students, Staff, and Faculty,
Happy new year and welcome back to campus. 

I hope you all enjoyed a good winter break and a productive beginning to 2023. As we begin the year at the Kennedy School, we will keep embracing our opportunity to make a positive difference in public policy and leadership around the world. Our work can indeed help people to live in societies that are safer, freer, more just, and more sustainably prosperous.

Let me highlight a few current issues at HKS and more broadly at Harvard.
The Next Harvard President: We are delighted to welcome the University’s president-elect—Claudine Gay, currently the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Dean Gay stated in her first remarks that “Harvard has a duty ... to be in service to the world,” and we need to “extend Harvard’s extraordinary teaching and research to have an impact on issues that matter”—which is our ethos at the Kennedy School. As I have worked with her, I have seen first-hand her commitment to academic excellence and have been consistently impressed by her collegiality and wisdom. I look forward to learning more from her in the coming years, as I have learned from Larry Bacow and from his predecessor Drew Faust.

Dean’s Discussions: The theme for this spring will be “How Civil Society Can Address Public Challenges.” The three sessions will address organizers, social innovators, and nonprofits; religion and public life; and the role of the media. They will feature faculty members Julie Battilana, Arthur Brooks, Cornell Brooks, Marshall Ganz, Nancy Gibbs, Matt Lee, Dutch Leonard, Pippa Norris, Tom Patterson, Latanya Sweeney, and Sarah Wald. Dates and times will be announced in HKS Daily, and I hope you will join us.

Wellness: Harvard’s office of human resources recently distributed messages to staff and faculty reminding us all to “take care” and “live well.” This applies to students, as well. Please be attentive to your physical, mental, and emotional health—and please reach out for support from others, including program directors and CAMHS for students; our Human Resources colleagues, HUHS Behavioral Health counselors, and the Employee Assistance Program for faculty and staff; HKS’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging for all; and the Harvard Chaplains for all.
With best wishes for a fulfilling spring term,