Academic Dean Archon Fung to become first Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government
Cambridge, MA — Journalist and philanthropist Win McCormack AB 1967 has endowed a new professorship at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) to support work to improve democracy, civic engagement, and citizenship in the United States and around the world. Archon Fung, Academic Dean at Harvard Kennedy School, will be the first person to hold the Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professorship of Citizenship and Self-Government.
Fung, whose research is focused on gaining a greater understanding of how participation, deliberation, and transparency can make contemporary public governance more fair and effective, has been a member of the School’s faculty since 1999. He co-directs the Transparency Policy Project and leads democratic governance programs at the School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
“I am tremendously honored to be the first person to hold the Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professorship of Citizenship and Self-Government,” says Fung. “It is incumbent on us to work to improve the performance of democracy not only in the United States but across the globe. In this time of polarization and fragmentation, it is especially important for citizens and governments to find ways to focus on the common good and to revitalize the democratic enterprise of governing together as equals. From strengthening our civil society, improving the integrity of electoral and participatory institutions, improving the responsiveness and transparency of government, bridging the deep divides in our society, and increasing citizens’ understanding and commitment to advancing the common good, there are many areas in which we should work to improve democracy.”
“Dysfunction in the United States and elsewhere has made it more difficult for policymakers to address our challenges in a constructive fashion, and progress toward democratic governance has stalled in many regions of the world,” says Douglas W. Elmendorf, Dean and Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. “Mr. McCormack’s generosity will allow Harvard Kennedy School to redouble our efforts to improve the effectiveness of democracy around the world.”
McCormack, who received his AB from Harvard College and his MFA from the University of Oregon, says he is hopeful that creating a professorship grounded in these values will help shape a political environment that encourages civil discourse, compromise, and increased engagement in the democratic process, regardless of party affiliation.
“Consensus seeking is what our nation’s founders wanted,” says McCormack, owner and editor-in- chief of the New Republic and a longtime Harvard donor and volunteer. “I want to see this tradition revivified and brought to the fore of people’s consciousness. What follows is participation by citizens in government and seeking the common good.”
About Win McCormack
Win McCormack is the owner and editor-in-chief of the New Republic magazine and the publisher and editor-in-chief of Tin House magazine and Tin House Books. A political activist and author who is based in Oregon, McCormack is a graduate of Harvard College. He serves on the Board of Directors of Oregon Humanities and on the Oregon Business Development Commission. He previously served on the Oregon Tourism Commission and the Board of Overseers of Emerson College. He is also a co-founder of the Liberty Hill Foundation in Los Angeles.
About Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard Kennedy School aims to improve public policy and public leadership in the United States and around the world through research, teaching, and direct engagement with policymakers and public leaders. Nearly 20,000 alumni of the School’s degree programs and 44,000 people who have taken executive education courses at the School work in more than 200 countries. In addition, faculty, staff, and students of the School are currently undertaking projects to advance knowledge and strengthen public policy and leadership in dozens of countries. Around the world, the skills and energy of the Harvard Kennedy School community are dedicated to helping make people’s lives safer, more prosperous, and more fulfilling.