From the Director

The objective of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government is to support teaching and research on sub-national governments. While it is easy to get swept away by the important events and high drama that happen in Washington, D.C., many of the most important functions of government are handled at the local level. Cities and states are responsible for providing good schools, safe streets and bearable commutes.

Since 1989, the Taubman Center has supported research within Harvard’s Kennedy School and elsewhere, on topics that are important to states and localities. The Center has embraced a wide range of topics, from social capital to congestion pricing, and a wide range of disciplines. No one field has a monopoly on the wisdom needed by local decision-makers. The Center, and its affiliated programs, also supports students with an interest in local government, both in their coursework and in internship and other work outside the classroom.

We are living through a period of tremendous challenges and opportunities for states and localities. The economic recession has created fiscal crises in many states at the same time that federal funding has increased dramatically. The Taubman Center is committed to providing insights that are helpful to local leaders as they try to negotiate this difficult terrain. The complex challenges ahead make the Taubman Center’s mission particularly crucial.

Jeffrey Liebman
Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy
Director, Taubman Center for State and Local Government