Our Mission

  • To spark innovative public policy discourse
  • To create first-rate works of scholarship
  • To enrich encounters between practitioners, scholars and students
  • To inspire graduates

The center seeks to improve the governance of states, metropolitan areas, and cities through research, teaching, and public events. We support research, particularly for junior faculty in their teaching and their research. We believe this helps them build a strong foundation for motivating students in innovative and inspiring ways. We also hope to nurture faculty interests in broad areas of public policy regarding state and local government and intergovernmental relations. We support a wide range of research interests including urban economics, policies, and development; education policy and governance; civic engagement and social capital; and governmental communications. The center offers a variety of venues for communication and discussion open to students, academics, and the public.

Who We Serve

Urban Scholars

We strive to reach this group primarily through scholarly publications in top tier journals and, to some extent, through academic workshops and conferences conducted at Harvard and elsewhere.

Government and Non-profit Practitioners in Public Policy

We reach this audience through a wider range of tactics: publication in professional and general-audience journals and magazines, the center Policy Brief Series, op-ed commentaries, presentations at conferences, and HKS executive education activities.


The student audience is targeted by degree program teaching, case study writing, other curriculum development, seminars and workshops, informal brown bag lunches where faculty present research in progress, and by individual discussions and counseling.

What We Do

Several goals and strategies have framed the efforts of the Taubman Center:

  • Provide service and incentives to the best junior faculty at HKS to strengthen their interest in cities, policies with urban significance, and intergovernmental relations, and stimulate high quality research.
  • Maintain the center as an intellectual community where faculty and research staff can productively work on urban research and teaching, as well as interact with each other to stimulate, support, and critique these endeavors.
  • Provide opportunities for students to engage with these intellectual issues through support for seminars and public events, doctoral fellowships and financial aid, practice-oriented degree program courses, faculty participation in related executive education programs, and summer internships with governments in the Boston area.
  • Develop and implement major, multi-year research initiatives that engage groups of faculty, not only single individuals, interested in exploring key urban issues.