Developing leaders, leading development

The two-year Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) Program is designed to prepare the next generation of leaders in international development. It is an economics-centered, multidisciplinary program, combining rigorous training in analytical and quantitative methods with an emphasis on policy and practice.

The MPA/ID Program offers unparalleled training for a professional career in development. The mix of theoretical rigor with a practical approach has proven to be a winning combination in the professional world. Our graduates hold influential policy and management positions in a range of international organizations, national governments, central and regional banks, nonprofit and research organizations, and private sector companies.

The right fit

The MPA/ID Program may be the right fit for you if you:

  • Demonstrate commitment to the economic, social, and political advancement of developing and transitional economy countries
  • Work in the development field, whether in government, central or regional banks, international development institutions, nonprofits, research organizations, or the private sector
  • Want to deepen your understanding of complex development problems and acquire the analytical tools to design and implement effective solutions
  • Have a strong academic record, including in economics and mathematics

Our program is known for its challenging, integrated curriculum, outstanding faculty members, bright, committed students, exciting professional internships, and successful alumni

Learn more about what we look for in applicants. 


    "The last few decades have witnessed significant advances in economic development, mostly but not exclusively in East Asia. Never before in history has the dream of eliminating global poverty seemed so attainable. We live in a world where the reach of technology and markets are global, enabling more rapid economic growth and poverty reduction than ever before. Yet globalization and technological change also conspire to create new challenges. Significant pockets of poverty remain in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. In an age of plenty, what deprives people of adequate food, shelter, clean water, education, good health, and enough income to live on with dignity? What can governments, international agencies, and nongovernmental organizations do to make the dream a reality? As the COVID-19 pandemic has painfully made clear, addressing the global development challenges of our time requires a combination of analysis and leadership skills. Answers to these questions require not only technical knowledge in economics and quantitative methods, but also management, institutional, and political analysis – core elements of the MPA/ID curriculum."

    - Dani Rodrik, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy and MPA/ID Program Faculty Chair 2020-21

    MPA/IDs Address Macroeconomic Challenges in Ethiopia
    MPA/ID Program students, alumni and faculty sitting around a table, smiling
    (From left to right): Apratim Gautam (’20), Ibrahim Hassen (’18), Prof. Ricardo Hausmann, Melesse Tashu (’07), Prof. Eduardo Levy-Yeyati, Tim Cheston (’14), Nikita Taniparti (’18)

    Last summer, a number of MPA/ID students, faculty and alumni gathered in Addis Ababa to begin a three year engagement between Harvard’s Center for International Development (CID) and the Ethiopian government to think through the country’s binding constraints to growth.  The group consisted of current students on their summer internship, recent alumni and faculty affiliated with the CID Growth Lab, as well as Melesse Tashu, MPA/ID 2007, who has taken a leave from his position as Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund to become a Senior Macroeconomic Adviser to the Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia. He is also currently working with a team of researchers at the Prime Minister’s Office.

    Professors Ricardo Hausmann and Eduardo Levy-Yeyati were on hand to talk about their experiences in thinking about macro constraints such as the lack of foreign reserves (i.e. dollars) that Ethiopia faces. Ibrahim Hassen, MPA/ID 2018, put the group in touch with Melesse, who lent his expertise within the government of Ethiopia. Apratim Gautam, who was completing his MPA/ID summer internship on the project, valued having an MPA/ID connection working within the government: “I knew we could trust him with a more relaxed conversation in which we tested our thinking and assumptions.”

    Sitting in the Prime Minister’s office with several generations of current students, and alumni from Ethiopia, Professor Hausmann was deeply satisfied, commenting “We’re seeing the fruits of our labors!”