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 and practitioners in global development. It is an economics-centered, multidisciplinary program, integrating rigorous training in analytical and quantitative methods with an emphasis on policy and outcomes informed by global perspectives.

The MPA/ID Program offers unparalleled training for a professional career in development. The mix of theoretical rigor with practical approaches has proven to be a winning combination for impactful development work. The program enables an internationally diverse cohort of students to build on their experiences and insights and address complex development challenges. Our graduates hold influential policy, advocacy, 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 solving the economic, social, or political problems facing low-income communities, regions, or nations 
  • Work in the development field, whether in government, nonprofits, central or regional banks, international development institutions, research organizations, or the private sector
  • Want to deepen and broaden your understanding of development problems and acquire the analytical tools and global perspectives 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

MPA/ID Virtual Information Session
October 3, 2023 | Recording

See all upcoming events for prospective HKS master’s degree students.

Alumni Perspective: Life Changing 

The Harvard Kennedy School MPA/ID Program changed my life—professionally, intellectually, personally, and maybe even spiritually. Not only did I gain lifelong friends and meet my Hive Health cofounder Camille Ang in the program, but it also expanded my perspectives and equipped me with a set of analytical tools to make the impact I seek to have in the world!

-Jiawen Tang , MPA/ID 2021 (United States)

Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP)

The MPA/ID Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government is a Participating Program of the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program!

The JJ/WBGSP is open to citizens of certain developing countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts.    

The JJ/WBGSP is also open to Japanese Nationals.

A JJ/WBGSP scholarship provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.  Please check the JJ/WBGSP website for application instructions.

headshot“There has been only one happier moment in my life after my admission decision from Harvard, and it was receiving the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program response. From that day, what started as a dream became a reality. Thanks to JJ/WBGSP's life-changing opportunity, I am on my way to becoming an agent of change who will contribute to a better and more inclusive future for all.”
-Johan Cañas, MPA/ID 2023 (Venezuela)

MPA/ID in the time of COVID-19 and after

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world had witnessed significant gains in economic development and poverty reduction, mostly but not exclusively in East Asia. Never before in history had the dream of eliminating global poverty seemed so attainable. Yet the pandemic has reversed some of these advances and thrown the future of development in doubt. Poverty has increased in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The lowest-income countries of the world look less likely to catch-up with their wealthier counterparts in the years ahead. In an age where the reach of technology and markets should be global, 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? 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. These are all core elements of the MPA/ID curriculum.

- Dani Rodrik, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy and MPA/ID Program Faculty Chair 2023-24

Professor Dani Rodrik