J. Bryan Hehir Photo
Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life
Assistant: Rosita Scarfo

J. Bryan Hehir is the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life.  He is also the Secretary of Health and Social Services on the staff of Cardinal Sean O’Malley in the Archdiocese of Boston.  Previously he served on the faculty of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (1984-92) and on the Harvard Divinity School faculty (1993-2001) including three years as the Chair of the HDS Executive Committee.  In Washington D.C., he served on the staff of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops (1973-92) working on issues of foreign policy and domestic policy, including being the staff director of the Catholic Bishops pastoral letter (“The Challenge of Peace” – 1983).  From 2002-2003 he was President of Catholic Charities USA, the nationwide network of social service agencies for the Catholic church in the United States.  In the Archdiocese of Boston, Fr. Hehir represents Cardinal O’Malley to four social service agencies and also serves as a liaison to Catholic health systems in the Archdiocese.  He was a member of the Vatican Delegation to the United Nations (1973 and 1978).  At HKS he is a Faculty Associate at the Carr Center for Human Rights and at the Safra Center for Ethics and the Professions.  His teaching, research and writing focus on ethics and foreign policy and the role of religion in world politics and in American society. 

            Hehir is a recipient of the MacArthur Award, the Laetare Award (University of Notre Dame), the American Academy of Religion’s Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion, and the Kennedy School’s Carballo Award for excellence in teaching.

            He is member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.  He serves on the Board of the Arms Control Association and the Roundtable for Church Management.


Transparent Engagement

Harvard Kennedy School is proud of its energetic involvement in the world. To better understand how to solve public problems by improving policy and leadership, we engage directly with policymakers, public leaders, governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses whose activities affect those problems. However, we recognize that such engagement can raise questions about perceived and potential conflicts of interest, so we disclose publicly the key professional activities of our faculty outside the Kennedy School.

Outside Professional Activities For J. Bryan Hehir

Outside Professional Activities:

(For the following lectures, I received compensation and travel)

  • Guest Lecturer: National Defense University, Washington, D.C. (1987-present): Topic: “Ethics and Strategy”

  • Guest Lecturer: Intelligence Fellows Seminar (1991-2008).Representatives of cross-section of U.S. intelligence agencies.Topic: Ethics and the Use of Force.

  • Catholic Health Association: Direct a seminar annually for “Future Leaders” (2011 – present)

  • Stanford University: Panelist on Proliferation and Catholic teaching on war and peace

  • Catholic Health Association: Lecture on “Institutional Identity and Integrity”

  • The Pontifical Council on Social Sciences (The Vatican); paper “How the Church Engages the World Situation” (April 2016)

  • Trinity College (Dublin): Paper on “Church-World and Church-State: The Journey Since Vatican II”; a conference on “The Catholic Church: Social and Political Roles in a Pluralist Society. (June 2016)

  • Extension Society (Chicago): Lecture on “The Church and Poverty in the United States”

  • Georgetown University: Panel on the Tenth Anniversary of the Berkley Center at Georgetown. (April 2016)

  • London (U.K.) Panelist on the Present State of Nuclear Deterrence and Disarmament (May 2016)

Board Membership:

  • Member of the Board of Trustees: Arms Control Association, Washington, D.C.

  • Member of the Board of Trustees: The Roundtable for Church Management (University of Southern California)

  • Member of the Board of the Boston Athenaeum

  • As a dimension of my role in the Archdiocese, I am a member of the Board of Trustees of (1) Catholic Charities Bureau of the Archdiocese of Boston; (2) St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children (Dorchester); (3) St. Ann’s Home (Methuen)


Phone: 617-494-7776
Assistant: Rosita Scarfo


Education, Training & Labor

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