Richard Cavanagh
Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy
79 John F. Kennedy St. Belfer Bldg 511

Richard E. Cavanagh, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy and the school’s Executive Dean from 1987-1995, returned to the faculty after serving as CEO of The Conference Board for 12 years. Earlier, he was a partner of McKinsey and Company, Inc., where he coauthored the bestselling management book, The Winning Performance, published in 13 national editions. He also held Presidential appointments in the Carter Administration’s Office of Management & Budget. Cavanagh serves on corporate and nonprofit boards, and was the Chairman of the Educational Testing Service (ETS). His teaching interests center on entrepreneurship and corporate governance. He was present at the creation of Ashoka and Echoing Green, and has been a director/investor in four commercial startups. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


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 Richard Cavanagh

Outside Professional Activities:

For profit (paid service):

BlackRock Mutual Funds, Non-executive Chairman and Member, Board of Directors, 1994-present

Fremont Group LLC, Senior Advisor and Member, Board of Directors, 1996-present

Guardian Life Insurance, Member, Board of Directors, 1998-present

Livelyhood Inc. (dba cove), Investor and Member, Board of Directors, 2014-present

Non-profits (no compensation):

American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Member, Development Committee; Member, Election Committee 1998-present

Boston Symphony Orchestra, Overseer, 2010-present

Echoing Green, Senior Advisor to the Board of Directors, 2010-present

Volunteers of America, Member, National Board of Directors, 2009-present

Wesleyan University, Trustee Emeritus, 1988-2000 (active)



Phone: 617-495-0544
Office: 79 John F. Kennedy St. Belfer Bldg 511

HKS Affiliations

Mailing Address

Harvard Kennedy School
79 John F. Kennedy St.
Cambridge, MA 02138