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Derek Bok Professor of the Practice of Urban Policy
Assistant: Kate Murphy

Stephen Goldsmith is the Derek Bok Professor of the Practice of Urban Policy and the Director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He currently directs Data-Smart City Solutions, a project to highlight local government efforts to use new technologies that connect breakthroughs in the use of big data analytics with community input to reshape the relationship between government and citizen. He previously served as Deputy Mayor of New York and Mayor of Indianapolis, where he earned a reputation as one of the country's leaders in public-private partnerships, competition, and privatization. Stephen was also the chief domestic policy advisor to the George W. Bush campaign in 2000, the Chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the district attorney for Marion County, Indiana from 1979 to 1990. He has written The Power of Social InnovationGoverning by Network: the New Shape of the Public Sector; Putting Faith in Neighborhoods: Making Cities Work through Grassroots CitizenshipThe Twenty-First Century City: Resurrecting Urban America, The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance; and, most recently, A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative, and Distributed Governance.

Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles


Book Chapters

Research Papers/Reports


Magazine and Newspaper Articles

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 Stephen Goldsmith

“As a school committed to solving real world public problems, we recognize and support the significant value of faculty engagement with public and private actors outside of HKS. At the same time, as a school dedicated to serving the public interest, we understand that in the public mind and often in academia, the independence of research findings, policy analysis, public positions, and even teaching can be questioned when it is funded by or when the author receives significant outside support from a company, industry, national government or other organization which may have a financial, ideological, or political stake in that academic work. To address this concern, Harvard University and Harvard Kennedy School have adopted a set of disclosure and conflict of interest policies. The policies aim to balance the value of involvement with the real world actors we seek to understand, the legitimate desire of the public for transparency, and the autonomy and privacy interests of individual faculty members. A simple summary of our goal is "transparent engagement." This website is one of many tools available to our faculty for the purpose of public disclosure.”

My work is designed to make government operate more effectively and therefore almost every governmental entity, nonprofit and vendor active particularly in the state and local areas has “an ideological” stake in my academic work and therefore the list below is inclusive.

Just as Professor Robert Stavins states, “because I am motivated not just to study and understand public policy, but to help practitioners improve it, I try very hard to make my scholarship relevant to the challenges practitioners actually face. For the same reason, I present my work in forms that are useful to such audiences. Relationships with practitioners of various kinds help me increase the relevance of my scholarship and communicate it to the world of professional practice.”

Following is a list  of organizations with which I have professional relationships and from whom  I have received monetary compensation or stock options. I serve as a board or advisory board member or provide strategic advisory and/or government relations services to: Oaktree Transportation Infrastructure Fund, Esri, Passport Inc, and Rubicon Global. 

Foundations & Associations that support my work: Bloomberg Philanthropies, The City Fund, John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, National Associaton of Counties, National Governor's Association






Phone: 617-494-7358
Assistant: Kate Murphy


Cities & Communities
Science, Technology & Data
Non-governmental Organizations
Public Leadership & Management
Social Innovation & Philanthropy

Mailing Address

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