Timothy Patrick McCarthy Photo
Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy
Contact:
617-384-9023
617-496-4485

Timothy Patrick McCarthy is an award-winning scholar and educator, public servant, and social justice activist who has taught on Harvard’s faculty since 2005. He holds a joint appointment in the undergraduate honors program in History and Literature, Graduate School of Education, and John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he is Core Faculty at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. He is also the Stanley Paterson Professor of American History in the Boston Clemente Course, a college humanities course for low-income adults and co-recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal. Twice named one of Harvard Crimson’s “Professors of the Year,” he is the recipient of many awards for his commitment to students, including the 2019 Manuel C. Carballo Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Kennedy School’s highest teaching honor.

The adopted only son and grandson of public school teachers and faculty workers, Dr. McCarthy graduated with honors in History and Literature from Harvard and earned his Ph.D. in History from Columbia. A noted historian of politics and social movements, he has published five books with the New Press, including The Radical Reader, Prophets of Protest, and the forthcoming Stonewall’s Children: Living Queer History in an Age of Liberation, Loss, and Love. A frequent media commentator, his popular writings have appeared in Salon, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Pangyrus, and The Nation. In June 2019, he was guest editor for The Nation’s historic “Reclaiming Stonewall 50” forum.

Shaped by the anti-apartheid and AIDS activism of his college years, Dr. McCarthy has devoted his life to public service and social justice. Since 1990, he has been a Big Brother to Malcolm Green, now 33, whom he met while volunteering in the Cambridge public schools. As founding director of Harvard’s Alternative Spring Break Church Rebuilding Program, he spent fifteen years organizing hundreds of students to help rebuild black churches destroyed in racist arson attacks. A respected leader in the LGBTQ+ community, he was a founding member of Barack Obama’s National LGBT Leadership Council and gave expert testimony to the Pentagon Comprehensive Working Group on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He was a member of the first-ever LGBTQ delegation from the U.S. to Israel/Palestine, and serves on the board of Free the Slaves, a leading anti-slavery NGO. Dr. McCarthy hosts and directs The A.R.T. of Human Rights and Resistance Mic! at the Tony Award-winning American Repertory Theater, where he is a board member. For the last decade, he and his husband have been Resident Scholars at Quincy House, where they live with their joyful 8-year-old black lab.

Quick links:

Read his books from The New Press.

Read his Reclaiming Stonewall 50 series in The Nation.

Experience his "Instructional Moves" at Harvard.

Listen to his PolicyCast podcast “Turning a March into a Movement.”

Listen to his Justice Matters podcast “The Power of Stories in the Fight for Human Rights.”

Watch his Resistance School Lecture “Communicating Our Values.”

Watch his Clinton School Lecture "Teaching the Values of Public Service and Social Justice."

Watch his TEDx Talk “Rethinking Progress.”

Watch his HKS Orientation speech “Inspiring Public Service.”

Watch his Harvard LGBTQ Conference keynote “We Must Do Better.”

Watch his Harvard Thinks Big Lecture “Does Protest Have a Future?”

Watch his Nicholas Papadopoulos Lecture “Stonewall’s Children.”

Books

Commentary

Magazine and Newspaper Articles

Contact

Phone: 617-384-9023

Expertise

Democracy & Governance
Gender, Race & Identity
Human Rights & Justice
Public Leadership & Management
Politics
Advocacy & Social Movements
Cities & Communities
Non-governmental Organizations
Poverty, Inequality & Opportunity
Social Policy

Mailing Address

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