The need for resilience defined this past year.

This was certainly true for the HKS Class of 2020. They shifted abruptly to remote learning, conducted virtual job searches, and, in an uncertain professional landscape, pursued their passions in careers to help people live in societies that are more safe, free, just, and sustainably prosperous.

The Class of 2020’s employment results is a story of resilience. Even in a challenging global economy, our students landed positions at nearly the same rate as in previous years. And employers around the world continued to engage their talent to create a better world.

2020 showed us that, perhaps more than ever, the world needs the kind of leaders being trained at Harvard Kennedy School.

We are proud to share their story.
 

 

OUR PROCESS

The HKS Office of Career Advancement (OCA) collected data from March through October 2020 using a variety of techniques, including an exit survey and follow-up survey in October, individual email inquiries, and publicly available sources. Employment information on 86 percent of the Class of 2020 May graduates is represented this year.

Numbers in this report have been rounded up/down when necessary to help simplify reporting.

CLASS OF 2020 HIGHLIGHTS

The Class of 2020 pursued public service careers across sectors, policy areas, and industries. They took on innovative roles in a range of areas, including technology, development, research, and education. Many chose to leverage their training and experience to focus specifically on COVID-response and recovery. 

Continue reading to learn more about this talented class.

 

571 graduates are working in 50 countries and territories; 28 U.S. states and Washington D.C.

 

Graduates by Degree Program

pie chart showing graduates in MPP, MPAID, MPA, and MCMPA programs

 

Graduates' Post-HKS Employment by Sector

pie chart showing graduates in private, public and IGO, and nonprofit and NGO employment sectors

 

Data Behind the Graphs

571 Graduates

223 Master in Public Policy (MPP)
71 Master in Public Administration / International Development (MPA/ID)
94 Master in Public Administration (MPA)
183 Mid-Career Master in Public Administration (MC/MPA)

 

Private 39%
Public and IGO 34%
National / Federal Government 19%
State / Provincial Government 4%
City / Local / Regional Government 3%
IGO 8%
Nonprofit and NGO 22%
Unspecified 5%

 

91%
were settled by Oct 2020—employed, running for office, returning to school, or not looking

Note: 88 percent of graduates were employed and 3 percent were running for office, launching new ventures, or continuing their education by the end of October 2020.

 

Some top destinations for the class

U.S. Federal Government

The U.S. federal government continues to be the top employer of our graduates: 46 are working in the U.S. federal government in 21 departments and agencies while 41 percent are transitioning into the U.S. federal government.

International Development

Our data reflects 16 percent of employed graduates working in international development on social, political, and economic issues through government, multilateral institutions, NGOs, and the private sector.

Consulting

90 graduates joined 37 strategy and economic consulting firms in 22 countries, advising on topics as wide-ranging as health care, education, technology, workforce development, energy, child welfare, and financial regulation.

27 graduates launched new ventures. 9 graduates ran for elected office or committed to full-time campaign or political work.

 

83%
of employers hired only one graduate, a measure of our graduates' diverse trajectories

Top 7 industry destinations

Government / Military / IGO / International Development 147
Consulting / Advisory (combined private and public) 90
Technology / Science 36
Education 29
Finance / Financial Technology 20
Advocacy / Public Interest 14
Healthcare 13

 

Our Graduates' Salaries

It is an inexact exercise to give an accurate picture of the salaries our graduates earn after attending Harvard Kennedy School. Averages and medians cannot tell the full story.

Our graduates are incredibly diverse—from the skills, interests, and professional experiences they have, to where they live and work. Our Office of Career Advancement team works one-on-one with students to navigate their unique situations and help clarify salary expectations and negotiate job offers.

Master in Public Policy

The two-year Master in Public Policy (MPP) Program prepares students to understand complex global and local policy problems and construct concrete solutions.

Through courses, exercises, and fieldwork, MPPs master a conceptual tool kit that draws on the social sciences but is adapted for action. They arrive at HKS committed to improving the world and equip themselves by developing broad-spectrum analytic competency. This translates into intellectual honesty, a hunger for evidence, and the capacity to extract answerable questions from the messy clutter of real-world public problems.

 

MPP Class of 2020 Post-HKS Employment by Sector

percentages of graduates working in private, public, IGO, and nonprofit/NGO sectors

Unspecified employment sector is 3 percent. Numbers have been rounded up/down when necessary to help simplify reporting.

 

Employment Sector 10-Year Comparison: 2012 – 2020

graduates by private, public and IGO, and nonprofit and NGO sectors

 

Data Behind the Statistics and Graph

Private 39%
Public 26%
National / Federal Government 18%
State / Provincial Government 5%
City / Local / Regional Government 3%
IGO 4%
Nonprofit and NGO 28%
Unspecified 3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  2012 2014 2016 2018 2020
Private 30% 32% 47% 38% 39%
Public and IGO 38% 36% 28% 28% 30%
Nonprofit and NGO 30% 30% 22% 30% 28%
Unspecified 3% 2% 3% 4% 3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Employers of Class of 2020 MPP Graduates

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
City of Los Angeles, CA
City of Petersburg, VA 
City of Scranton, PA
City of Syracuse, NY
City of Seattle, WA 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Government of Australia
Government of China
Government of France
Government of Indonesia, West Java Province
Government of Japan
Government of Singapore
Government of the United Kingdom
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
State of California
State of California Teachers’ Retirement Systemwide 
State of Connecticut 
State of Maine
State of New Mexico
United Nations
U.S. Agency for International Development
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Army
U.S. Department of Commerce
U.S. Department of Defense
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence 
U.S. Navy
World Bank

1Room*
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Blackbird Centre For Public Impact
Connecticut COVID-19 Charity Connection
Democracy Alliance 
Education Resource Strategies
Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
Giffords
Health Finance Institute
Innovations for Poverty Action
Invisible Institute
JustFix
Led By Foundation, Inc.*
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
National Center for Education and the Economy
Organization Artemisas
Partners in Health
People Powered: Global Hub for Participatory Democracy
REACH
Robert Bosch Foundation
Settlement Housing Fund, Inc.
Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) Foundation
The Center for NYC Neighborhoods
U.S. Digital Response (USDR) 

*new venture

Accenture
Bailit Health Purchasing, LLC
Baltodano & Associates*
Blackstone
Boston Consulting Group
Chario*
Cornerstone Research
Danone
Delivery Associates
Deloitte
Expanse, Inc.
EY
Google
Guidehouse
Hibiscus Monkey LLP*
Hogan Lovells 
Latham & Watkins
McKinsey & Company
Oklo Inc
Partnership for Forests
Public Consulting Group
Quantumblack 
Rational 360
Roland Berger
Simon & Company, Inc. 
Sonecon, LLC
Spotify
Total Impact Capital
uConnect 
VisualResearch
Witt O'Brien's 

*new venture

Duke University Hospital
Georgetown University
Harvard Kennedy School
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Northwestern University
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles

Joseph Biden 2020 Presidential Campaign
Elissa Slotkin for Congress

 

The son of Latin American immigrants, Hainer Sibrian MPP 2020 is about to launch a career as a U.S. diplomat.

 

Ankur Dhanuka MPP 2020 is melding a scientific background with lessons in leadership, policy, and entrepreneurship to make energy markets greener.

 

Deeneaus ‘D’ Polk MPP 2020 found his way from Mississippi to Harvard Kennedy School with plans to return to the South.

Master in Public Administration International Development

The two-year Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) Program trains the next generation of leaders in international development.

This economics-centered multidisciplinary program provides meticulous training in analytic and quantitative methods with an emphasis on policy and practice. MPA/IDs demonstrate talent in economics and quantitative analysis as well as leadership potential in international development. Most have at least three years of development-related work experience before coming to HKS, typically in developing or transitional economy countries.

 

MPA/ID Class of 2020 Post-HKS Employment by Sector

percentages of graduates working in private, public, IGO, and nonprofit/NGO sectors

Unspecified employment sector is 1 percent. Numbers have been rounded up/down when necessary to help simplify reporting.

 

Employment Sector 10-Year Comparison: 2012 – 2020

graduates by private, public and IGO, and nonprofit and NGO sectors

 

Data Behind the Statistics and Graph

Private 34%
Public 28%
National / Federal Government 26%
State / Provincial Government 2%
City / Local / Regional Government 0%
IGO 21%
Nonprofit and NGO 16%
Unspecified 1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  2012 2014 2016 2018 2020
Private 39% 40% 37% 34% 34%
Public and IGO 39% 30% 42% 33% 49%
Nonprofit and NGO 23% 26% 21% 31% 16%
Unspecified 0% 5% 0% 2% 1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Employers of Class of 2020 MPA/ID Graduates

Asian Development Bank
Central Bank of Chile
Government of Argentina
Government of Brazil
Government of Colombia
Government of India
Government of Japan
Government of Meghalaya, India
Government of Peru
Government of the Republic of Korea
Government of the United Kingdom
Inter-American Development Bank
United Nations Capital Development Fund
U.S. Army
U.S. Department of the Treasury
World Bank

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Bridgespan Group 
IMAGO Global Grassroots 
Oxfam America
Pangea Educational Development Group

Bain & Company
Boston Consulting Group
Dalberg Global Development Advisors
McKinsey & Company
PayPal
Tpock*

*new venture

Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard University

A need to do and a need to serve

Michelle Fakler MPA/ID 2020 wants to marry the individual care of medicine with big-picture health planning.

Master in Public Administration

The two-year Master in Public Administration (MPA) Program equips professionals for positions of significant responsibility in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.

Before coming to HKS, students demonstrate academic distinction, professional accomplishment and promise, graduate-level training, and at least three years of work experience. MPAs have significant latitude in designing their academic experience and take courses in a range of disciplines. Many pursue concurrent degrees in business, law, medicine, design, or another field with our partner institutions, including other schools at Harvard.

 

MPA Class of 2020 Post-HKS Employment by Sector

percentages of graduates working in private, public, IGO, and nonprofit/NGO sectors

Unspecified employment sector is 5 percent. Numbers have been rounded up/down when necessary to help simplify reporting.

 

Employment Sector 10-Year Comparison: 2012 – 2020

graduates by private, public and IGO, and nonprofit and NGO sectors

 

Data Behind the Statistics and Graph

Private 75%
Public 6%
National / Federal Government 6%
State / Provincial Government 0%
City / Local / Regional Government 0%
IGO 3%
Nonprofit and NGO 11%
Unspecified 5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  2012 2014 2016 2018 2020
Private 58% 54% 69% 72% 75%
Public and IGO 16% 27% 15% 16% 9%
Nonprofit and NGO 18% 14% 11% 12% 11%
Unspecified 1% 5% 5% 0% 5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Employers of Class of 2020 MPA Graduates

Government of Bangladesh
Government of Colombia 
Government of France
Government of India
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Waffen und Munition

Korea Federation of SMEs
Lemann Foundation
Paris Peace Forum
Suadela*

*new venture

amyyeewrites.com*
Apple
Bain & Company
CEMEX
Facebook
Macro Advisory Partners
McKinsey & Company
Omidyar Networking 
Tang*
Vagari*
Verde

*new venture

Joseph Biden 2020 Presidential Campaign
Amy McGrath for Senate

Harvard Kennedy School

From Santiago to Cambridge to Paris

For Ingrid Olea MPA 2020, a journey that started with a career change has led to remarkable achievements in education policymaking.

Mid-Career Master in Public Administration

The one-year Mid-Career Master in Public Administration (MC/MPA) Program trains highly accomplished mid-career professionals to learn how to tackle the world’s most complex public challenges.

MC/MPAs hone their skills, redefine their career goals, and pursue specialized interests through a flexible curriculum either at HKS, other Harvard graduate schools, or schools in the Boston area. They come from professions in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors, and many become heads of state, cabinet ministers, military officers, diplomats, journalists, chief executives, and nongovernmental organization directors.

 

MC/MPA Class of 2020 Post-HKS Employment by Sector

percentages of graduates working in private, public, IGO, and nonprofit/NGO sectors

Unspecified employment sector is 11 percent. Numbers have been rounded up/down when necessary to help simplify reporting.

 

Employment Sector 10-Year Comparison: 2012 – 2020

graduates by private, public and IGO, and nonprofit and NGO sectors

 

Data Behind the Statistics and Graph

Private 18%
Public 36%
National / Federal Government 24%
State / Provincial Government 7%
City / Local / Regional Government 5%
IGO 11%
Nonprofit and NGO 24%
Unspecified 11%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  2012 2014 2016 2018 2020
Private 28% 16% 25% 26% 18%
Public and IGO 50% 57% 55% 50% 47%
Nonprofit and NGO 19% 22% 18% 23% 24%
Unspecified 3% 4% 2% 1% 11%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Employers of Class of 2020 MC/MPA Graduates

Central American Bank for Economic Integration
City of New York Police Department
City of New York, NY
City of Somerville, MA
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Government of Chhattisgarh, India
Government of Delhi, India
Government of Gujarat, India
Government of Israel
Government of Malaysia
Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein 
Government of Singapore
Government of South Africa
Government of Spain
Government of Telangana, India
Inter-American Development Bank
International Monetary Fund
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Town of Needham, MA
United Nations Children's Fund
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
United Nations Population Fund
U.S. Agency for International Development
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Army
U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Department of Defense 
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Navy
U.S. Small Business Administration 
World Bank
World Bank Group
World Food Programme 

ACEV
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee 
Bunker Labs
Climate XChange
Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Free Speech for the People
Hungarian Helsinki Committee
IMAGO Global Grassroots
Institute for State Effectiveness
Islamic Research & Training Institute
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation 
Lumiere Health International*
North Shore Community Development Corporation
Open Society Foundations
Open Society Justice Initiative
Oregon Law Center
Schmidt Futures
She Se Puede
Southern California Permanente Medical Group 
The Boston Foundation
The Keller Foundation

*new venture

Amazon
Boston Consulting Group
CEMEX
Dalberg Global Development Advisors
Deloitte
Gold Leaf Capital Partners 
LooWorks*
McKinsey & Company
Motion Picture Association
Netflix
Nintendo of America
Oxford Green Finance Initiative
PerceptIn
Resilia Educação
RIZE Social Media*
Sean Lew, PLLC, Attorney at Law
Sherpa for Development Consulting*
Sony
Speetar*
Tri-PAC.Inc
Xiaomi Corporation

*new venture

Bowdoin College
College of Charleston
Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Arizona
Wesleyan College

Joseph Biden 2020 Presidential Campaign
Pennsylvania Democratic Coordinated Campaign / Biden-Harris Campaign

 

Ben Leuthold MC/MPA 2020 will put new analytical, strategic, and policy skills to work in his career as a U.S. Coast Guard officer.

 

Ariella Barker MC/MPA 2020 has been fighting battles for herself and others since childhood—now she will work where litigation meets policy.

 

Baheirah Khusheim MC/MPA 2020 wants to use her experiences abroad and her HKS education to transform the narrative of Saudi Arabia.

Combined Degrees

The two-year MPP, MPA/ID, and MPA programs allow a combined (joint or concurrent) degree track for students to earn a second graduate degree—an MBA, MD, or JD, for example—from a professional school either at Harvard or at a partner academic institution.

Thirty-one percent of the Class of 2020 graduates earned a combined degree.

 

Class of 2020 Post-HKS Employment Sector Comparison

pie charts showing graduates working in private, public, IGO, and nonprofit/NGO sectors
Data Behind the Graphs

Sole HKS Degree Graduates

Private 34%
Public / IGO 39%
Nonprofit / NGO 23%
Unspecified / Campaign 4%

 

 

 

 

 

Combined Degree Graduates

Private 76%
Public / IGO 5%
Nonprofit / NGO 18%
Unspecified / Campaign 1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Employers of Class of 2020 Graduates Who Earned a Combined Degree

Public Sector and International Governmental Organizations

U.S. District Court for District of Montana
U.S. District Court for District of Rhode Island
U.S. House of Representatives 
State of California 

Nonprofit Sector and Nongovernmental Organizations

Bridgespan Group
East LA Community Corporation
Liberation Ventures*
Massachusetts General Hospital
Mwatana for Human Rights
Native Americans Rights Fund
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Social Finance, Inc.
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Private Sector

Bain & Company
Bank of America
Boston Consulting Group
Capital One
Deepgram
Goldman Sachs
Janji
McKinsey & Company
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Perkins Coie LLP
Policygenius
REX Real Estate
Searchlight Capital

Colleges and Universities

New York University Langone Health
University of California Medical Center
University of Chicago, Medical Center

*new venture

Public Sector and International Governmental Organizations

World Bank

Nonprofit Sector and Nongovernmental Organizations

Environmental Defense Fund

Private Sector

Actis
Bain & Company
Boston Consulting Group
BrightInsight
DataFleets*
F-Prime Capital
Indigo
Kirkland and Ellis
Mila*
Tamr
Zillow

*new venture

Nonprofit Sector and Nongovernmental Organizations

Overdeck Family Foundation
VotER
World Economic Forum

Private Sector

Alvarez & Marsal
Apple
Applie Derivative Research
Bain & Company
Boston Consulting Group
Curriculum Associates
CVS Health
Fidelity Investments
Genentech
Goldman Sachs
Google
Guidehouse
Hackademic, Inc.*
HTS Partners
Innosight 
Jones Day
JUNI Learning
LinkedIn
McGraw Hill Education
McKinsey & Company
Mopi*
Morgan Stanley
Next Billion Ventures
Particles for Humanity
PayPal
Reveri Health
Season Three*
Stirling Square Capital Partners
Tempus Labs, Inc.
TikTok
Vanguard
Venable LLP
Visible Hands*
Wellington Management
Wind Energy Holding
X, The Moonshot Factory (Formerly Google[X])
Center for Intimacy Justice*

*new venture

A Win for Democracy

Demarquin Johnson MPP/JD 2020 sees democratic action as the path to overcoming injustice and protecting voting rights.

Employment Sector Comparisons

Employment Sector 10-Year Comparison: 2012 – 2020

graduates by private, public and IGO, and nonprofit and NGO sectors

 

Data Behind the Graph

  2012 2014 2016 2018 2020
Private 35% 31% 41% 40% 39%
Public and IGO 39% 41% 37% 33% 34%
Nonprofit and NGO 24% 24% 19% 25% 22%
Unspecified 2% 4% 3% 2% 5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data Behind the Graphs

Sector / Year 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020
U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents 33% 36% 35% 27% 30%
International Residents 48% 47% 41% 41% 39%
Total 39% 41% 37% 33% 34%

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Unspecified makes up <5%

Sector / Year 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020
U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents 27% 30% 19% 27% 26%
International Residents 19% 17% 19% 22% 16%
Total 24% 24% 19% 25% 22%

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Unspecified makes up <5%

Sector / Year 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020
U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents 38% 31% 43% 43% 40%
International Residents 30% 31% 39% 36% 38%
Total 35% 31% 41% 40% 39%

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Unspecified makes up <5%

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