fbpx Commencement | Harvard Kennedy School

Monday, May 23 to Thursday, May 26, 2022

Harvard Kennedy School celebrates our graduating students who carry the School’s mission of public service around the globe. Our graduates embody the aspiration that skilled leadership and smart public policy can improve people’s lives.

The 2022 Commencement Week celebrations will be held the week of Monday, May 23 with Commencement Day on Thursday, May 26. 

Additionally, the HKS and Harvard University community are thrilled to welcome the Class of 2020 and 2021 graduates to campus on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29 for their own long-awaited in-person Commencement celebrations. Visit the University's Commencement website and its growing Frequently Asked Questions page for the latest information.

The HKS Commencement team and class marshals are hard at work planning these joyful celebrations. The Class of 2022 and Class of 2020 and 2021 Commencement webpages will be updated regularly as plans take shape—view the schedules for both celebrations below. Graduates will continue to receive email updates about event details and action items.

The HKS community looks forward to celebrating our Class of 2020, 2021, and 2022 graduates in May!

Commencement Week COVID Protocols (May 22–29)

Air travel

  • This Commencement, HKS is asking that you consider buying carbon offsets to mitigate the negative climate and health impacts of air travel if you are flying into Cambridge. The School’s Sustainability Leadership Council has identified three platforms that provide a way to calculate your greenhouse gas emissions impact from air travel and purchase carbon offsets: Atmosfair, Terrapass, and Wren; there are many other ways to offset the climate impacts of your air travel.
    • Harvard University does not endorse any provider of carbon offsets or other vendor.
    • Thank you for supporting sustainability. We are excited to celebrate Commencement with you in person!
  • The Harvard Kennedy School will purchase carbon offsets for the invited speaker of the class of 2022.


  • Harvard uses more than 250 local farmers to supply food for our campuses’ events and community members throughout the year and we select our menus based on seasonal availability to make sure we are able to provide more climate-friendly foods for our community members.
  • The forks, knives, spoons, plates, and napkins at this year’s Commencement are 100% compostable. Please use the green compostable bins to reduce our waste streams.
  • Harvard University Dining Services partners with local nonprofit Food For Free that collects and donates leftover food to distribute to more than 100 food donation programs for the food-insecure.


  • HKS has been working to reduce plastic waste on campus in our operations, limit the amount of plastic that arrives on campus, and collaborate with our vendors to change their purchasing practices to more climate and health-friendly products with less plastic.
  • This year’s Commencement will be the first where HKS will not serve individual plastic bottles for attendees. The recyclable metal water bottle introduced in the cafeteria in November 2021 will be shared out to a limited number of attendees (speakers and those with disabilities) and instead, water stations will provide hydration to attendees during the event. Commencement mealtimes will provide only the recyclable metal water option alongside the water stations.


  • Did you know? Harvard’s campuses are part of a larger, interconnected ecosystem, and the actions we take will have ripple effects through the natural environment. Harvard will protect and enhance the ecosystems and green spaces that our University owns, manages, and impacts, in order to enhance regional biodiversity and personal well-being.
  • The majority of Harvard’s landscaped areas use an organic landscaping program free of pesticides.


  • Did you know? Harvard Commencement is reducing its paper use this year to save trees! We are printing fewer materials and moving more information online to reduce our paper footprint.