IN THE 2016–2017 ACADEMIC YEAR, Dean Doug Elmendorf launched a signature series of faculty conversations to provide the Kennedy School community with opportunities to gather, learn, and discuss important issues, grounded in expertise. The motivation at that time was that, as a new dean, Elmendorf heard from students that they craved a chance to discuss current pressing issues outside the classroom, and to learn from faculty experts whom they might not have in class. It has been going every semester since. Each event features short presentations from a panel of HKS faculty members, followed by ample time for questions and comments from the Kennedy School community audience. For the past few years, each semester has featured three or four “Dean’s Discussions” on prominent issues organized around a broad thematic umbrella—from challenges to democracy to the ramifications of COVID-19 to Russia’s war on Ukraine and more.

Sarah Wald—adjunct lecturer in public policy, senior policy advisor, and chief of staff—moderates the conversations and Elmendorf provides opening remarks. The fall 2023 Dean’s Discussions, under the theme of “navigating a rapidly changing world,” focused on three topics: Climate and energy, China’s role in the world, and artificial intelligence.

Dean’s Discussions: Fall 2023

Photos by Martha Stewart, Natalie Montaner, Lydia Rosenberg, Winston Tang, Jessica Scranton, Rose Lincoln