WITH THE START OF A NEW SEMESTER comes new activity on campus. Our buildings are full of students, faculty, staff, and fellows engaged in a host of endeavors—taking classes and attending events, conducting research, gaining new experiences.
The work of the Kennedy School, one of Harvard’s professional schools, has a real connection with practice. And the hands-on nature of what we do at the school lends itself to experimentation and innovation. This issue of Harvard Kennedy School Magazine explores the idea of “policy labs”—initiatives that embrace this experimental approach. Our Growth Lab, led by Ricardo Hausmann, Rafik Hariri Professor of the Practice of International Political Economy, uses data visualization to present and understand economic growth in societies around the world. And our Public Interest Technology Lab, led by Latanya Sweeney, Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and Technology, investigates how technology can help rather than harm societies. These two labs join a host of other activities at the school that put innovation and experimentation at the fore.
Our practical approach at the Kennedy School also means that we seek solutions, and we take on the most significant public issues facing societies around the world. In a series of short essays in this magazine, Kennedy School scholars examine policy topics that concern China—a country whose role as a global power has grown significantly. From trade to geopolitics to energy policy, our scholars share their expertise.
Our alumni also lead the charge in facing the world’s big issues. Among others, we feature stories about Suparna Gupta MC/MPA 2013, who is improving institutional care for vulnerable children in India; Claire Henly MPP 2021, who, as a White House Fellow, has been tackling climate change; and Andrey Liscovich PhD 2015, who returned to his native Ukraine to fundraise and coordinate relief efforts during the Russian invasion (you can also get a snapshot of our faculty members’ insights on the Ukraine war in this magazine).
Our alumni—and our faculty, staff, fellows, and students—are distinguished by the way they respond to the big issues in the world. Through grit, curiosity, and a willingness to experiment and to go where the problem is, the Kennedy School makes a difference when and where it matters.
I hope you enjoy reading this issue of Harvard Kennedy School Magazine.
Dean Doug Elmendorf
Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy
Top image: Dean Doug Elmendorf speaking at the 2022 Global Empowerment Meeting, co-hosted by the Center for International Development and the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy.