THE PACE OF CHANGE IN THE WORLD—in technology, science, and the economy—is rapid, and it can be a challenge for policy to catch up. Nevertheless, it is crucial for public-sector leaders and policymakers to understand these changes and their consequences. This issue of HKS Magazine features stories about change—technological breakthroughs, the difficult evolution of a traditional industry, transitions in government administrations, and new ways of thinking about growth and development.

On the topic of technological advancement, you can read a series of essays by Harvard Kennedy School faculty members and alumni on various aspects of artificial intelligence—from the way AI might influence democracy, to opportunities for its use in sustainable urban development and criminal justice reform, to the implications for human rights.

Technological advances are also at play in the transformation of the news industry. This issue includes a story featuring faculty members who study the importance of bolstering local news as a form of “civic infrastructure,” along with alumni who work for newspapers and radio stations in cities across the United States, contributing to and innovating within the news ecosystem.

Concerning change within government, this issue also looks at Transition Term, a Kennedy School experiential learning program that gives students an opportunity to support mayoral and gubernatorial transition teams across the country and across the ideological spectrum. HKS students came up with the idea five years ago, and the program is growing and going strong.

Zooming out from the local and regional to the international: Our Center for International Development is at the forefront in thinking about how to renew approaches to development in countries across the world during a time of both promise and peril. This magazine includes a profile of the center’s director, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, the Sumitomo-FASID Professor of International Finance and Development, and his work to reimagine international development.

The world will always change, requiring new thinking and energy. Novel threats emerge, as do opportunities. But the people of the Kennedy School always rise to the challenge. I hope you enjoy reading their stories, as I did.


Dean Doug Elmendorf
Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy

Banner image: Dean Doug Elmendorf attends the Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE) showcase in April. Photo by Lydia Rosenberg.