Through her leadership, Drew Faust, president and Lincoln Professor of History, has made Harvard more unified, welcoming, and inclusive. She has inspired Harvard Kennedy School to become a more powerful force for good in the world.

We are grateful for President Faust’s deep commitment to public service and belief in the power of Harvard to change the world for the better. She has galvanized all of us at HKS in our mission to promote principled and effective public leadership. And she has spurred us to listen to John F. Kennedy’s call to “ask what you can do” and to answer that call with new ideas and action.

We join the Harvard community in offering our gratitude to President Faust, and we reflect on some of her priorities and accomplishments during her 11-year tenure as president.

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President Faust has championed public service and leadership and has inspired us to serve our communities more effectively.

“For more than a decade, President Faust has led Harvard with a clear-eyed view of the University’s challenges and opportunities, and she has pushed all of us to take on those challenges and make the most of those opportunities. In particular, she has an unshakeable conviction that Harvard can and must help to make a better world for everyone. She has guided and inspired all of us at the Kennedy School and across Harvard to pursue that cause with our minds and our hearts. We are indebted to her for her remarkable leadership.”

—Douglas Elmendorf, dean and Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy
Campus transformation celebration | December 1, 2017

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“To ask what you can do is a deceptively simple question. It calls us up not to join any grand plan but to challenge and lead ourselves from within.”

—Drew Faust
Ideasphere, Campaign for Harvard Kennedy School | May 15, 2014

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“My deepest thanks—now and always—go to the many Harvard students and alumni who have answered the call to serve in the military. Across time and space, they have given generously of themselves on our behalf, and they deserve our respect, our admiration, and our gratitude. … In an increasingly complex world, we will need leaders in wartime and in peacetime who are educated broadly in the arts and sciences, leaders who can combine knowledge and wisdom with action.”

—Drew Faust
Signing of ROTC agreement between Harvard University and United States Air Force | April 22, 2016


President Faust has supported Harvard Kennedy School’s efforts to improve democracy and governance for people in the United States and around the world.

“We are committed to education and learning as vehicles for human betterment and as essential foundations for democratic government.”

—Drew Faust
Convocation for the Class of 2021

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“At a time when reasoned public policy has never mattered more, and when it has perhaps never faced such profound challenges, we are here to mark a new era for a school that champions reasoned debate and informed governing.”

—Drew Faust
Campus transformation celebration | December 1, 2017


President Faust has challenged us to become a more diverse and inclusive community.

“At its best, life at Harvard is transformative for the people who are here, because they experience new ideas, encounter people with different perspectives and experiences, and become members of communities of learning and exploration. … Exposing oneself to these possibilities for personal transformation requires courage and vulnerability. Only people who feel that they belong here, that they are at home, will be able to take full advantage of these opportunities to develop and flourish.”

—Archon Fung, academic dean and Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professorship of Citizenship and Self-Government
Gazette article on the Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging | September 28, 2016

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“Harvard’s commitment to excellence is deeply connected to our efforts to attract students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and perspectives. Exposure to difference fosters creativity, challenges settled assumptions, and helps make possible the advancement of knowledge central to our educational mission. Equally important is our responsibility to provide access and opportunities for talented individuals from all parts of our society.”

—Drew Faust
Inclusion and Belonging Task Force | September 28, 2016


President Faust has galvanized Harvard Kennedy School students and faculty to seek innovative and collaborative solutions to public problems.

“Your aspirations are so exciting because they are bold, they are risk-taking, and they are devoted to imagining the world a better place—fairer, healthier, safer. It is so inspiring to see what you are trying to accomplish, for young children, for people who have found themselves in financial distress, for women who need health care, for a whole range of different problems that we’ve seen addressed in these proposals.”

—Drew Faust
Gazette article on President’s Innovation Challenge | May 10, 2017

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“This is a place that aspires to reach across disciplines, to reach across boundaries, to connect the world of scholarship with the world of practice.”

—David Ellwood, Isabelle and Scott Black Professor of Political Economy
Campus transformation groundbreaking | May 7, 2015


President Faust has inspired us to create a more sustainable Harvard Kennedy School campus and to continue to advance sustainability through our research.

“The [Harvard Kennedy School campus transformation] project has been an unparalleled opportunity for HKS to ‘walk the talk’ of its research and teaching on sustainable development.”

—Bill Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development
HKS Magazine | Winter 2018

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“Climate change poses a serious threat to the future of our planet. Universities have a critical role to play in generating innovations that will lead the transition to clean, affordable, and renewable energy sources, and Harvard is committed to advancing such efforts as we continue to serve as a model of sustainability for institutions around the world.”

—Drew Faust
Climate Change Solutions Fund | February 11, 2015