HKS Alumni in the Field: Fighting Injustice, Creating Opportunity, Saving Lives

November 3, 2014

Alumni from Harvard Kennedy School are engaged in important work to help solve public problems across a range of sectors in more than 100 countries. From rural India to rural Indiana, our alumni are driving positive change in elective office, national and international administrative positions, non-profit agencies, non-governmental organizations, and in the private sector. Much of their work has garnered coverage from top media outlets, including these in recent months:
40 Under 40: John Serafini of Allied Minds
John Serafini MPA 2007 is featured in the Boston Business Journal.
John Serafini grew up in Wellesley and went to Milton Academy for high school. But instead of going to an Ivy League school like his classmates, Serafini opted for something different: the military.
"I was looking to do something different than my classmates at Milton," he said...
After six years in the military, Serafini decided to pursue a joint degree from the Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. It was the best of both worlds for Serafini, who always had his mind on the profit-making business side and the "how do you save the world?" side. Read More
When Whites Just Don’t Get It, Part 3
Bryan Stevenson MPP/JD 1985 is profiled in The New York Times.
SOME white Americans may be surprised to hear Archbishop Desmond Tutu describe Bryan Stevenson, an African-American lawyer fighting for racial justice, as “America’s young Nelson Mandela.”...
Even after remarkable gains in civil rights, including the election of a black president, the United States remains a profoundly unequal society — and nowhere is justice more elusive than in our justice system....
This inequity is embedded in our law enforcement and criminal justice system, and that is why Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela. For decades he has fought judges, prosecutors and police on behalf of those who are impoverished, black or both. Read More
A Start-Up Helps Towns Market Their Property
The work of Cristina Garmendia MPP 2013 and Alexander Kapur MPP 2013 is profiled in The New York Times.
Two public policy graduates at the Kennedy School at Harvard University are trying to build a business of helping municipalities with a task at which they are notoriously deficient: managing and marketing their real estate portfolios.
…The developers, Cristina Garmendia and Alexander Kapur, say their 2013 master’s thesis spawned the business, which is nearing the end of its incubation phase at the Harvard Innovation Lab. The mission of OpportunitySpace, they say, is threefold. Read More
Jailed Venezuelan activist gets Harvard award
Leopoldo Lopez MPP 1996, winner of the HKS Alumni Achievement Award, is featured in The Boston Globe.
CAMBRIDGE — When the Venezuelan government called for the arrest of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, he knew he had a choice to make: He could flee, he could hide, or he could turn himself in peacefully and be jailed for leading protests against what he calls corrupt and dictatorial leadership. …
Three months after Lopez, 43, was jailed in a military prison outside of Caracas called Ramo Verde, he became the first person to receive the Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Achievement Award in absentia. The award, instituted in 1997, recognizes alumni who have “significantly improved the human condition.” Read More
MIT team develops device to improve eye care for poor
The work of Ifran Alam MPA 2014 and his team is featured in The Boston Globe.
A Harvard University group is proposing a way to make health screenings more accessible to the poor residents of India’s cities.
They have designed a pedicab-like medical cart that will carry medical tools such as blood pressure monitors and blood test kits to check sugar, cholesterol, and provide other basic health services….
Irfan Alam, a student at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a member of the five-person team, said the group’s business plan has three options for supporting the carts: Indian government funding, advertising by pharmaceutical companies, or low-cost memberships.
“If we win, it means changing the world for us,” Alam said. “It means getting the opportunity to save lives.” Read More
The 'fearless' speech writer behind Obama's State of Union address
Cody Keenan MPP 2008 is profiled by Reuters.
Six days before the State of the Union address, Cody Keenan posted on the photo-sharing site Instagram a blurred image of a speech draft with President Barack Obama's notes in the margins. He ended the post with "#SpoilerAlert #InsideSOTU-Cody." …
"Our jobs are remarkably like graduate school," Keenan said in the Kennedy School interview. "You get a paper assignment, you might pull an all-nighter or come in really early to finish, and you hand it in and then you get his marks back and find out whether (the President) likes it or not." Read More
All-seeing eye: the throwable camera that could save victims' lives
The work of Francisco Aguilar MPP 2012 is profiled on CNN.com.
On Tuesday, January 12 2010, the world watched in horror as Haiti was struck by a catastrophic earthquake. At least 100,000 people lost their lives in the devastation. In the aftermath, many people around the world sent financial aid to help support survivors. But one young entrepreneur was so affected by the tragedy that he sat down at his desk to try to lend his professional skills to future relief efforts.
Having watched the disaster unfold on TV, Francisco Aguilar, a graduate from MIT Sloan and the Harvard Kennedy School, began working on a tool that could be used to help in emergency response situations around the world. Read More

John Serafini MPA 2007

John Serafini MPA 2007

Bryan Stevenson MPP/JD 1985

Bryan Stevenson MPP/JD 1985

 


John F. Kennedy School of Government 79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-495-1100 Get Directions Visit Contact Page