HKS Places Three Research Centers on List of Top University Think Tanks

February 3, 2016
by Doug Gavel

Harvard Kennedy School is well represented among the ranks of the best think tanks in the world. The Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Center for International Development (CID) rank one and two on the list of top university think tanks in the latest edition of the Global Go To Think Tank Index. The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation is ranked 32nd. The Index is produced each year by James McGann, director of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute. 

 “The Belfer Center’s most important work is training tomorrow’s leaders and advancing policy-relevant knowledge at the interface of science, technology, and international affairs for a more secure, peaceful world,” said Belfer Center Director Graham Allison. “We are humbled and gratified to be recognized by our peers as a leader in creating exceptional scholarship and meaningful policy impact.”

“We are extremely proud to be ranked the #2 university affiliated think tank in the world, particularly given our modest size and limited resources when compared to some of the institutions on the index,” said Ricardo Hausmann, director of the Center for International Development. “This honor will only drive our dedicated team of faculty, fellows and staff to continue working on the development challenges facing citizens and governments across the globe.”

“We are honored to be included among the very best university-affiliated think tanks in the world, and could not be more proud of the Ash Center’s work in meeting the profound challenges facing the world’s citizens,” said Anthony Saich, faculty director of the Ash Center.

The objective of the index, said McGann, is “to gain a better understanding of the role think tanks play in governments and civil societies. Using this knowledge, we hope to help enhance the quality, capacity and performance of think tanks around the world.”

The 2015 report ranked thousands of organizations around the world in dozens of categories with input from over 4,600 faculty and administrators, journalists, policymakers, think tank scholars and executives, and donors. 

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

“We are humbled and gratified to be recognized by our peers as a leader in creating exceptional scholarship and meaningful policy impact.” --Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center


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