Three HKS centers ranked among world's best university-affiliated research centers

February 3, 2017
by Doug Gavel

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Center for International Development (CID) are ranked atop the best university-affiliated research centers in the world.

The rankings appear in the latest edition of the Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, produced annually for the past decade by James McGann, director of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute. The goal of the Index, he said, “is to increase the profile and performance of think tanks and raise the public awareness of the important role think tanks play in governments and civil societies around the globe.”

The Belfer Center ranks number one among all university-affiliated think tanks, while CID ranks number two in this year’s listing. The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation appears twice: it is named one of the Top Transparency and Good Governance Think Tanks, and also appears on the list of best university-affiliated research centers. 

McGann noted that the 2016 rankings were determined with input from more than 2,500 university faculty and administrators, journalists, policymakers, think tank scholars and executives, and donors from every region of the world. More than 900 functional area and regional specialists served as expert panelists and provided valuable insights and assistance in compiling the report, which catalogued nearly 7,000 think tanks worldwide.

“We are honored to be recognized by our peers for continued excellence in advancing policy relevant knowledge and training the next generation of leaders,” said Belfer Center Director Graham Allison. “Our influence for good depends mightily on the insight and commitment of our staff, scholars, and students who work every day for a more secure, peaceful world.”

"We are honored to be selected once again by our peers as one of the top think tanks in the world. While we do not have the same resources as many of the other institutions featured in the index, we are proud to see that the work done by our team of researchers and staff is having a relevant impact on the development dialogue," said Ricardo Hausmann, director of the Center for International Development. 

“It’s an honor for Ash to again be recognized for the quality of its scholarship and impact of its research," said Ash Center director Anthony Saich.

The Belfer Center’s programs and projects address critical issues relating to cybersecurity, nuclear proliferation and terrorism, and relationships with Russia, China, and the Middle East, as well as challenges surrounding energy and climate change. CID focuses its work on resolving the dilemmas of public policy associated with generating stable, shared, and sustainable prosperity in developing countries. Its programmatic activities include Building State Capacity, Evidence for Policy Design, and the Growth Lab. The Ash Center seeks to advance excellence and innovation in governance and public policy through research, education, and public discussion.

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