Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), officially the John F. Kennedy School of Government, is the school of public policy and government of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. +more The school offers master's degrees in public policy, public administration, and international development, four doctoral degrees, and many executive education programs. It conducts research in subjects relating to politics, government, international affairs, and economics. As of 2021, HKS had an endowment of $1. 7 billion. The School is a member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), a global consortium of schools that trains leaders in international affairs.

The School's primary campus is located on John F. +more Kennedy Street in Cambridge. The main buildings overlook the Charles River and are southwest of Harvard Yard and Harvard Square, on the site of a former MBTA Red Line trainyard. The School is adjacent to the public riverfront John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

Harvard Kennedy School alumni include 17 heads of state or government, the most of any graduate institution in the world. Alumni also include cabinet officials, military leaders, heads of central banks, and legislators. +more In independent rankings, Harvard Kennedy School routinely ranks at the top of the world's graduate schools in public policy, social policy, international affairs, and government.




Harvard Kennedy School was founded in 1936 with a $2 million gift (equivalent to roughly $30 million in 2010) from Lucius Littauer, an 1878 Harvard University alumnus, businessman, former U. S. +more Congressman, and Harvard's first football coach. The school was originally named the Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration. In 1966, three years following the assassination of former U. S. President and 1940 Harvard College alumnus John F. Kennedy, the school was renamed in Kennedy's honor.

Harvard Kennedy School's shield was designed to express the national purpose of the school and was modeled after the U. S. +more shield. The School drew its initial faculty from Harvard's existing government and economics departments, and welcomed its first students in 1937.

The School's original home was in the Littauer Center, north of Harvard Yard, which is now home to Harvard University's Economics Department. The first students at the Graduate School were called Littauer Fellows, participating in a one-year course listing which later developed into the school's mid-career Master in Public Administration program. +more In the 1960s, the School began to develop its current public policy degree and course curriculum associated with its Master in Public Policy program.

Renaming and move

In 1966, the School was renamed for former President John F. +more Kennedy. By 1978, the faculty, including presidential scholar and adviser Richard Neustadt, foreign policy scholar and later dean of the School Graham Allison, Richard Zeckhauser, and Edith Stokey, consolidated the School's programs and research centers at the present Harvard Kennedy School campus. The first new building opened on the southern half of the former Eliot Shops site in October 1978. Under the terms of Littauer's original grant, the current HKS campus also features a building called Littauer.

In 1966, Harvard Kennedy School founded the Harvard Institute of Politics with Neustadt as its founding director. Harvard Institute of Politics has been housed on the Harvard Kennedy School campus since 1978, and today sponsors and hosts a series of programs, speeches and study groups for Harvard undergraduates and graduate students. +more Along with major Harvard Kennedy School events, the Institute of Politics holds its events are held at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, named in honor of the late John F. Kennedy Jr. in Harvard Kennedy School's Littauer Building.

Campus expansion

In 2012, Harvard Kennedy School announced a $500 million fundraising campaign, $120 million of which was to be used to significantly expand the Harvard Kennedy School campus, adding 91,000 square feet of space including six new classrooms, a new kitchen, and dining facility, offices and meeting spaces, a new student lounge and study space, more collaboration and active learning spaces and a redesigned central courtyard. Groundbreaking commenced on May 7, 2015, and the project was completed in late 2017. +more The new Harvard Kenedy School campus was opened in December 2017.

From 2004 to 2015, Harvard Kennedy School's dean was David T. +more Ellwood, a U. S. Department of Health and Human Services official in the Clinton administration.

In 2015, Douglas Elmendorf, a former director of the U. S. +more Congressional Budget Office, was named both dean of the Harvard Kennedy School and the school's Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy.



Harvard Kennedy School offers four master's degree programs. The two-year Master in Public Policy (MPP) program focuses on policy analysis, economics, management, ethics, statistics and negotiations in the public sector. +more There are three separate Master in Public Administration (MPA) programs: a one-year Mid-Career Program (MC/MPA) intended for professionals who are more than seven years removed from their college graduation; a two-year MPA program intended for professionals who have an additional graduate degree and are more recently out of school; and a two-year international development track (MPA/ID) focused on development studies with a strong emphasis on economics and quantitative analysis.

Members of the mid-career MPA class are Mason Fellows, who are public and private executives from developing countries. Mason Fellows typically constitute about 50 percent of the incoming class of Mid-Career MPA candidates. +more The Mason cohort is the most diverse at Harvard in terms of nationalities and ethnicities represented. It is named after Edward Sagendorph Mason, the former Harvard professor who, from 1947 to 1958, was dean of Harvard's Graduate School of Public Administration, now known as Harvard Kennedy School.

In addition to the master's programs, Harvard Kennedy School administers four doctoral programs. Ph. +moreD. degrees are awarded in political economy and government in conjunction with Harvard University's departments of economics and government in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), in public policy and social policy in conjunction with Harvard's departments of government and sociology, and in health policy in conjunction with FAS and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Joint and concurrent degrees

Harvard Kennedy School has a number of joint and concurrent degree programs within Harvard and with other leading universities, which allow students to receive multiple degrees in a reduced period of time. Joint and current students spend at least one year in residence in Cambridge taking courses. +more Harvard Kennedy School joint degree programs are run with Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Graduate School of Design, and concurrent programs are offered with Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Medical School.

Beyond Harvard, HKS has concurrent degree arrangements with other law, business, and medical schools, including the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the MIT Sloan School of Management, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia Law School, Duke University School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, New York University School of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, Stanford Law School, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, University of Michigan Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Yale Law School, and UCSF Medical Center.

Abroad, Harvard Kennedy School offers a dual degree with the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

HKS courses

Harvard Kennedy School maintains six academic divisions each headed by a faculty chair. In addition to offerings in the Harvard Kennedy School course listing, students are eligible to cross-register for courses at the other graduate and professional schools at Harvard and at the MIT Sloan School of Management, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. +more MPP coursework is focused on one of five areas, called a Policy Area of Concentration (PAC), and includes a year-long research seminar in their second year, which includes a master's thesis called a Policy Analysis Exercise.


Harvard Kennedy School has routinely ranked as the best, or among the best, of the world's public policy graduate schools. +moreS. _News_&_World_Report'>U. S. News & World Report ranks it the best graduate school for social policy, the best for health policy, and second best for public policy analysis. In 2015 rankings, Kennedy School is ranked first in the subcategory of health policy and second in the category of public policy analysis and social policy.

Kennedy's School's foreign affairs programs have consistently ranked at the top or near the top of Foreign Policy magazine's Inside the Ivory Tower survey, which lists the world's top twenty academic international relations programs at the undergraduate, Master's, and Ph. D. +more levels. In 2012, for example, the survey ranked Kennedy School first overall for doctoral and undergraduate programs and third overall in the Master's category.

Student organizations

Harvard Kennedy School maintains a range of student activities, including interest-driven student caucuses, the student government (Kennedy School Student Government, known as KSSG), student-edited policy journals including Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, Kennedy School Review, the Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy, a student newspaper (The Citizen), and a number of student athletic groups.

Students can join the Harvard Graduate Council, which is the centralized student government for the twelve graduate and professional schools of Harvard University. The Harvard Graduate Council is responsible for advocating student concerns to central administrators, including the president of Harvard University, provost, deans of students, and deans for the nearly 15,000 graduate and professional students across the twelve schools, organizing large university-wide initiatives and events, administering and providing funding for university-wide student groups, and representing the Harvard graduate student population to other universities and external organizations. +more Harvard Graduate Council is known for spearheading the "One Harvard" movement, which aims to bring all of Harvard's graduate schools together through closer collaboration and social interaction.


Harvard Kennedy School is home to 14 centers, including:

* Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation * Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs * Carr Center for Human Rights Policy * Center for International Development * Center for Public Leadership * Institute of Politics * Edmond J. +more Safra Foundation Center for Ethics * Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy * Mossavar Rahmani Center for Business and Government * Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston * Taubman Center for State and Local Government * Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy * Joint Center for Housing Studies * Women and Public Policy Program.

The majority of centers offer research and academic fellowships through which fellows can engage in research projects, lead study groups into specific topics and share their experiences with industry and government with the student body. Under Dean Elmendorf, the school has tried to focus its engagement across the political spectrum, which has caused controversy at times. +more Recently, the school came under criticism for offering a fellowship to Chelsea Manning on September 13, 2017. It then publicly rescinded the offer on September 15, 2017, after CIA director Mike Pompeo canceled a speaking engagement at Harvard and sent a letter condemning the university for awarding the fellowship.

A 2021 investigative report by student group Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard found that many of the center's climate initiatives were funded in part by fossil fuel companies, and that some of the centers had allegedly taken several steps to cover up that fact.


The Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Public Service is awarded to "a graduating student whose commitment, activities, and contributions to public service are extraordinary". +more Several other awards are also awarded on "Class Day" at the end of May each year.

Notable alumni

Harvard Kennedy School has over 63,000 alumni, many of whom have gone on to notable careers in government, business, public policy, and other fields, including:

Government and politics

Heads of government and state

Pierre Trudeau (MA '45) - former prime minister of Canada * Miguel de la Madrid (MPA '65) - former president of Mexico * Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (MPA '71) - President of Liberia, Nobel Peace Prize laureate * Carlos Salinas de Gortari (MPA '73, PhD '76) - former president of Mexico * Lee Hsien Loong (MPA '80) - Prime Minister of Singapore * Juan Manuel Santos (MPA '81) - President of Colombia, Nobel Peace Prize laureate * Donald Tsang (MPA '82) - Hong Kong Chief Executive * Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé (MPA '88) - former president of Bolivia * Jamil Mahuad Witt (MPA '89) - former president of Ecuador * José María Figueres Olsen (MPA '91) - former president of Costa Rica, CEO of the World Economic Forum * John Haglelgam (MPA '93) former president of the Federated States of Micronesia * Abdiweli Gaas (MPA '99) - former prime minister of Somalia * Felipe Calderón (MPA '00) - former president of Mexico * Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (MPA '02) - former president of Mongolia * Tshering Tobgay (MPA '04) - Prime Minister of Bhutan * Morgan Tsvangirai ('02) - Prime Minister of Zimbabwe * Frederick Sumaye (MPA '07) former prime minister of Tanzania * Maia Sandu (MPA '10) former prime minister of Moldova, current president of Moldova


Rizwan Ahmed (MPA) - Maritime Secretary of Pakistan * Yam Ah Mee (MPA '91) - Chief Executive Director of People's Association, Singapore * Bob Anthony (MPA) - Republican politician from the +more_state'>U. S. state of Oklahoma * Ami Ayalon (MPA '92) - member, Israeli Knesset *Tariq Bajwa (MPA) - former Finance Secretary of Pakistan * Ed Balls (MPA '90) - former British Member of the Parliament, and Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer * Nisrin Barwari (MPA '99) - Minister of Municipalities and Public Works of Iraq * Doug Bereuter (MPA '73) - former U. S. Congressman, Nebraska * Charles Blanchard (MPP '85) - General Counsel of the Army 1999-2001, General Counsel of the Air Force 2009-2013 * J. Richard Blankenship (MPA '08) - former U. S. Ambassador to The Bahamas * André Boisclair (MPA '05) - former leader of Parti Québécois, former Quebec Minister of Citizenship and Immigration * Nick Boles (MPP '89) - former director of Policy Exchange and former Member of Parliament for Grantham and Stamford (United Kingdom). * Emilia Boncodin (MPA '86) - Secretary of the Philippine Department of Budget and Management in the Philippines * Brendan Boyle (MPP '05) - member, U. S. House of Representatives, 13th District of Pennsylvania * David A. Bray (Exec '11) - recipient of the Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership for lifelong public service * Anna Escobedo Cabral (MPA '90) - former U. S. Treasurer * Piper Campbell (MPA '99) - American diplomat, currently serves as the 9th U. S. Ambassador to Mongolia * Robert Castelli (MPA '96) - member, New York State Assembly, 89th District * Rajkumar Chellaraj (MPA '86) - former Assistant Secretary of State for Administration, United States Department of State * Frank Chikane (MPA '95) - member, African National Congress; South African adviser to the President * Aneesh Chopra (MPP '97) - U. S. Chief Technology Officer under President Barack Obama * Albert Chua (MPA '00) - former Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations * Henry Cisneros (MPA '73) - former U. S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development * Jacqueline Y. Collins (MPA '01) - Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 16th district since 2003 * Gerry Connolly (MPA '79) - member, U. S. House of Representatives, 11th District of Virginia * Dan Crenshaw (MPA '17) - United States House of Representatives * David Cunliffe (MPA '95) - Leader of the Opposition, Parliament of New Zealand * Joseph Curtatone (MPA '11) - mayor, Somerville, Massachusetts * Mark Daly (MPA, '11) - Irish Senator * Božidar Đelić (MPA '91) - Vice-president of Serbia, former Minister of Finance * Stephen Donnelly (MPA '08) - Irish Teachta Dála (Member of Parliament) for the Wicklow constituency * Shaun Donovan (MPA '95) - U. S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development * Theodore L. Eliot Jr. (MPA '56) - former U. S. Ambassador to Afghanistan * Benjamin Fernandes (Exec. Ed'17) - Tanzanian entrepreneur * John Fetterman (MPP '99) - Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania (2019-present) * Roy Folkman (MPA '13) - member, Israeli Knesset * Fernando Martín García (MPP '74) - Puerto Rican politician and former Senator * Marilinda Garcia (MPA '10) - member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives * Robert S. Gelbard (MPA '79) - former U. S. Ambassador to Indonesia and Bolivia * Hector Gramajo (MPA '95) - former Defense Minister of Guatemala * Alan Grayson (MPP '83) - member, U. S. House of Representatives, 8th District of Florida * Katherine Harris (MPA '97) - member, U. S. House of Representatives, 13th District of Florida; former Florida Secretary of State * Yoshimasa Hayashi (MPA '94) - former Minister of Defense, former Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy, Japan * Liu He (MPA '95) - Vice Premier of China * Teo Chee Hean (MPA '86) - Senior Minister, Co-ordinating Minister for National Security of Singapore * Keith Hennessey (MPP '94) - former director, White House National Economic Council * Paul Heroux, (MPA '11) Mayor, Attleboro, Massachusetts; former State Representative from Massachusetts * Brian Higgins (MPA '96) - member, U. S. House of Representatives, 27th District of New York * Stephen Horn (MPA '55) - former U. S. Congressman, California * Rafael Hui (MPA '83) - former Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong * Muhammad bin Ibrahim (MPA '93) - 8th Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia * Natalie Jaresko (MPP '89) - former Minister of Finance in Ukraine * Vuk Jeremić (MPA '03) - 2012 President of the United Nations General Assembly; former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia * Ajay Narayan Jha - IAS officer and Expenditure Secretary of India. * Daniel J. Jones, lead investigator for "The Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program," which is better known as "The Torture Report. " Jones is portrayed by Adam Driver in the film The Report. * Shane Jones (MPA '91) - member, Parliament of New Zealand, and chair of finance committee * Mitzi Johnson (MPA '13) - Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives * Lim Hng Kiang (MPA '85) - Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore; member of the Cabinet of Singapore * Ban Ki-moon (MPA '84) - United Nations Secretary General * Raymond W. Kelly (MPA '84) - New York City Police Commissioner * Rajive Kumar (MPA) - IAS officer and Chief Secretary of Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. * Jim Langevin (MPA '94) - member, U. S. House of Representatives, 2nd District of Rhode Island * Andrew Leigh (PhD '04) - member, Australian House of Representatives * Mark D. Levine (MPP '95) - member, New York City Council, 7th District * Stephen F. Lynch (MPA '99) - member, U. S. House of Representatives, 9th District of Massachusetts * Dan Maffei (MPP '95) - member, U. S. House of Representatives, 25th District of New York * Nabiel Makarim (MPA '84) - former Minister of the Environment of the Republic of Indonesia * Mark McClellan (MPA '91) - former Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration * Sanjay Mitra (MPA) - IAS officer and Defence Secretary of India. * Nripendra Misra (MPA) - Retired IAS officer and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi from 2014 to 2019. * Jim Moody (MPA '67) - former U. S. Congressman, Wisconsin * Toshimitsu Motegi (MPP '83) - Financial Services Minister of Japan * Elias Mudzuri (MPA ) - former Mayor of Harare * George Muñoz (MPP '78) - former CFO of the U. S. Department of Treasury; former president and CEO of OPIC * Charles A. Murphy, (MPA '02) - member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee * Andrew Natsios (MPA '79) former U. S. Special Envoy to Sudan, and administrator of U. S.


Ayisha Osori - former CEO, Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund * Lester R. +more Brown (MPA '62) - founder and President of the Earth Policy Institute * Rick Doblin (PhD '01) - Founder and Executive Director, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) * Robert Kagan (MPP '91) - co-founder, Project for a New American Century * Nancy LeaMond (MPP '74) - Executive Vice President, AARP * Giovanna Negretti (MPA '05) - co-founder and executive director of ¿Oiste? * Michelle Rhee (MPP '97) - founder of The New Teacher Project; Chancellor of the Washington, D. C. public school system * Bryan Stevenson (MPP '85) - founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and author of Just Mercy * Ramaswami Balasubramaniam (MPA'10) - Founder & President, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement.


John C. +more Acton (Exec '05) - retired United States Coast Guard rear admiral who serves as the Director of Operations Coordination for DHS * John R. Allen Jr. (Exec '85) - retired United States Air Force brigadier general and highly decorated command pilot * William J. Begert (Exec '95) - served as commander, Pacific Air Forces, and Air Component Commander for the Commander, United States Pacific Command * Franklin J. Blaisdell (Exec) - U. S. Air Force Major General * Sally Brice-O'Hara (MPA '93) - 27th Vice Commandant of the United States Coast Guard * Dan Crenshaw (MPA '17) - medically retired United States Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander * Peter V. Neffenger (MPA '95) - 29th Vice Commandant of the United States Coast Guard and former Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration * Michael E. Fortney (Exec '11) - U. S. Air Force Brigadier General * Jeffrey Fowler (MPA '90) - United States Navy, Vice Admiral; Superintendent, United States Naval Academy * John C. Harvey (MPA '88) - United States Navy, Admiral; Commander, U. S. Fleet Forces Command * Robert C. Hinson (Exec) - U. S. Air Force Lieutenant General * William E. Ingram Jr. (Exec '02) - U. S. Army Lieutenant General and Director of the Army National Guard * Richard C. Johnston (Exec) - U. S. Air Force Brigadier General * Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr. (MPA '80) - United States Army, Lt. Col. ; author of The Army and Vietnam * Rick Linnehan (MPA '09) - astronaut * Christopher Loria (MPA '04) - astronaut * Robert W. Parker (Exec '91) - U. S. Air Force Major General * Timothy S. Sullivan (Exec) - U. S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral * Guy C. Swan III (MPA '86) - U. S. Army Major General, Commanding General of the Military District of Washington * Jack Weinstein (Exec '06) - U. S. Air Force Major General.


William Alonso (MPP '56) - economist, former director of Harvard Center for Population Studies * Lawrence S. +more Bacow (MPP '76, PhD '76) - president, Harvard University, President of Tufts University, and Chancellor of MIT * Steve Charnovitz (MPP '83) - associate professor, George Washington University * Ronald A. Heifetz (MPA '83) - co-founder, Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University * Stephen Horn (MPA '55) - former president of California State University, Long Beach * Ira Jackson (MPA '86) - dean, Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University * Nancy Koehn (MPP) - historian; professor, Harvard Business School; author * Mark Lilla (MPP '80) - professor, Columbia University * Hollis Robbins (MPP '90) - dean, Sonoma State University * Stephen Joel Trachtenberg (MPA '66) - former president, George Washington University * William E. Trueheart (MPA '73) - former president, Bryant University * Jonathan Zittrain (MPA '95) - professor, Harvard Law School; co-founder Berkman Center at Harvard.

* Mark Schuster (MPP '88) - dean and founding CEO, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine


Komla Dumor (MPA,'03) - television news presenter, BBC World News and Africa Business Report * +more_Kleiman'>Mark A. R. Kleiman (MPP, PhD '85) - author * Kevin Corke (MPA '04) - White House Correspondent, Fox News * Caroline Glick (MPP '00) - deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post * Kaj Larsen (MPP '07) - former U. S. Navy SEAL, journalist for Vice News * Dambisa Moyo (MPA '07) - economist and New York Times best-selling author * Bill O'Reilly (MPA '96) - political commentator * Malik Siraj Akbar (MPA, '16) - editor-in-chief of The Baloch Hal, exiled Pakistani journalist * Andrew Sullivan (MPA, PhD '90) - journalist, The Atlantic * Wajahat Saeed Khan - Pakistani journalist for Dunya News & NBC News.


Rune Bjerke (MPA '97) - CEO, DNB ASA * Gregory C. +more Carr (MPP '86) - founder, Boston Technology * Leonard S. Coleman Jr. (MPA '75) - former president of the National League * Debra L. Lee (MPP '80) - President and CEO, Black Entertainment Television * Daniel Mudd (MPA '86) - former president and CEO of U. S. Fannie Mae * Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg (MPA '71) - founder, President, CEO of Strategic Investment Group * Greg Rosenbaum (MPP '77) - CEO, Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. * Peter Sands (MPA '88) - Group CEO, Standard Chartered * Klaus Schwab (MPA '67) - founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum * Faryar Shirzad (MPP '89) - managing director, Goldman Sachs, former U. S. Deputy National Security Advisor * Chris Voss - adjunct professor at McDonough School of Business.


William Butler (MPA '17) - musician and composer, Arcade Fire * Ashley Judd (MPA '10) - Actress, activist * Hill Harper (MPA '92) - Actor * Thor Steingraber (MPA '09) - Opera Director * Damian Woetzel (MPA '07) - former Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet


Donald Heathfield (real name: Andrey Bezrukov) (MPA '00) - KGB and SVR operative until his disclosure in the United States in 2010.