John F. Kennedy School of Government
This article relies largely on primary sources published by Harvard University or its affiliates having vested interests in the subject. (October 2017)
|Motto||Ask what you can do|
|Endowment||$1.2 billion (June 2015)|
|Location||Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States|
The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (also known as Harvard Kennedy School and HKS) is a public policy and public administration school, of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The school offers master's degrees in public policy, public administration, and international development, grants several doctoral degrees, and many executive education programs. It conducts research in subjects relating to politics, government, international affairs, and economics. It has close ties to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The School's primary campus is located on John F. Kennedy Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The main buildings overlook the Charles River, 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.
In 2015, Douglas Elmendorf, the former director of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office who had previously served as a Harvard faculty member, was named Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School and Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy. From 2004 to 2015, the School's Dean was David Ellwood, who was also the Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy at HKS. Previously, Ellwood was an assistant secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton Administration.
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 3 Rankings
- 4 Student life
- 5 Centers
- 6 Ties to the CIA
- 7 Notable faculty
- 8 Notable alumni
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Graduate School of Public Administration
Harvard Kennedy School was originally the Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration (GSPA), and was founded in 1936 with a $2 million gift (equivalent to ~$30 million in 2010) from Lucius N. Littauer, a graduate of Harvard College. Its shield was designed to express the national purpose of the school and was modeled after the U.S. 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, now the home of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Economics Department. The first students at the Graduate School were so-called "Littauer Fellows," participating in a one-year course listing which later developed into the school's mid-career Master in Public Administration program. In the 1960s, the School began to develop today's public policy degree and course curriculum in the Master in Public Policy program.
Renaming and move
In 1966, the School was renamed for President John F. Kennedy. By 1978, the faculty—notably presidential scholar and adviser Richard Neustadt, foreign policy scholar and later dean of the School Graham Allison, Richard Zeckhauser, and Edith Stokey—had orchestrated the consolidation of the School's programs and research centers in the present campus. Under the terms of Littauer's original grant, the current HKS campus also features a building called Littauer.
In addition to playing a critical role in the development of the School's modern era, Neustadt, who at the time served as the Assistant Dean, was also the founding Director of the Harvard Institute of Politics (IOP), created in 1966 in honor of President Kennedy. The IOP has been housed on the Kennedy School campus since 1978, and today the Institute puts on a series of programs, speeches and study groups for Harvard undergraduates and graduate students. The John F. Kennedy, Jr. Forum in the new Littauer building is both the site of IOP forum events as well as a major social gathering place between HKS courses.
In 2012 the school announced a $500m fundraising campaign of which over $120m was to be used to significantly expand the campus adding 91,000 square feet of space that will include 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 as well as a redesigned central courtyard. Groundbreaking commenced on May 7, 2015 and is expected to be complete in late 2017 and open officially in 2018 . The school has stated that the new space will be used exclusively to cater to the needs of the existing class sizes and that there will not be a major expansion in the size of the student body. A new canteen, locker rooms, and study spaces have already been opened but major thoroughfares, the courtyard, and walkway along Eliot St. remain under construction.
Currently, Harvard Kennedy School offers four master's degree programs. The two-year Master of Public Policy (MPP) program focuses on policy analysis, economics, management, ethics, statistics and negotiations in the public sector.
There are also three separate Master in Public Administration (MPA) programs: a one-year Mid-Career Program (MC/MPA), intended for professionals more than seven years after 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.
Among the members of the Mid-Career MPA class are the Mason Fellows, who are public and private executives from developing countries. Mason Fellows typically constitute about 50% of the incoming class of Mid Career MPA candidates. The Mason cohort is the most diverse at Harvard in terms of nationalities and ethnicities represented, and it is named after late Harvard Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of Public Administration, now known as the John F. Kennedy School of Government, from 1947 to 1958 Edward Sagendorph Mason who thought of bringing the developing world leaders to Harvard to stand on the cutting edge of development knowledge ultimately aiming for a better world.
In addition to the master's programs, HKS also administers four doctoral programs. PhD degrees are awarded in Political Economy and Government, Public Policy, and Social Policy, in conjunction with the Departments of Government and Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as well as in Health Policy, in conjunction with FAS and the Harvard School of Public Health.
Joint and concurrent degrees
The 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 HKS courses. At Harvard, HKS 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. These include: MIT Sloan School of Management; Stanford Business School; 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, HKS offers a dual degree with the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
HKS courses are organized across six areas, called a Policy Area of Concentration, on which they focus their coursework, take a year-long research seminar in their second year, and prepare a master's thesis, called a Policy Analysis Exercise. The school divides the school and HKS course listing into six areas, each headed by a faculty "area chair." The areas and chairs for HKS courses are:
- Management, Leadership and Decision Sciences (MLD) – Hannah Riley Bowles
- International and Global Affairs (IGA) – William C. Clark
- Democracy, Politics and Institutions (DPI) – Arthur Applbaum
- International Development (DEV) – Rohini Pande
- Social and Urban Policy (SUP) – Amitabh Chandra
- Markets, Business and Government (MBG) – Brigitte Madrian
- Digital Government: Technology, Policy, and Public Service Innovation (DPI) - David Eaves
In addition to offerings in the HKS course listing, students are eligible to cross-register for many courses at the other graduate and professional schools at Harvard. Students are also able to sample beyond the Harvard and HKS course listing at the MIT Sloan School of Management, at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.
Harvard Kennedy School receives high rankings in the U.S. News & World Report listing of top graduate schools of public affairs. In the 2015 rankings, HKS is ranked third overall, and is ranked first in the subcategory of health policy, second in public policy analysis and social policy. Kennedy's foreign affairs offerings are also ranked at or near the top of Foreign Policy magazine's Inside the Ivory Tower survey, which lists the world's top twenty international relations programs at the undergraduate, Master's and Ph.D. levels. In 2012, for example, the survey ranked HKS first overall for doctoral and undergraduate programs and third overall in the Master's category.
There is an active student life at HKS. Most of the activities are centered on interest-driven student 'caucuses,' the student government (Kennedy School Student Government, known as KSSG), student-edited policy journals, such as the Kennedy School Review and the Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy, a student newspaper (The Citizen), and a number of athletic groups.
Elections for HKS student government are among the most lively of the activities at the School. The KSSG is led by a President, Executive Vice President, functional Vice Presidents (Academic Affairs, International Student Affairs, Professional Development, Diversity and Inclusion among others) and Class Representatives from all the graduate programs of HKS. The KSSG is also responsible for overseeing the interest caucuses at the School.
Kennedy School Student Government Presidents and Executive VPs List
- 2007–2008: Doug Levine
- 2008–2009: Ben Polk – Marcos Santiago
- 2009–2010: Dave Baumwoll – Ryan Andersoff
- 2010–2011: Imran Alimohammed – Zach Kushner
- 2011–2012: Sherry Hakimi – Georgeta (Geta) Dragoiu
- 2012–2013: Rohit Malhotra – Lara Rosner
- 2013–2014: Jieun Baek – Maggie Williams
- 2014–2015: Allister Chang – Justin Hartley
- 2015–2016: Pitichoke Chulapamornsri – Derek Pham
Students can join the Harvard Graduate Student Government, colloquially known as "the HGSG" and formerly known as the "Harvard Graduate Council" or "HGC", is the university-wide representative student government for the twelve graduate and professional schools of Harvard University. The HGSG 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 (USGs), and representing the Harvard graduate student population to other universities and external organizations. The HGSG has become well known for creating and executing on advocacy initiatives and events focused on the "One Harvard" movement.
The courtyard between the main Kennedy School buildings is a key attraction for students, who gather there to work on their assignments, have lunch, or relax. During the warmer months, the School frequently sponsors beer and barbecue events which give students the opportunity to socialize. During the colder months, "Quorum Calls" are held in one of the indoor atriums, to celebrate the end of each week of HKS courses with friends.
Harvard Kennedy School is home to 14 centers, several of which are located at HKS but University-wide.
- 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. 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. This has not been without controversy. Recently, the school came under criticism for offering a fellowship to Chelsea Manning on 13 September 2017. It then publicly rescinded the offer on 15 September 2017 after CIA Director Mike Pompeo, canceled his speaking appointment and sent a letter condemning Harvard for awarding the fellowship.
Ties to the CIA
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The Kennedy School has strong ties to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, Melvin Goodman says in Whistleblower at the CIA that he was "in charge of dealing with the Kennedy School in 1990, when he was still at the CIA," and that the Kennedy School conducted "CIA-sponsored research" in the 1990s.
In Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities, Daniel Golden says CIA operatives attend the school under false names and make connections with foreign students, who are likely to become leaders in their own countries. Joseph Nye, who served as the dean from 1995 to 2004, also said CIA agents attended the school, while pretending to work for the United States Department of State instead of the CIA.
- Alberto Abadie
- Graham Allison
- Jacqueline Bhabha
- Linda Bilmes
- Robert Blendon
- Derek Bok
- George Borjas
- R. Nicholas Burns
- Ashton Carter
- Antonia Handler Chayes
- William C. Clark
- Richard Clarke
- Susan P. Crawford
- David Cutler
- David Ellwood
- Jeffrey Frankel
- Marshall Ganz
- David Gergen
- Edward Glaeser
- Robert R. Glauber
- Felipe Calderón
- Stephen Goldsmith
- Ricardo Hausmann
- J. Bryan Hehir
- Ronald Heifetz
- John P. Holdren (On leave)
- Michael Ignatieff
- Swanee Hunt
- Sheila Jasanoff
- Christopher Jencks
- Alex Jones
- Dale Jorgenson
- Juliette Kayyem
- Alexander Keyssar
- Robert Z. Lawrence
- Jennifer Lerner
- Viktor Mayer-Schönberger
- Pippa Norris
- Joseph Nye
- Meghan O'Sullivan
- George Papandreou 
- Roger B. Porter
- Michael Porter
- Samantha Power
- Lant Pritchett
- Robert Putnam
- Carmen M. Reinhart
- Dani Rodrik
- John Ruggie
- Frederic M. Scherer
- Jeffrey L. Seglin
- Sarah Sewall
- Kathryn Sikkink
- Lawrence Summers
- Dennis Frank Thompson
- Stephen Walt
- Marilyn Waring
- Martin Weitzman
- Shirley Williams, Baroness Williams of Crosby
- John P. White
- William Julius Wilson
- Richard Zeckhauser
- Robert B. Zoellick
Government and politics
- Heads of Government and State
- Juan Manuel Santos (MPA '81) – President of Colombia, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (MPA '71) – President of Liberia, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
- Lee Hsien Loong (MPA '80) – Prime Minister of Singapore
- Felipe Calderón Hinojosa (MPA '00) – former President of Mexico
- Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (MPA '02) – President of Mongolia
- Miguel de la Madrid (MPA '65) – former President of Mexico
- Jamil Mahuad Witt (MPA '89) – former President of Ecuador
- Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé (MPA '88) – former President of Bolivia
- Carlos Salinas de Gortari (MPA '73, PhD '76) – former President of Mexico
- José María Figueres Olsen (MPA '91) – former President of Costa Rica, CEO of the World Economic Forum
- Pierre Elliott Trudeau (MA '45, GSPA) – former Prime Minister of Canada
- Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (MPA '99) – former Prime Minister of Somalia
- Tshering Tobgay (MPA '04) – Prime Minister of Bhutan
- Frederick Sumaye (MPA '07) former Prime Minister of Tanzania
- Sir Donald Tsang (MPA '82) – Hong Kong Chief Executive
- Muhammad bin Ibrahim (MPA '93) – 8th Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia
- Nóirín O'Sullivan (Exec '07) – Police Commissioner of Garda Síochána, Ireland's national police service
- Keith Hennessey (MPP '94) – former director, White House National Economic Council
- T. N. Seshan (MPA '68) – former Chief Election Commissioner of India
- T. S. R. Subramanian (MPA) – former Cabinet Secretary of India
- Taku Otsuka (MPP '05) – a member of the House of Representatives of Japan
- Toshimitsu Motegi (MPP '83) – Financial Services Minister of Japan
- Yasuhisa Shiozaki (MPA '82) – former Chief Cabinet Secretary, Japan
- Pete Rouse (MPA '77) – White House Chief of Staff under President Barack Obama
- Rafael Hui (MPA '83) – former Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong
- Božidar Đelić (MPA '91) – Vice-President of Serbia, former Minister of Finance
- Paul Volcker (MA '51, GSPA) – former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve; economic advisor to President Barack Obama
- Syahrir (MPA '80, PhD '83) – Economic Adviser in the Republic of Indonesia's Council of Presidential Advisors
- David Cunliffe (MPA '95) – Leader of the Opposition, Parliament of New Zealand
- John Tsang (MPA '82) – Financial Secretary of Hong Kong
- Natalie Jaresko (MPP '89) – former Minister of Finance in Ukraine
- Lim Hng Kiang (MPA '85) – Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore; member of the Cabinet of Singapore
- Hector Gramajo (MPA '95) – former Defense Minister of Guatemala
- Teo Chee Hean (MPA '86) – Deputy Prime Minister, Co-ordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs of Singapore
- Tharman Shanmugaratnam (MPA) – Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Finance and Minister for Manpower of Singapore
- Adolfo Aguilar Zínser (MPA '78) – former Mexican National Security Adviser and Ambassador to the United Nations
- Yam Ah Mee (MPA '91) – Chief Executive Director of People's Association, Singapore
- Bob Anthony (MPA) – Republican politician from the U.S. state of Oklahoma
- Ami Ayalon (MPA '92) – member, Israeli Knesset
- Marilinda Garcia (MPP '10) - State Representative, New Hampshire House of Representatives
- Ed Balls (MPA '90) – former British Member of the Parliament and Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families
- Nisrin Barwari (MPA '99) – Minister of Municipalities and Public Works of Iraq
- Doug Bereuter (MPA '73) – former U.S. Congressman, Nebraska
- Charles A. Blanchard (lawyer) (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
- Nicholas Boles (MPP '89) – former director of Policy Exchange, now Member of Parliament (United Kingdom)
- Emilia Boncodin (MPA '86) – Secretary of the Philippine Department of Budget and Management in the Philippines
- Brendan F. 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
- Piper Anne Wind 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
- Joseph Curtatone (MPA '11) – mayor, Somerville, Massachusetts
- Mark Daly (MPA, '11) – Irish Senator
- 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
- Anna Escobedo Cabral (MPA '90) – former U.S. Treasurer
- Roy Folkman (MPA '13) – member, Israeli Knesset
- Marilinda Garcia (MPA '10) – member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives
- Fernando Martín García (MPP '74) – Puerto Rican politician and former Senator
- Robert S. Gelbard (MPA '79) – former U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia and Bolivia
- 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
- Paul Heroux, (MPA '11) 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
- Vuk Jeremić (MPA '03) – 2012 President of the United Nations General Assembly; former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia
- 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
- Ban Ki-moon (MPA '84) – United Nations Secretary General
- Raymond W. Kelly (MPA '84) – New York City Police Commissioner
- 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
- Jim Moody (MPA '67) – former U.S. Congressman, Wisconsin
- 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. Agency for International Development
- Naheed Nenshi (MPP '98) mayor of Calgary since 2010
- Christine Nixon (MPA '85) – Chief Commissioner of Victoria, Australia Police
- Herbert S. Okun (MPA '59) – former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
- Francis Pangilinan (MPA '98) – Senator and the Majority Leader of the Senate of the Philippines
- Marcus Peacock (MPP '86) – former Deputy Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Yohanan Plesner (MPA '04) – member, Israeli Knesset
- Larry Pressler (MPA '66) – former U.S. Senator from South Dakota
- William Proxmire (MPA '48) – former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
- Jack Reed (MPP '73) – U.S. Senator from Rhode Island
- Angelo Reyes (MPA '90) – Secretary of Energy of the Philippines; former Secretary of National Defense of the Philippines
- Jesse Robredo (MPA '99) – Secretary of Interior and Local Government of the Philippines; received the Quezon Service Cross
- Joe Sestak (MPA '84) – member, U.S. House of Representatives, 7th District of Pennsylvania
- Rob Simmons (MPA '79) – former U.S. Congressman, Connecticut
- Barry Smitherman (MPA) – member of the Texas Railroad Commission
- Nancy Sutley (MPP '86) – Director of White House Council on Environmental Quality
- William B. Taylor, Jr. (MPP '77) – U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
- Peter G. Torkildsen (MPA '90) – former U.S. Congressman, Massachusetts; former chair of Massachusetts Republican Party
- Robert Torricelli (MPA '80) – former U.S. Senator from New Jersey
- Chris Van Hollen (MPP '85) – member, U.S. House of Representatives, 8th District of Maryland
- Kevin White (MA '57, GSPA) – former Mayor of Boston
- David Wilhelm (MPP '90) – campaign manager, Clinton/Gore '92; former chair, Democratic National Committee
- Anthony A. Williams (MPP '87) – former Mayor of Washington, D.C.
- Ayisha Osori – former CEO, Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund
- Lester R. Brown (MPA '62) – founder and President of the Earth Policy Institute
- Robert Kagan (MPP '91) – co-founder, Project for a New American Century
- Nancy LeaMond (MPP '74) – Executive Vice President, AARP
- 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. Acton (Exec '05), a 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
- 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. Bacow (MPP '76, PhD '76) – President of Tufts University
- 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
- Mark Lilla (MPP '80) – professor, Columbia University
- Stephen Joel Trachtenberg (MPA '66) – former president of George Washington University
- Jonathan Zittrain (MPA '95) – professor, Harvard Law School; co-founder Berkman Center at Harvard
- Komla Dumor (MPA,'03) – television news presenter, BBC World News and Africa Business Report
- Mark A. R. Kleiman (MPP, PhD '85) – author
- 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 The Baloch Hal, exiled Pakistani journalist
- Andrew Sullivan (MPA, PhD '90) – journalist, The Atlantic Monthly
- 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
- Peter Sands (MPA '88) – Group CEO, Standard Chartered
- Daniel Mudd (MPA '86) – former president and CEO of U.S. Fannie Mae
- Noam Bardin (MPA '03) – CEO of Waze, acquired by Google for $1.1 billion in 2013
- Rune Bjerke (MPA '97) – CEO, DNB ASA
- Gregory C. 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
- Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg (MPA '71) – founder, President, CEO of Strategic Investment Group
- Greg Rosenbaum (MPP '77) – CEO, Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc.
- Chris Voss – adjunct professor at McDonough School of Business
- Ashley Judd (MC/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
- List of Public policy schools
- Kennedy School Web site asks what you can do — The Harvard University Gazette Archived December 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
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