Harvard Kennedy School
|Motto||Ask what you can do|
|Type||Private nonprofit public policy school|
|Endowment||$1.3 billion (2019)|
The Harvard Kennedy School (also known as the John F. Kennedy School of Government and HKS) is the public policy school of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 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 2019, HKS had an endowment of $1.3bn.
The School's primary campus is located on John F. 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.
In 2015, Douglas Elmendorf, former director of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, 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 T. Ellwood, who served in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration.
A major $120 million expansion and renovation of the campus began in 2015. The project was completed in late 2017. The School is a member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), a global consortium of schools that seeks to train leaders in international affairs.
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 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 T. Allison, Richard Zeckhauser, and Edith Stokey—had orchestrated the consolidation of the School's programs and research centers in the present 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 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 $500 million fundraising campaign of which over $120 million 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 the project was completed in late 2017. It was opened officially in December 2017.
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.
There are 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 administers four doctoral programs. PhD degrees are awarded in political economy and Government, in conjunction with the Departments of economics and government in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), Public Policy, and social policy, in conjunction with the Departments of government and sociology in FAS, 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: Stanford Graduate School of Business; MIT Sloan School of Management; 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". 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. HKS is currently ranked first by US News in social policy. In the 2015 rankings, HKS 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.
Student government and organizations
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 Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, the Kennedy School Review and the Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy, a student newspaper (The Citizen), and a number of 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 HGC 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. HGC 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, 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, which has caused controversy at times. 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 his speaking appointment and sent a letter condemning Harvard for awarding the fellowship.
- Graham Allison
- Alan A. Altshuler
- Mary Jo Bane
- David Jeremiah Barron
- Jacqueline Bhabha
- Linda Bilmes
- Robert Blendon
- Derek Bok
- George Borjas
- R. Nicholas Burns
- Felipe Calderón
- Albert Carnesale
- Ashton Carter
- Antonia Handler Chayes
- William C. Clark
- Richard Clarke
- Susan P. Crawford
- David Cutler
- David Ellwood
- Jeffrey Frankel
- Jason Furman
- Marshall Ganz
- David Gergen
- Edward Glaeser
- Robert R. Glauber
- Stephen Goldsmith
- Ricardo Hausmann
- J. Bryan Hehir
- Ronald Heifetz
- A. Leon Higginbotham Jr.
- John P. Holdren
- Swanee Hunt
- Michael Ignatieff
- Sheila Jasanoff
- Christopher Jencks
- Alex Jones
- Dale Jorgenson
- Juliette Kayyem
- Alexander Keyssar
- Robert Z. Lawrence
- Jennifer Lerner
- Viktor Mayer-Schönberger
- Joseph Newhouse
- 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
- Todd Rogers (behavioral scientist)
- John Ruggie
- Juan Manuel Santos
- 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
- Dorothy Zinberg
- Jonathan Zittrain
- Robert B. Zoellick
- Kevin Rudd
Government and politics
Heads of Government and State
- Pierre Elliott Trudeau (MA '45, GSPA) – 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
- 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 Mohamed Ali (MPA '99) – former Prime Minister of Somalia
- Felipe Calderón Hinojosa (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
- 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 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
- 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
- Anna Escobedo Cabral (MPA '90) – former U.S. Treasurer
- 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
- 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
- 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) 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.
- 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. Agency for International Development
- Naheed Nenshi (MPP '98) mayor of Calgary since 2010
- Patrick Nip (MPA '01) - Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs of Hong Kong
- Christine Nixon (MPA '85) – Chief Commissioner of Victoria, Australia Police
- Herbert S. Okun (MPA '59) – former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
- Nóirín O'Sullivan (Exec '07) – Police Commissioner of Garda Síochána, Ireland's national police service
- Taku Otsuka (MPP '05) – a member of the House of Representatives of Japan
- 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
- Brune Poirson - Secretary of State, France - Macron Government
- 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 (the highest Philippine honor)
- Henry Rotich (MPA ') – Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury, 2013-date Kenya
- Pete Rouse (MPA '77) – White House Chief of Staff under President Barack Obama
- Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai - Executive Governor of Kaduna State in Nigeria ; former Minister of FCT, Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises both under Obasanjo Administration
- T. N. Seshan (MPA '68) – retired IAS officer and former Chief Election Commissioner of India
- Joe Sestak (MPA '80, PhD '84) – member, U.S. House of Representatives, 7th District of Pennsylvania
- Tharman Shanmugaratnam (MPA) – Senior Minister, Co-ordinating Minister for Social Policies of Singapore
- Yasuhisa Shiozaki (MPA '82) – former Chief Cabinet Secretary, Japan
- Rob Simmons (MPA '79) – former U.S. Congressman, Connecticut
- Barry Smitherman (MPA) – member of the Texas Railroad Commission
- Corazon Soliman (MPA '98) - former Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development of the Philippines
- T. S. R. Subramanian (MPA) – retired IAS officer and former Cabinet Secretary of India
- Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera (MPA) – Commerce Secretary of Pakistan
- Nancy Sutley (MPP '86) – Director of White House Council on Environmental Quality
- Syahrir (MPA '80, PhD '83) – Economic Adviser in the Republic of Indonesia's Council of Presidential Advisors
- Mark E. Talisman (1972) – congressional aide and lobbyist
- 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
- Sir Donald Tsang (MPA '82) – Hong Kong Chief Executive
- John Tsang (MPA '82) – Financial Secretary of Hong Kong
- Chris Van Hollen (MPP '85) – member, U.S. House of Representatives, 8th District of Maryland
- Paul Volcker (MA '51, GSPA) – former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve; economic advisor to President Barack Obama
- Solomon Areda Waktolla (MPA '13 and LLM'14) – Deputy Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court of Ethiopia , Member of the Court of the Permanent Court of Arbitration
- 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.
- Adolfo Aguilar Zínser (MPA '78) – former Mexican National Security Adviser and Ambassador to the United Nations
- 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
- 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. 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. 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
- Stephen Joel Trachtenberg (MPA '66) – former president, 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
- Wajahat Saeed Khan Pakistani Journalist for Dunya News & NBC News
- 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
- 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
- William Butler (MPA '17) – musician and composer, Arcade Fire
- Donald Heathfield (real name: Andrey Bezrukov) (MPA '00) – KGB and SVR operative until his disclosure in the United States in 2010.
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