Programs & Initiatives

The Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston is a university-wide entity housed at HKS that aims to improve the governance of greater Boston. Professor Jeffrey Liebman is the director and Polly O’Brien is the interim executive director of the institute.

The Program on Education Policy and Governance, founded and directed by Paul E. Peterson, (PEPG) has distinguished itself as a significant contributor to the systematic analysis of education policy and governing arrangements.

The Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab conducts research on how governments can improve the results they achieve for their citizens. An important part of our research model involves providing pro bono technical assistance to state and local governments. Through this hands-on involvement, we gain insights into the barriers that governments face and the solutions that can overcome these barriers. By engaging current students and recent graduates in this effort, we are able to provide experiential learning as well.

The Program on Crisis Leadership, directed by Dutch Leonard and Arnold Howitt, conducts research, develops teaching and research case studies, and mounts executive education programs that examine the challenges that leaders face in extraordinary circumstances.

The Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America, directed by Robert Putnam, conducts applied research on social capital, with an eye towards restoring the nation’s stock of social capital.

The Harvard Kennedy School Autonomous Vehicles Policy Initiative hosts a forum for information exchange, research and policy formulation regarding the social impacts of autonomous vehicles.

Urban Physical and Economic Development has been and remains one of the central focuses of Taubman Center research. Edward Glaeser, Jose Gomez-Ibanez and Alan Altshuler have been faculty leaders of this area which focuses on issues of urban growth and economic success.

Several other important programs reside under the Taubman Center umbrella.

The Transparency Policy Project, led by Archon Fung (with Taubman affiliates Mary Graham and David Weil), carefully examines regulatory strategies used in many policy areas that require firms and governments to release information about their activities and performance as a way of prompting remedial action, informing consumer choice, or spurring political action.

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PerformanceStat: Performance Management in Government is a research and executive education project led by Robert Behn focusing on the leadership and management strategy that he calls "PerformanceStat," which includes CompStat, CitiStat, and similar efforts by governmental jurisdictions and public agencies to produce results.