With Congress set to kick off confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, the Ash Center sat down with Maya Sen, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Sen’s research interests include the American legal system and politics. She is the author of several recent papers on political ideology and politicization in the judiciary.
President Obama’s unprecedented decision to commute the sentences of nearly 1,500 federal inmates incarcerated on low-level drug offenses has given a second chance to those on the receiving end of disproportionate sentences handed down at the height of the war on drugs and allowed them and their familiesto begin the process of rebuilding their lives. For Teresa Acuña, mid-career MPA 2017 and the Roy and Lila Ash Fellow at the Ash Center, her experience as a legislative aide and advocate would intersect in an intensely personal manner with President Obama’s efforts to undo some of the social damage wrought by this decades-long war on drugs.
In light of contemporary conversations about immigration, the Ash Center sat down with Moshik Temkin, an Associate Professor of Public Policy and a specialist in the history of the modern United States in global and comparative perspective, to talk about the history of immigration in the US and what it can teach us about modern debates and policy.
How do Americans evaluate potential candidates for the U.S. Supreme Court? More specifically, do political opinions make a difference in how citizens evaluate the branch of government that is supposed to be impartial?
Experts Provide A Modern Analysis & Historical Perspective at JFK Jr. Forum Event
President Trump’s controversial executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries immediately raised howls of protests from politicians, activists, and the media. Harvard’s President Drew Faust put it succinctly when she said, “[the] executive order imposing restrictions on travel to the United States has provoked uncertainty and escalating anxiety among many people.” At Harvard Kennedy School, students and faculty grappled with the order’s implications and whether it was likely to achieve its stated goal of deterring possible future terrorist attacks.
The Ash Center sat down with Professor Arne Westad, the S.T. Lee Professor of U.S.-Asia Relations at HKS to discuss what Donald Trump’s ascension to the White House means for U.S. relations in Asia and how the region’s leaders are reacting to his election.
A subsistence farmer in Indonesia. A disabled US veteran. An orphaned child living in a Mumbai slum. A woman giving birth in a remote part of Malawi. Each may rely on government services or outside aid agencies to provide basic services like health care or education. But too often these services are inadequate and unresponsive to their needs. Among the many reasons are corruption, inefficiency, and simple lack of dedication and effort — the kinds of problems that too often prove difficult for governments and donors to solve. Read more about Change from the Bottom Up: Examining the Potential for Citizen-led Action to Improve Health Outcomes
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States, the Ash Center sat down with senior non-residential fellow Peter Quilter to discuss what Trump’s ascension to the White House means for U.S. relations in Latin America and the future of democracy in the region.
In October, as part of its Race and American Politics seminar series, the Ash Center collaborated with HKS Assistant Professor of Public Policy Leah Wright Rigueur, an Ash Center faculty affiliate, to organize a Conference on Race and Justice in the Age of Obama. Attended by over 300 people over the course of two days, the event offered a unique and important opportunity for scholars, journalists, and public officials to debate President Obama's impact on race relations in the United States during his eight years in office.
This fall, the Ash Center welcomed its second cohort of Technology and Democracy Fellows, comprised of technologists committed to improving the health of American democracy. This year’s fellows are especially passionate about building the capacity and new tools needed by civic activists, community organizers, local government officials, and journalists who are so critical to making democracy work.
“Almost half of the girls in India are married before they're even 18 years old,” says Suparna GuptaMC/MPA 2013, founder and director of the Indian nonprofitAangan, which is dedicated to protecting vulnerable children. “I think we have the highest number of child laborers in India —5.8 million child laborers, with 2.4 million adolescents in hazardous work. There is also an alarming figure of one child going missing every eight minutes — a statistic that is deeply linked to child trafficking.”Read more about Ash Center Alum Suparna Gupta “Activating” for Social Change in India
The Civic Analytics Network (CAN) held its inaugural convening in Cambridge October 26-28. CAN is an affiliation of municipal data officers from the largest cities in the country including New York City, Los Angeles, and Boston. The network, directed by Professor Stephen Goldsmith, seeks to advance the use of data and analytics in municipal governance. CAN members work on data systems that provide critical services for millions of people such as emergency response, police violence reduction, and population health. Read more about Civic Analytics Network holds inaugural convening
Dara Kay Cohen is an assistant professor of public policy and faculty affiliate of the Ash Center. Her recent book, Rape During Civil War, examines the variation in the use of rape during recent civil conflicts; the research for the book draws on extensive fieldwork in Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste and El Salvador.
By: Maisie O’Brien, Ash Center Communications Coordinator
“Inequality was very apparent in my early life,” said MPP 2017 Glendean Hamilton. She recalled the stark difference between the public elementary and middle schools she attended in the Bronx and the selective high school she would later commute two hours every day to attend. Read more about The Path to Local Government Leadership
Following the Brazilian Senate's overwhelming vote to remove Dilma Rouseff from office, the Ash Center sat down with Scott Mainwaring, the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor for Brazil Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School for a conversation on her impeachment, the future of the Left in Brazil, and how the country may move forward politically.
The Lower Mekong Policy Forum on Environment, Agriculture, and Livelihoods was held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on August 11–12, 2016. Senior government officials, researchers, practitioners, civil society representatives, and members of the business community participated in the forum. The forum featured international and regional experts who are leading efforts to encourage public policy analysis and dialogue on emerging challenges and opportunities related to the Lower Mekong Basin’s environment, agriculture, and rural livelihoods. Read more about Lower Mekong Policy Forum on Environment, Agriculture, and Livelihoods