The Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence and innovation in governance and public policy through research, education, and public discussion.

By training the very best leaders, developing powerful new ideas, and disseminating innovative solutions and institutional reforms, the Center’s goal is to meet the profound challenges facing the world’s citizens. The Ford Foundation is a founding donor of the Center. 

Our Values

The Ash Center believes that diverse perspectives are paramount to better understanding and addressing real-world problems. As a global community that brings together students, faculty, staff, and fellows, with practitioners and policy makers from around the world, we focus on advancing excellence in democratic governance and innovation. We are committed to fostering an environment of rigor, curiosity, and integrity. As a center, we therefore value and respect different opinions, lived experiences, and diverse research and policy areas and approaches. As a center, we continue to strive for excellence, while creating an equitable and inclusive community for all.

Harvard Kennedy School

The Ash Center is proud to be part of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Harvard Kennedy School’s mission is to improve public policy and leadership so people can live in societies that are more safe, free, just, and sustainably prosperous. By combining cutting-edge research, the teaching of outstanding students, and direct interaction with practitioners, we have an impact on solving public problems that no other institution can match.

Students and alumni of Harvard Kennedy School are showing their commitment to public service in their countries, states, cities and neighborhoods around the world.

Ash Center Director Archon Fung 

Archon Fung, Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government at Harvard Kennedy School, was appointed director of the Ash Center in July 2022. His research explores policies, practices, and institutional designs that deepen the quality of democratic governance with a focus on public participation, deliberation, and transparency. He has authored five books, four edited collections, and over fifty articles appearing in professional journals. He received two S.B.s — in philosophy and physics — and his Ph.D. in political science from MIT.


Meet out faculty, Fellows and Staff.

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Founded in 2003 as the Ash Institute, the Ash Center has grown over the years. 

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Job Opportunities

Explore opportunities for both students and professionals to join our team. 

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We acknowledge the land on which Harvard sits as the traditional territory of the Massachusetts people.

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Privacy Policy

We value your privacy, learn how we collect and store data. 

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