Meet the Ash Center - Fall 2021

Dedicated to solving the world’s most intractable public problems 

At the Ash Center, we work to meet the profound challenges facing the world’s citizens. While it’s a tall order, the Ash community is committed to bringing our mission to life every day.

The Ash Center serves as an intellectual home to those seeking to make the world a better place. These scholars, students, and practitioners are passionate about a multitude of issues, including democratic governance, innovation in government, Asia public policy, indigenous governance, and antiracism. Research, education, and engagement with practice are central to the Center’s work, which includes more than two dozen distinct projects, programs, and initiatives.

On a typical day at the Ash Center, you might find leading democratic scholars discussing trends in political participation, government leaders sharing best practices in data-driven policymaking, or students exploring the nuances of Chinese domestic and international politics. Outside of Cambridge, you could run into one of our students conducting independent research on how best to increase voter engagement or partnering with a Native American tribal government to strengthen tribal health systems. We also work to bring our research and scholarship to the public at large by hosting over 90 annual events, conferences, and workshops, all of which contribute to the broader academic and public discourse at Harvard and in the community.

Every year, 1 in 10 HKS students receives support from the Ash Center in the form of scholarship or funds for research and learning. Even more students engage with Ash Center faculty or participate in an Ash Center event or study group.

To learn more about how the Ash Center can be a part of your experience at HKS:

Explore our student resources page

Download our student resources handout

Request a one-on-one meeting 


No matter your degree program, there is something for you at the Ash Center. We invite you to explore, learn, be inspired, and join us. Our doors are always open.

Tony Saich

Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
Daewoo Professor of International Affairs
Harvard Kennedy School


The Ash Center in 4 Minutes

Get to Know the Ash Center's Programs

Democratic Governance Program

The Democrative Governance Program at the Ash Center explores the relationships between democratic governance and the persistence of urgent social problems, with a particular focus on citizen participation, transparency, digital technology, and the institutions vital to the health of contemporary democracy.

Learn More Online

Download the One Pager

Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development

The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development helps to understand and foster the conditions under which sustained, self-determined social and economic development is achieved among American Indian nations.

Learn more online

Download the One Pager

Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Initiative (IARA)

Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Initiative (IARA) works at the intersection of community, academia, and policy to address intellectual and practical questions as they relate to antiracism policy, practice, and institutional change.

Learn More Online

Download the One Pager

Innovations in Government Program

The Innovations in Government Program leads global efforts to study, promote, and teach excellence in the public sector and foster innovative policy solutions to the 21st century challenges of governing.

Learn More Online

Download the One Pager

Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia

The Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia convenes leaders from the academic, political, business, and philanthropic communities to better understand, teach, and enhance public policy on Asia.

Learn More Online

Download the One Pager

Request a Virtual Meeting

Meet One-on-One 

We invite new and returning Harvard students to book an introduction meeting with a member of the Ash Center team. During this 20-minute meeting, you will have the chance to talk to one of the Ash Center's faculty, staff, or fellows about your background and research interests as well as ask questions about Ash Center student opportunities. 

Do you have a specific interest in one of the Center's programs or research areas? We recommend requesting time with specific faculty or program staff. 

Interested in more than one program or just general resources? We recommend requesting time with our Executive Director Tim Glynn-Burke. 

Request an Introduction Meeting  



Signup for Updates from the Ash Center


Thank you for subscribing.

Harvard Kennedy School is committed to protecting your personal information. By completing this form, you agree to receive communications and to allow HKS to store your data. HKS will never sell your email address or other information to a third party. All communications will include the opportunity to unsubscribe.