Salem, Winthrop join partnership with Ash Center’s Innovation Field Lab

December 14, 2015

Cambridge, MA -- the cities of Salem and Winthrop, Massachusetts today signed agreements with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation to formally collaborate with the Center’s Innovation Field Lab.

“Today’s announcement will strengthen and expand the Kennedy School’s efforts to help Massachusetts cities develop innovative solutions to tough social problems,” said Jorrit de Jong, Lecturer in Public Policy and Academic Director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center.

The Innovation Field Lab is an ambitious experiential learning initiative spearheaded by the Ash Center, which pairs medium-sized cities in the Greater Boston region with students and faculty researchers at the Kennedy School to help implement innovative policy solutions in partner cities.  This is one of the best experiences our students can have to complement the classroom learning," said HKS Acting Academic Dean Suzanne Cooper. "There is nothing that can replace the opportunity for students to get their hands dirty in the field."

In addition to the new partnerships announced with Salem and Winthrop, the cities of Fitchburg, Chelsea, and Lawrence, Massachusetts also signed new agreements to continue their collaboration with the Innovation Field Lab. “We have a community that is aggressive in trying to deliver efficient services, said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll at her city’s partnership signing ceremony at the Kennedy School.  “Being willing to take that disruptive attitude when it comes to delivering services is exciting.”

Central to the Field Lab are teams of graduate students who collaborate with local governments to develop a holistic, data-driven strategy to prioritize and resolve the prevalence of problem properties.  The Field Lab is led by de Jong and Somerville, MA Mayor Joe Curtatone who also holds an appointment as an Innovations in American Government Fellow at the Ash Center.

About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
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. Three major programs support our mission: the Program on Democratic Governance; the Innovations in Government Program; and the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia. For more information, visit

For more information contact:
Daniel Harsha
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation