Spring 2021 Communiqué Magazine

Dear friends,  

This semester has been more challenging than most. While nearly all of us at the Ash Center, perhaps like you, have been sequestered at home and away from colleagues, classmates, and family, the Ash community was not immune from the loss that so many have suffered over this past year. We were devastated to learn that Jessica Engelman, our longtime colleague and Communiqué editor, passed away unexpectedly this winter. If you have ever opened a copy of this magazine in the past, you are familiar with how Jessica so masterfully told the story of the Ash Center and of the people who make this such a unique community.  

Beyond the Communiqué, Jessica’s work as our senior editor quite literally touched nearly every piece of scholarship produced by the Center. She served as a longstanding member of the Innovations Program team where she helped build and maintain our Government Innovators Network and worked to connect thousands of practitioners from around the world to learn about best practices and other research in the field of government innovation. More recently, Jessica took on the management of the Center’s paper series, where she collaborated with scholars from across Ash to help produce a wide array of research and policy papers.  

For Jessica and for those colleagues or loved ones whom you may have lost, we grieve. Yet in their stories we also find inspiration and hope. Perhaps you will too. Before she passed away, Jessica was helping to produce this issue of the Communiqué you are reading today. I trust she would be pleased with the stories we have helped tell in the pages below. In many ways, this publication is a lasting testament to the vision, enthusiasm, and thoughtfulness she brought to the Ash community as both a colleague and friend. 


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

Feature Story

Rocking the vote from the ER to the Peach State  

Recognizing the significant barriers Americans face in casting a ballot, graduating HKS Masters of Public Policy students, with Ash Center support, used their capstone Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE) to work with organizations committed to strengthening civic engagement and voting access. 

Feature Story

David Eaves is writing the code for teaching public service in the digital age

Government services are inherently digital services, says David Eaves, Director of the Project on Digital Government, but governments still lack the personnel and technological capacity to deliver services to a public that expects most simple tasks to be done effortlessly online. That's why Eaves helped develop a free curriculum for teaching digital to future public sector leaders.

Feature Story

Is Climate Change the Path to Greater US-China Cooperation? 

Edward Cunningham, Director of Ash Center China Programs and of the Asia Energy and Sustainability Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, discusses how decarbonization can serve as an opportunity for both countries to set aside their political tensions and work towards a common policy objective.


Student, Fellow, and Alumni Profiles


In Conversation with

Featured Essay

Equity and Inclusion Should be an ‘Add-in’ Not an ‘Add-on’

Ash Center Director for Equity and Inclusion LaChaun Banks discusses the intersection of civic policy, research, and the Center’s own approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion. "There is ample research proving that when you are equitable, intentionally inclusive, and make an effort to be diverse, the entire community and economy perform better," she writes.


More from the Spring 2021 Communiqué Issue

Featured Publications