Spring 2021 Communiqué Magazine

The Communiqué, the Ash Center’s bi-annual magazine, is a chronicle of the Center’s latest research and news.

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

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In Conversation With

Tarek Masoud Reflects on the Arab Spring Ten Years Later
Photo of Tahrir Square


Tarek Masoud Reflects on the Arab Spring Ten Years Later

As the world looks back on the events that convulsed much of the Middle East a decade ago during what became known as the Arab Spring, the Ash Center sat down with Tarek Masoud, Professor of Public Policy and Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman Professor of International Relations, to discuss the prospects for democracy in the region today.

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.

Read the Essay