Learn about Harvard Kennedy School’s new faculty members: who they are, what they teach, and why their research and other activities make a difference in the world. In addition to our Faculty Focus spotlights, which are periodically updated, you can learn about all our faculty members by visiting their profile pages.
Desmond Ang has joined Harvard Kennedy School as assistant professor of public policy. Ang, who received his PhD in economics from the University of California, San Diego this year, brings an economist’s eye to issues of race, inequality, and justice. His research examines the educational consequences of police violence and the long-run effects of federal oversight under the Voting Rights Act.
Arthur Brooks takes happiness seriously. Formerly a professor of public policy at Syracuse University and then president of the American Enterprise Institute for 10 years, Brooks is now William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, where he teaches on nonprofit management, leadership, and happiness.
Michela Carlana is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. She is affiliated with the Women in Public Policy Program, Harvard's Program in Inequality and Social Policy Group. Carlana has focused much of her research on gender inequality in education, and particularly on what forces steer young girls away from, or toward, studying subjects that can prepare them for careers in high-tech.
Justin de Benedictis-Kessner is a political scientist and an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He researches American politics, with a focus on political behavior, public policy, local politics, elections, and experimental and quantitative methodology.
Nancy Gibbs is the Edward R. Murrow Professor of the Practice of Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. The former editor in chief of TIME magazine, she has written two books and lectured extensively on the American presidency.
Yanilda María González is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her research focuses on policing, state violence, and citizenship in democracy, examining how race, class, and other forms of inequality shape these processes.
Gordon Hanson joined Harvard Kennedy School as the Peter Wertheim Professor in Urban Policy. His work addresses problems at the knotty intersection of economics, international trade, and immigration—problems that feel especially relevant and complex now as the coronavirus epidemic lays bare the interconnected nature of our world.
The thread running through Professor of Public Policy Eliana La Ferrara's work is an unwillingness to limit herself to traditional microeconomic models where “prices and quantities” overshadow all else and instead pay “attention to psychological, sociological, sometimes anthropological factors that I believe as economists we cannot overlook.”
Joining Harvard Kennedy School this year from the University of California, Berkeley, Elizabeth Linos is the Emma Bloomberg Associate Professor of Public Policy and Management and faculty director of The People Lab, which investigates how to recruit and support government workers, improve service delivery, and integrate evidence and data into policymaking.
The complexities of peace and conflict in Africa—as well as the ways race, gender, and political violence intersect on the continent and beyond—are at the heart of Zoe Marks’ work. A lecturer in public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, Marks is currently working on two book projects—one about rebel groups in Sierra Leone and one on women in resistance movements, co-authored with HKS Professor Erica Chenoweth.
Faculty member Gautam Nair explores how inequality, politics, and business interact in the developing world to shape resource distribution and create winners and losers. Nair is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and is a faculty affiliate of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the Center for International Development. His research focuses on the politics of inequality and redistribution.
Deval Patrick, former two-term governor of Massachusetts, joined Harvard Kennedy School in early 2022. Patrick, who co-leads the Center for Public Leadership with faculty member Hannah Riley Bowles, also serves as professor of practice of public leadership.
Faculty member Benjamin Schneer talks about his research on lobbying, redistricting, and the surprising relevance of traditional media. Schneer is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and his research is in American politics and focuses primarily on political representation: how citizens express their preferences, how government responds to them, and what may shape and distort these processes.
Daniel Schneider, who joined Harvard as a professor of public policy and professor of sociology, focuses his research on demography, inequality, and the family. Professor Schneider completed his B.A. in Public Policy at Brown University in 2003 and earned his PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Princeton University in 2012.
Sandra Susan Smith is the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice and Faculty Director of the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management. Smith became one of the country’s leading sociologists, an expert in the areas of urban poverty, joblessness, and criminal justice.
Latanya Sweeney is a computer scientist whose work examines the unforeseen consequences of technology on society and what to do about them. She holds a joint appointment at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.