The Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration opened its doors to its first class of students in 1937. Its faculty came from the departments of government and economics at Harvard University. When it originally opened, the Graduate School of Public Administration offered a one-year program. The one-year program later became the Master of Public Administration.
By 1966, the Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration had been renamed the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Today, the school is also referred to as the Harvard Kennedy School. Along with its new name came a new home. The school moved from its original location by Harvard Yard to the site of a former railway yard adjacent to the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where students like Bill Mulrow began their postgraduate education.
Along with a new name came new degree programs including master’s degree programs in the following areas:
• Public policy
• Public administration
• International development
The Harvard Kennedy School also offers programs leading to doctoral degrees and executive programs tailored to the needs of senior officials in government. Under the guidance of its dean of nine years, David Ellwood, the school conducts research focusing on politics, economics, government and international affairs.
Noted graduates of the John F. Kennedy School of Government include Bill Mulrow, William Proxmire, Ashley Judd and Bill O’Reilly. One infamous graduate was Andrey Bezrukov who graduated in 2000 as Donald Heathfield. The school stripped the degree from him after it was revealed that he working as a spy for Russia.
The school offers current and former students like Bill Mulrow courses in diverse policy areas including:
• International trade and finance
• International affairs
• Health care
• Business and government
• Human resources, labor and education
• Housing and urban development
• Political economy and development
Students have the opportunity to select courses offered at other graduate and professional schools at the university. Other courses available to students at the Harvard Kennedy School include those offered at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT.
A notable addition to the educational experience offered by the Harvard Kennedy School occurred in 1966 with the creation of the Harvard Institute of Politics by the school’s assistant dean, Richard Neustadt. The institute is located on the school’s campus and hosts programs, study group and speeches for the benefit of undergraduate and graduate students of Harvard University.
The John F. Kennedy School of Government ranks as one of the leading public affairs graduate institutions in the country. Foreign Policy magazine ranked the school as topping its list of international relations degree programs. U.S. News & World Report ranked the school in a tie for second place, but gave it the top rating for its public policy analysis, social policy programs and health policy and management.
Students benefit from a network of alumni, such as Bill Mulrow, who hold high-ranking positions in state and federal government, business, education and politics. The school also offers students joint and concurrent degree programs within the university and in conjunction with other institutions such as Northwestern University, Yale Law School, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia Law School and Dartmouth College.