From Harvard Square to Hanoi, we address some of Asia’s most intractable public policy challenges.

All Programs, Projects, and Initiatives

Photo of two men carrying a solar panel
Photo of desks in a classroom in China
President Joe Biden greets and poses for a photo with Chinese President Xi Jingping ahead of their bilateral meeting, Monday, November 14, 2022, at the Mulia Resort in Bali, Indonesia.
A red wall with a pagoda-style roof in the background
A collage show contemporary and old photos from the Global Vietnam Wars Studies archives
A U.S. delegation handed over Kennedy School research on the Vietnam War to officials in Hanoi during President Biden’s recent visit.
Pedal-cabs and scooters drive down a street
Asia Energy and Sustainability Initiative

Asia Energy and Sustainability Initiative

Providing leading analysis and research at the intersection of innovation, energy, technology, and environmental outcomes in Asia

China Philanthropy Project

China Philanthropy Project

China’s first systematic and rigorous database of philanthropists, giving levels, and recipients

Bangladesh Public Administration Project

Bangladesh Public Administration Project

Working with public servants in Bangladesh to build the capabilities, skills, and knowledge to meet the country’s development goals

China and the World

China and the World

Understanding China’s role in a changing global order

China Public Policy Program

China Public Policy Program

Understanding the toughest challenges confronting China — from energy policy to citizen satisfaction

Indonesia Public Policy Program

Indonesia Public Policy Program

Understanding Indonesia’s historic democratic transformation and growth as an important economic power

Taiwan Public Policy Program

Taiwan Public Policy Program

Strengthening engagement between policymakers, practitioners, and scholars at Harvard, throughout the United States and Taiwan

Vietnam Public Policy Program

Vietnam Public Policy Program

A critical participant in Vietnam’s policy dialogue, informing the country’s ongoing reform process

Past Programs

Asia Energy Leaders Program

The Asia Energy Leaders Program convened premier faculty and senior energy executives to highlight new analytical frameworks and innovative approaches to understanding five key issues related to energy and sustainability issues in Asia: globalization; governance; competitiveness and corporate strategy; low carbon technologies; and sustainability.

China Crisis Management Program

Taught at the Chinese Academy of Governance in Beijing, this executive education course was for senior officials with emergency management responsibilities in the national, provincial, and city levels in China. Through discussion and guest speakers, this course examined large-scale disasters and planned international events to offer best practices in disaster prevention, mitigation, and preparation.

China’s Leaders in Development Program

Established in 2001, China’s Leaders in Development program was widely recognized by the Chinese government as one of the best overseas training programs for government officials. Taught both at Tsinghua University, China and Harvard Kennedy School, this multi-week” training program was specifically designed to help prepare senior local and central Chinese government officials to more effectively address the ongoing challenges of China’s national reforms.

China Leaders in Finance

China Leaders in Finance Program was a two week program for senior executives from China’s banking sector. The goal of the program was to equip participants with analytical frameworks to better understand the challenges of globalization, to strengthen individual and collective leadership, to improve corporate governance, to improve sustainability, and to leverage public-private partnerships, while at the same time improving their skills to excel in positions of leadership.

Executive Leaders in Philanthropy

The Executive Leaders in Philanthropy program was a three-week experience that blends skills-based sessions, case-based teaching, interactive visits to US philanthropic institutions, and thematic sessions. Skill-building sessions focused on leadership, negotiation, stakeholder analysis, media relations, executing a mission, data analysis, impact investing, and leading organizational change. Cases included, a stakeholder analysis case, a simulation on negotiation, and several other topics. Thematic sessions highlighted new ways of understanding globalization, talent development, ethics in the Chinese tradition, US politics, and more. The participants also interacted with leading US and Chinese philanthropists. In 2017 the group enjoyed a long dialogue with Zhang Xin and Pan Shiyi, the founders of Soho China – a couple who shared a Chinese perspective on giving and serve as a natural bridge between these worlds.

Part of the program featured a visit to Washington DC, which offers an unparalleled opportunity to learn about US politics, governance, and interactions with the leadership of national institutions in philanthropy and conservation. Conservation International, the Council on Foundations, the Newseum, the National Archives Museum, the Natural History Museum, and a full day set of discussions and breakout-groups with National Geographic on the topic of media, images, and the natural world are often the highlights. Cultural events such as classical music concerts at the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a visit to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum informed participant understanding of philanthropic sustainability. Participants also shared their own challenges and plans for their organizations with the faculty and with one another. Groups formed each week and discuss different challenges each organization faces, then report out to the class. We followed the program with 3 month, 6 month, and annual check-ins with our alumni, designed and executed together with our partner, the China Global Philanthropy Institute.

Global Philanthropy Leaders

The Global Philanthropy Leaders program was a one-week experience, usually followed by a second week that was organized by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) and our Chinese partner the China Global Philanthropy Institute (CGPI), and held in New York City. Core topics included ethics in the Chinese tradition, the moral limits of markets, models of leadership, how to create public value, the development and execution of a philanthropic mission, nurturing 21stCentury talent, global trends in philanthropy, models of giving.

Leadership Transformation in Indonesia

This training course was designed for newly elected Indonesian district heads and mayors (Bupati and Walikota), along with their heads of regional development and planning (Ketua Bappeda). The program offered a four-week executive education course focusing on issues of leadership in public service with one week in Jakarta and three weeks in classroom sessions at Harvard University along with structured site visits with local government officials in the Boston area.

Myanmar Program

Established in 2009, the Myanmar Program worked to deepen the understanding of the development and democratic governance challenges facing Myanmar. Moving beyond technical economics, the program examined the broader political economy of reform and explored the connections between politics and institutional development to better address the country’s social and economic problems. The goal of this analysis was to provide a common framework in which the different interest groups could negotiate solutions to long-standing problems, particularly with regard to minority ethnic and religious groups.

Shanghai Executive Management Program

The Shanghai Executive Management Program provided senior officials in Shanghai municipal government agencies with perspectives on strategy, leadership, management of service delivery, urban planning and development, crisis management, and social policy, as practiced in the United States and other countries. Officials attended two weeks of intensive classes at HKS and visit government agencies around the country.