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Douglas Elmendorf ’83: Dean of Faculty, Harvard Kennedy School

<h5>Douglas Elmendorf ’83 leads the Harvard Kennedy School.</h5>
<h6>Gigi M. Kisela / <a href="" target="_self">The Harvard Crimson</a></h6>
Douglas Elmendorf ’83 leads the Harvard Kennedy School.
Gigi M. Kisela / The Harvard Crimson

As Dean of Faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) since 2016, Douglas Elmendorf’s political influence is largely indirect. His leadership of the school’s academic programs and supervision of faculty research efforts mean he touches politics and public policy at all levels.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #1 in Health Policy and Management (hear a lot about health policy this year?) and #3 in Best Public Affairs Programs. The HKS Institute of Politics’ well-known youth opinion poll found historic interest in this year’s election.


Like other leaders of Ivy League institutions, Elmendorf has faced student criticism this year for his school’s lack of diversity and need-based financial aid.

Elmendorf previously served as Director of the Congressional Budget Office from 2009–2015. He graduated from Princeton with an A.B. in Economics.