Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy

Printing Press

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
Matthew Desmond’s book examines the prevalence and far-reaching consequences of eviction. He recently launched his book tour at Harvard Kennedy School.
Watch the video.

HKS PolicyCast

HKS Alumnus Bryan Stevenson discusses “The Criminal Injustice System”.

History & Timeline

Learn more about the history of Harvard Kennedy School.

David T. Ellwood Named Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy
Harvard Kennedy School, May 9, 2016

David T. Ellwood, Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), has been named director of the School's Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, it was announced today by HKS Dean Douglas Elmendorf. He will begin his appointment on July 1. Ellwood, who first joined the Harvard faculty in 1980, served as the eighth dean of Harvard Kennedy School from July 2004 through June 2015.


Malcolm Wiener Center 2016 Class Day Awards
HKS, May 24, 2016
Associate Professor of Public Policy Joshua Goodman presented the Manuel C. Carballo, Susan C. Eaton and Frederick Fischer memorial prizes for excellence in student research work at the HKS Class Day Awards Ceremony today. Read about the winners and their projects.


The Lack of Hard Data About Policing Is Criminal
Newsweek, May 18, 2016
Experts say the criminal justice system lacks the kind of consistent, local, real-time data that is critical to inform policy.
Quoted: Phillip Goff

Black Republicans: The RNC Gave Up on Us
The Daily Beast, May 17, 2016
Critics of the Republican National Committee’s outreach efforts say it continues to miss opportunities to improve the GOP’s appeal among blacks.
Quoted: Leah Wright Rigueur

What Young Men of Color Can Teach Us About the Achievement Gap
National Public Radio, May 11, 2016
In a Q+A, Ronald Ferguson discusses his research report, “Aiming Higher Together: Strategizing Better Educational Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color.” (See Faculty Research)

Peer Pressure, Stereotypes Fuel Minority Students’ Struggles
U.S. News & World Report, May 11, 2016
A new analysis by Ronald Ferguson argues that even when male students of color want to do well, they can be dragged down by what others might think.

Will Party Loyalty Trump Fears About Donald Trump for Black Republicans? – Leah Wright Rigueur
The Root, May 10, 2016
In a commentary, Rigueur writes that while polls show 76 percent of black conservatives don’t like Donald Trump, many prominent black Republicans have remained silent about his candidacy.

The Rehabilitation Paradox – Bruce Western
The New Yorker, May 9, 2016
Western and researchers from the Boston Reentry Project are finding that mental and physical vulnerabilities are common among formerly incarcerated people, and can derail their efforts to become better parents, neighbors, and citizens.

Why Higher Ed Makes Sense for Those with Criminal Records – Vincent Schiraldi
Huffington Post, May 9, 2016
In a blog post, Schiraldi argues that opening a pathway to college for people who were involved in the justice system is not only in their interest, but is also good for the nation. Educational opportunities broaden the ranks of fully productive citizens.

It’s Time to Enfranchise People With Felonies – Vincent Schiraldi
Huffington Post, April 24, 2016
In a blog post, Schiraldi makes a case that permitting people convicted of felonies to vote enables them to participate as full-fledged members of society.

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Events & Seminars »

Handcuffed: What Holds Policing Back, and the Keys to Reform
Malcolm K. Sparrow, Professor of the Practice of Public Management, will discuss his new book at a free public lecture in Cambridge, MA on Friday, May 20 at 3:00 PM.

On February 17, the Institute of Politics hosted a JFK Jr. Forum event, Addressing the Zika Virus Threat moderated by Sheila Burke.
Watch the video.

Faculty Research »

“Aiming Higher Together: Strategizing Better Educational Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color,” a new report by Ron Ferguson, commissioned by the Urban Institute, concerns what society can do to overcome the systemic predicament facing boys and young men of color.


A new Achievement Gap Initiative report, “The Influence of Teaching,” analyzes how components of teaching predict educational outcomes that tests do not measure, such as student engagement, success mindsets, and agency. 


Inequality and Punishment: A Turning Point for Mass Incarceration?
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, January 2016
Devah Pager and Michelle S. Phelps investigate state-level incarceration rates, examining the factors associated with the rise and decline in prison populations.