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Welcome to the Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Council, Washington D.C.

Global Alumni Network of the Year 2017

Watch our video here 

As the largest and most active Harvard Kennedy School alumni network in the world, we represent over 9,000 Kennedy School graduates in the Capital's metropolitan area. We seek to serve our fellow alums by extending the special learning, community and spirit of the Harvard Kennedy School. We deliver professional activities to support learning and growth in public policy, public service, politics, career development, social networking and much more. Participation is what we seek to drive. We invite all HKS alums in the D.C. area to get involved.

Ask What You Can Do.

CANCELED: Wreaths Across America 2020

December 19, 2020

Sadly, due to COVID-19, wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery this year will be limited to Gold Star families, a few WAA representatives, and the ANC “Old Guard”. 


So, as Key Volunteers, we will be restricted to pandemic style participation only (i.e., virtual, online). (Disappointing perhaps, yet far drier than the natural disasters we have faced there in years past!)


And, while we are regrettably unable to physically volunteer, we can still honor those who epitomize the HKS commitment to service in other ways:


  • Sponsor a wreath  Wreaths Across America will still be manufacturing over 267,000 wreaths for Arlington alone. Each $15 wreath sponsorship is tax deductible. You can also sponsor one through many partner organizations such as TAPS, which assists those grieving the loss of a military member.


  • Attend the Virtual National Wreath Day Dec 19th online  Details forthcoming at the Wreaths Across America website.


  • Gear up for next year with some Wreaths Across America merch.  This will be the FIRST year OUR HKSDC TEAM will manage its OWN truck! so let’s prepare to do it in style!


  • Support the WAA Remembrance Tree Program where a living tree that’s continuously reharvestested for wreaths is named in honor of a veteran with a dog tag in its trunk.


  • Subscribe to the WAA newsletter to keep connected through 2021 here


  • Listen to WAA radio  here.


  • Pay respects at ANC some other time.  For updated visitor information and COVID-19 policies see the ANC website or call them at 877-907-8585.


  • Come out for the next Honor Flight we support when they resume.


Looking forward to seeing you all next year for the 2021 Wreath Day… at the HKSDC truck we will manage!  For questions/details please contact Joelle at

PAST EVENT: Election 2020 Debrief: Through the Lenses of Key States

November 12, 2020

Please join us Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 5:30 pm for a lively and informative discussion on “Election 2020 Debrief: Through the Lenses of Key States.” This Forum on the Phone event is part of the HKS DC Alumni Council’s Voter Readiness Initiative.


This Forum will feature a cross-country panel of fellow HKS alumni who will offer meaningful insights into recent election results from the perspective of several so-called “battleground” states. Panelists will also explore issues that impacted the U.S. presidential race – from COVID-19 response and relief efforts, to racial justice and associated activism, to healthcare, and to the economy.


The panel will be moderated by Natalie Brand, MC/MPA 2015 alum, award-winning journalist, and Washington, DC-based correspondent for CBS News. Natalie has reported from around the country on issues including politics, government shutdowns, immigration, climate change, wildfires, and agriculture.


Panelists include:


Phyllis Johnson (Atlanta, GA), MC/MPA 2015: Entrepreneur; President and Co-Founder of BD Imports; Founding Director of Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity; a leader in building gender equity coffee value chains; recipient of the Barbara Jordan Award for Women’s Empowerment by the HKS 2015 class


Patrick Johnson (Atlanta, GA), MC/MPA 2015: Entrepreneur, technologist, and advocate for leveraging technology for social good; more than 20 years in technology-related roles with entities ranging from Fortune 500 companies to fast-growing startup firms


Fayrouz Saad (Detroit, MI), MC/MPA 2015; Executive Director of the Michigan Governor’s Office of Global Michigan which has the mission of empowering and engaging the immigrant, refugee, and international community to make Michigan a home for opportunity; a leading voice for economic inclusion and immigrant integration policies and programs


Andrew Deye (Columbus, OH), MC/MPA 2015: Managing Director of JobsOhio, the state’s private non-profit economic development organization that with its partners drives job creation and new capital investment in Ohio. JobsOhio has successfully served as an “impact investor” to more than 2,000 companies in 10 targeted industries.


Marco Lowe (Seattle, WA): MC/MPA 2007: Political analyst, consultant, and professor with Seattle University's MPA program on government relations and political campaigns. His work has focused on key issues such as housing affordability and climate change.


Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 919 5656 0284

Passcode: 779249

One tap mobile

+16468769923,,91956560284#,,,,,,0#,,779249# US (New York)

+13017158592,,91956560284#,,,,,,0#,,779249# US (Germantown)

PAST EVENT: People of Color: How They Can Shape the 2020 Presidential Election

September 28, 2020

Please join us Monday, September 28, 2020 at 5:30 PM for a discussion on "People of Color: How They Can Shape the 2020 Presidential Election.” This Voter Readiness Initiative forum is in collaboration with the HKS DC Alumni Council’s Criminal Justice and Reform Committee.


The Forum will feature Crystal Carson and Leigh M. Chapman. Crystal Carson is Vice President of Communications, Culture and Media Partnerships of the non-profit, nonpartisan organization, When We All Vote.  Leigh M. Chapman is Director of the Voting Rights Program, overseeing projects that advocate voting protections for marginalized people.


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 919 5656 0284
Passcode: 779249

One tap mobile
+16468769923,,91956560284#,,,,,,0#,,779249# US (New York)
+13017158592,,91956560284#,,,,,,0#,,779249# US (Germantown)

PAST EVENT: Food Insecurity: Actions, Impact, and Critical Needs in the DMV

September 10, 2020

Please join us for a Forum at 5:30 PM on Thursday, September 10, with Radha Muthiah and Adam LaRose as they examine current issues concerning food insecurity in the DMV and around the nation.


Radha Muthiah currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Capital Area Food Bank. As CEO, she heads a team that distributes over 59 million meals of good, healthy food, directly and through a network of 400+ partners, to more than 540,000 food insecure people in the greater Washington region each year.


Adam LaRose is the Director of Advocacy & Public Policy for the Capital Area Food Bank. He oversees the governmental strategy for the food bank in the District of Columbia, the two largest counties in Maryland, and Northern Virginia. 

PAST EVENT: Administering Election Laws: The View from Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi

August 26, 2020

Video available at


Please join us for a discussion with Joanne Rajoppi as she examines the challenges in administering election laws in a Presidential General Election during a pandemic.

Joanne Rajoppi is a 45-year veteran in the public service sector having served as a Mayor, County Commissioner, NJ Secretary of State, County Recorder, and most recently as County Clerk. She is the first women to serve in the role as Union County Clerk. She received her BA degree cum laude from Case Western Reserve University and her Master’s in Public Administration from the Center for Public Service at Seton Hall University.


Hailed as a tech innovator dedicated to greater access for residents, she developed the second election app in the country; designed a dedicated election website and offered the first satellite vote by mail location in the state. In the 2008 Presidential Primary Election she made national headlines when she took on a national voting machine company for tally discrepancies. The case went to court where security measures on the machines were mandated. The New Jersey League of Women Voters presented her with their Making Democracy Work Award in 2014.


Ms. Rajoppi has served as President of the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials and Treasurer (now International Association of Government Officials), the New Jersey Association of Counties, and the Constitutional Officers Association of New Jersey.


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 919 5656 0284
Passcode: 779249

One tap mobile
+16468769923,,91956560284#,,,,,,0#,,779249# US (New York)
+13017158592,,91956560284#,,,,,,0#,,779249# US (Germantown)

PAST EVENT: Racial Disparities in Sentencing and Plea Bargains featuring Andrea James and Dr. Herman Beavers

August 13, 2020

Video available at

As a follow up to our successful discussion on police brutality on June 18, please join us for a discussion with Andrea James and Dr. Herman Beavers as they examine systematic racism in prison sentencing and plea bargains.

Andrea James is the Founder and Executive Director of Families for Justice as Healing, the founder of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, a 2015 Soros Justice Fellow, and the author of Upper Bunkies Unite: And Other Thoughts On the Politics of Mass Incarceration. Andrea worked within the criminal justice system for more than 25 years, from her days as a youth worker, to her work as a criminal defense attorney. She is a 2016 recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for her work to reform the nation's criminal justice system.

Herman Beavers has taught at the University of Pennsylvania since 1989 and is Director of Civic House and the Civics Scholar Program. Professor Beavers has a joint appointment in the Department of Africana Studies and teaches courses in African American and American literature, including courses on Southern Modernism. He has recently published essays on  August Wilson, Charles Johnson, Ralph Ellison, and Toni Morrison.  His latest book Geography and the Political Imaginary in the Novels of Toni Morrison was published in 2018. He also serves as an advisory editor at African American Review, Modern Fiction Studies, The Langston Hughes Review, and The Black Scholar.     


Join us as they discuss systematic racism in prison sentencing and plea deals.

Know when and how to vote in 2020 elections in The District, Maryland and Virginia

November 03, 2020

One of our country’s most precious freedoms is the right to vote. The General Election is fast approaching on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. State and local Primary Elections will occur in June and July. Are you registered to vote? Do you need to change your voter registration? Do you know your state and local elections calendar?


This election year raises questions about health risks with in-person voting because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. There are voting alternatives. You can vote by an absentee ballot or a mail-in ballot. But to exercise your constitutional right to vote, you need to know well in advance of the elections, the election rules, which vary in The District, Maryland and Virginia.


Get the latest election 2020 updates from The DC Board of Elections, The Maryland State Board of Elections, and The Virginia Department of Elections.


Know the history and laws to protect your right to vote and govern the election process, including security measures.  


Make your voice heard. Get out and vote.

PAST EVENT: Election Security: Ensuring U.S. Election Integrity

July 09, 2020

A virtual Zoom panel at 5:30 PM on Thursday, July 9, featuring Scott Algeier and Ben Spear. This session will include perspectives on cyber security and ensuring the integrity of in-person and absentee voting in federal, state and local races.

Scott C. Algeier has 20 years of experience in the field of cyber security and is president and CEO of Conrad, Inc., a cybersecurity consulting company.  Scott also serves as the executive director of both the Information Technology-Information Sharing and Analysis Center (IT-ISAC) and the Industry Consortium for Advancement of Security on the Internet (ICASI). Scott and his team supports the IT-ISAC’s Elections Industry Special Interest Group that helps voting systems manufacturers manage risks to their enterprises and equipment.

Ben Spear is the director of the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) at the Center for Internet Security. A cybersecurity resource for state and local election officials, Ben coordinated the nationwide deployment of an elections-focused cyber defense suite in advance of the 2018 midterm elections. Prior to this, Ben served in various roles on the MS-ISAC intelligence team, developing innovative new ways to identify and present current cyber threat trends to SLTT constituents and providing expertise on critical infrastructure security.

PAST EVENT: Police Brutality, Racism, and the Need for Action

June 18, 2020

Video available at


Join us for a powerful discussion featuring Jelani Cobb, Ph.D., and Andrea James. 


Jelani Cobb, Ph.D., is the Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism at Columbia University. He has contributed to The New Yorker since 2012 and became a staff writer in 2015. He is the recipient of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Award for Opinion and Analysis and writes frequently about race, politics, history and culture. He was most recently an associate professor of history and director of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut where he specialized in post-Civil War African American history, 20th century American politics and the history of the Cold War. Dr. Cobb is also a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright and Ford Foundations.
Andrea James is the founder and executive director of Families for Justice as Healing, the founder of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, a 2015 Soros Justice Fellow, and the author of Upper Bunkies Unite: And Other Thoughts On the Politics of Mass Incarceration. Ms. James worked within the criminal justice system for more than 25 years, from her days as a youth worker, to her work as a criminal defense attorney. She is a 2016 recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for her work to reform the nation's criminal justice system.


Our community must stand together

June 02, 2020

The brutal killing of George Floyd by law enforcement is another reminder of the life-and-death risks black Americans take every day by stepping out their front door. To stand silent in the face of such systemic racism and inequality is unconscionable. It goes against the very ideals of the Harvard Kennedy School, which exists to improve public policy and leadership so all people can live in safer, freer, more just, and more prosperous societies.

As alumni of HKS, we must all think carefully about our role in ending the all too common acts of racial injustice, which have inspired protests across the nation.  HKSDC is working to develop a forum where our community can address and grapple with the recent confluence of events. Until then, we will take a pause from already scheduled programming. We will pour our time and attention into addressing these issues thoughtfully, carefully, and in a deliberate manner.  There is much we need to tackle together. Until then, we wanted to be sure you saw the words that Dean Elmendorf sent to our community yesterday:

“I hope that everyone in this country can hear that pain, understand it, and take action now. We at the Kennedy School need to do our part, and to do so with a sense of urgency. . .One of our core values at the School is belief in the worth of each person regardless of their race and other characteristics. We must hold true to that value in everything we do—as we work with and learn from each other, and as we apply our skills and knowledge to make a more just society.”

Take good care of yourselves and your loved ones during these troubling times.

HKSDC Executive Committee