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HKS DC Council Statement on Ukraine

Dear HKSDC alumni and friends,

Our community is dedicated to the ideals of the Harvard Kennedy School, which seeks to educate and inform leaders so that all people can live in safer, freer, and more prosperous societies. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has outraged and saddened all of us. We denounce this unprovoked and unjustified invasion, the brutality of Russia’s intentional attacks on the civilian population, and its nuclear intimidation of those who stand in the way of this aggression.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and offer our support especially to our fellow alumni and HKS students and their families and friends who are deeply affected by these tragic events. We admire the Ukrainian fighters who are resisting with all means at hand to defend their democratic aspirations and right to national self-determination. Our hearts go out to the more than two million refugees who have fled the violence as well as the millions more displaced from their homes or sheltering in harsh conditions within Ukraine’s borders. And we are also mindful of our alumni and students from neighboring countries, who are working to receive their neighbors, to assist the Ukrainian people in their desperate struggle, and to prevent the expansion of this war.

We are heartened that, with few exceptions, the world is acting to defend the principle of non-violation of borders and to put increasingly severe pressure on Russia to stop its assault. We anticipate that more will need to be done by the United States and our allies and partners. So we ourselves must be prepared to make sacrifices and take actions to support peace and democracy, not only for Ukraine but also in other conflicts and contexts abroad and at home.

We are proud that Harvard President Bacow and Dean Elmendorf of the Kennedy School both acted promptly to express our principles and concern for our community. As they noted, the entire University has mobilized to gather, analyze critically, and share information about what is happening and what actions can be taken immediately and over time. We encourage all alumni to participate in the many virtual events offered by experts, journalists, humanitarian workers and other observers to be better informed and avoid disinformation and dangerous speculation, and to support humanitarian efforts on the ground.

In addition to these events, the HKSDC Alumni Council is exploring the actions we can take to help our community address this issue and we welcome your ideas and participation.


HKSDC Alumni Council Executive Committee

Charles, Latrena, Alexis, Peter-Anthony, and Gwen


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