Campus & Community

Richardson public service award goes to two seniors

3 min read

Seniors Matthew Rosenberg and Stephen N. Smith are the first two recipients of the Elliot and Anne Richardson Fellowships in Public Service. Each will each receive $25,000 in support of a formative year in public service.

Rosenberg and Smith were recognized in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday (May 28) at the Council for Excellence in Government’s inaugural presentation of the Richardson Prize for Distinguished Public Service honoring senior-level public servants for their distinguished careers.

Rosenberg, an honors student concentrating in economics, from New York, N.Y., will travel to Ecuador next year where he will study the political and economic impact that hundreds of thousands of displaced Columbians have had on small business owners and farmers in Ecuador. “Undertaking this projects as a Richardson Fellow will hopefully contribute to United States’ policy initiatives for Ecuador, lessening the poverty and displacement that plague the region,” said Rosenberg. He hopes eventually to pursue a Ph.D. in economics both to teach students about the tangible impacts of economic theory in the real world and to have a practical impact on development beyond academia.

Smith, an honors student concentrating in sociology, from Plano, Texas, will pursue a series of internships in the United States and Africa next year. He will investigate several student service programs in the United States, work for an AIDS education campaign in Botswana, then return to develop and implement a model youth leadership program in Boston. “How can I do the most good?” asked Smith. “Every time my schoolwork has brought me closer to understanding this all-important question, there is a voice telling me I could be living the answer. I wish to spend the year after I graduate and the rest of my life researching and implementing a model for transforming the hobby of direct service for millions of students nationwide into a passion for democracy and equality expressed through community organizing.”

The Richardson Fellowships are designed to encourage and enhance the pursuit of careers in public service, to emphasize Harvard’s commitment to the value of this service, and to pay tribute to Elliot and Anne Richardson, who as individuals and as a team exemplified the highest ideals of public service.

Elliot Richardson held three successive Cabinet posts during the Nixon administration, as well as an ambassadorship and a Cabinet post in the Ford administration. Anne Richardson joined the national efforts of Reading Is Fundamental during its infancy and served as its chair from 1981 to 1996. Both had long and diverse records of service at Harvard and are the only husband and wife to have served on Harvard’s Board of Overseers.