Campus & Community

HKS Asia Programs joins the Ash Institute

3 min read

Kennedy School research center merger will strengthen both groups through collaboration

The Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation and Asia Programs at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) will announce a new partnership. Under the leadership of new institute director Tony Saich, Asia Programs became part of the Ash Institute on July 1. The new collaboration promises to leverage and expand the collective
strength of both organizations.

Saich brings a wealth of experience to his new position leading the institute. As the Daewoo Professor of International Affairs, Saich was most recently the director of Harvard University’s Asia Center and the faculty chair of both the China Public Policy Program and Asia Programs. Previously, he helped establish China’s innovations awards program in Beijing as the China Office Representative for the Ford Foundation. Saich has an extensive background advising government, nonprofit, and private institutions on governance issues in China and other Asian countries. In recognition of his contributions to the public administration field, Saich was named a Chang Jiang Scholar in 2006 by China’s Ministry of Education and the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

Not only is Saich a notable expert in public administration, he also is a renowned authority on China and international politics, with prolific scholarly work on the interplay between the Chinese state and society on the delivery of goods and services. His previous work developing executive education training programs for government officials in Beijing and elsewhere will prove particularly beneficial as the institute augments its current portfolio of capacity-building classes for government officials. Moreover, Saich’s strong focus on governance and democracy issues promises to inform and enhance the Ash Institute’s Innovations in American Government Awards and international programs, along with encouraging thoughtful scholarship in a range of new areas.

In addition to the change in leadership, the institute’s new relationship with Asia Programs
affords multiple areas for synergy and collaboration. The institute hopes to broaden its research fellows program by welcoming scholars with increasingly diverse areas of study focused on governance and innovation. The collaboration opens the gateways for many more HKS faculty members to engage in and further develop the institute’s research priorities. Most importantly, the relationship allows even more students to benefit from the institute’s range of fellowships focused on both American and international governance issues and the synergies
between them.

“We are concluding a highly productive seven-year relationship with the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government and look forward to an equally successful partnership with the Ash Institute,” said Saich. “The opportunities for sharing scholarly research and best practices are numerous. Together, we will advance both organizations’ commitment to good governance and innovation within a host of new geographic arenas and governments.”