Research, ideas, and leadership for a more secure, peaceful world


The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is the hub of Harvard Kennedy School's research, teaching, and training in international security and diplomacy, environmental and resource issues, and science and technology policy. The Belfer Center was named a “Center of Excellence” by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, in recognition of the Center’s six consecutive years as the world’s #1 university-affiliated think tank.

The Center has a dual mission: (1) to provide leadership in advancing policy-relevant knowledge about the most important challenges of international security and other critical issues where science, technology, environmental policy, and international affairs intersect; and (2) to prepare future generations of leaders for these arenas.

Building on the vision of founder Paul Doty, the Center integrates insights and research of social scientists, natural scientists, technologists, and practitioners in government, diplomacy, the military, and business. The Center pursues its mission in four complementary research areas:

  • The International Security Program addresses the most pressing threats to U.S. national interests and international security.
  • The Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program analyzes ways in which public policies influence S&T for security, energy efficiency, sustainability, and economic competitiveness.
  • The Environment and Natural Resources Program is the locus of Harvard's interdisciplinary research on resource and environmental problems and policy responses.
  • The Diplomacy and International Affairs focus of the Center comprises the Future of Diplomacy Project and also supports research and teaching on global political relations through the Middle East Initiative and the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship.

The heart of the Belfer Center is its resident research community of more than 150 scholars, including Harvard faculty, researchers, practitioners, and each year a new, international group of research fellows. Through publications and policy discussions, workshops, seminars, and conferences, the Center promotes innovative solutions to significant national and international challenges.

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For details about sponsored academic research, please see the "Sponsored Program Awards History" page at the Harvard Kennedy School website.