12 Special Initiatives

American Secretaries of State

The Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School in partnership with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School has launched a new initiative entitled, “American Secretaries of State: Diplomacy, Negotiation and Statecraft.” This project is chaired by Professor Nicholas Burns of the Harvard Kennedy School, Professor James Sebenius of the Harvard Business School and Professor Robert Mnookin from Harvard Law School.

An Economic View of the Environment

Robert N. Stavins is the A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy & Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, Director of Graduate Studies for the Doctoral Program in Public Policy and the Doctoral Program in Political Economy and Government, Co-Chair of the Harvard Business School-Kennedy School Joint Degree Programs, and Director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements.

Arctic Initiative

The Arctic Initiative strives to contribute to the development of new programs and policies aimed at understanding what is happening in this critical region by initiating new research; by convening policy makers, scientists, and politicians; and by developing a new generation of public and private officials with a much greater knowledge of the factors that are affecting the Arctic ecosystems and their implications for the environmental, social, and economic systems around the globe.

Cuban Missile Crisis

Designed to help policymakers, students, and interested citizens draw lessons from these critical events half a century ago, this site not only provides background on the crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster in October 1962 but also offers tools to understand how it can inform contemporary policy.

David Petraeus on Strategic Leadership

This project aims to distill from the depth of General Petraeus’ experience his views on the role of the theater level commander, specifically from the perspective of strategic leadership: the link between policy and operations. Conducted over the 2014-15 academic year, the project team worked with General Petraeus to draw out his views on strategic leadership in several interviews. The filmed version represents a distillation of this interaction.

Elbe Group

As US and Soviet forces converged in Germany in the final days of WWII, soldiers from both armies met at the River Elbe near Torgau. That historic meeting of comrades, united in the face of common threats, is the inspiration for the creation of a unique group, the Elbe Group.

Iran Matters

Harvard’s Iran Matters, a special research initiative of the Belfer Center's Iran Project, is a one-stop shop for best analysis and facts about issues relating to all policy aspects of Iranian affairs. A panel of experts at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, co-chaired by Graham Allison and Payam Mohseni, will provide regular updates, wide-ranging analysis, and detailed explanations of Iranian politics, including its nuclear program.

Lee Kuan Yew speaks to a group of journalists in Singapore on Dec. 20, 2004.


Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master

When Lee Kuan Yew speaks, who listens? Presidents, prime ministers, chief executives, and all who care about global strategy. Lee has been a mentor to every Chinese leader from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping, and a counselor to every U.S. president from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. In this succinct book, Graham Allison and Robert Blackwill, two leading strategic thinkers, extract the essence of Lee Kuan Yew’s visionary thinking about critical issues including the futures of China and the United States, U.S.-China relations, India, and globalization. Drawing from extensive interviews with Lee as well as his writings and speeches, the authors distill Lee’s views on essential policy choices as the U.S. pivots toward Asia.

Nuclear Security Matters

Nuclear Security Matters provides accessible analysis from the world’s leading experts on nuclear security and nuclear terrorism. This website is intended to help inform researchers, reporters, government officials, and the interested public on policy options for strengthening nuclear security and reducing the risk of nuclear terrorism.

Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe

In Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, Graham Allison, founding dean of Harvard’s modern John F. Kennedy School of Government, a former top Pentagon official, and one of America’s leading scholars of nuclear strategy and national security, gives us an urgent call to action. He makes the case that nuclear terrorism is inevitable—if we continue on our present course—and he sets out an ambitious but achievable plan for preventing a catastrophic attack before it’s too late.

Russia Matters

The aim of Russia Matters is to improve the understanding of Russia and the U.S.-Russian relationship among America’s policymakers and the concerned public. It does so by showcasing the best expertise on Russia and its relationships with the rest of the world, by providing relevant factual data and by offering related digests of news and analysis.


Thucydides Statue, Vienna, Austria

Chris JL / Flickr

Thucydides's Trap

Welcome to the Harvard Thucydides's Trap Project, where you can find information about Graham Allison's new book "Destined for War," explore the Thucydides's Trap Case File, and learn more about the defining challenge of the 21st century.