Asia Programs: Programs

China Public Policy Program

Faculty Chair: Anthony Saich
Associate Director: Laura Ma
Program Coordinator:
Jessica Eykholt
Program Coordinator: Kathy O'Brien

Over the last few years, the Kennedy School of Government has developed a wide range of programs with the People’s Republic of China covering training, workshops, and applied policy research. The annual budget for this work is approximately $2.3 million. The mission of the China Public Policy Program is to support the training of Chinese officials in an effort to enhance their capacity to manage policy in rapidly changing domestic and international public environments; engage in capacity building in China to further the teaching and analysis of public administration and public policy issues; and promote superior research and policy dialogues on current developments in China andthose issues central to US-China relations.

Strategic Policy Dialogue Initiatives and Research. The first major component of the China Public Policy Program is the gathering of high level officials, policy-makers, and leaders of industry and the non-profit sector at the Kennedy School and abroad to discuss topics pertinent to global trends and China's domestic reform agenda. The Program also seeks to establish a strong research program, with at least one annual visiting fellow, post-doctoral researcher, or doctorate student position offered. In addition, two Chinese senior civil servants per year will spend a semester at the Kennedy School conducting research, writing, interacting with faculty and students, and participating in the life of the wider Harvard community.

Degree and Executive Programs. The China Program has provided support for mid-career Chinese professionals and government officials to study as Mason Fellows at the Kennedy School of Government in the one-year Master's in Public Administration (MPA) program and to take part in existing Kennedy School executive programs. Created in the summer of 1998, The New World Chinese Fellows Program provides a mechanism for sustained interaction between rising Chinese leaders and their international counterparts. This Program places senior Chinese civil servants into existing Kennedy School Executive Education Programs designed to address issues of governance such as leadership, strategic and organizational management, negotiation, and policy development. It also supports 2-3 officials per year for a semester-long research stay to investigate topics relevant to their professional needs. Since its inception almost 120 Chinese government officials have participated in this program, and it is anticipated that another 30-40 will come over the next two years.

Targeted Executive Programs and Capacity Strengthening. The China Program also oversees specialized executive training programs designed for targeted Chinese constituencies. Through professional training, participants will sharpen their problem-solving, analytic, strategic planning, and leadership skills to help them plan, introduce, and sustain major policy and institutional actions directly related to their own policy environment. The curriculum will also equip participants with an international spectrum of working models of development and public policy practice, against which they may weigh local options and environments. Lastly, participants will gain familiarity with the vocabulary and conceptual background necessary to engage in international cooperation and debate regarding the above concerns. Past programs have included representatives from the People’s Liberation Army, China's National School of Administration (CNSA), Tsinghua University, and a major new program was just launched for local government officials in collaboration with the State Council’s Development Research Center and the School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing.

On January 18, 2002, in a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Dean Joseph Nye of the Kennedy School of Government, Minister Chen Qingtai of the Development Research Center of the State Council and President Lawrence Summers launched an exciting new program, China's Leaders in Development, to prepare Chinese government officials to face the ongoing challenges of China's national reforms.