Hardvard Kennedy School graduates

Eight Marshall Center employees attended the Harvard Kennedy School (shown here). The school is promoting its graduates in a campaign (DOD Photo by Karlheinz Wedhorn/RELEASED).

 by Deacon Westervelt
GCMC Public Affairs

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Feb. 5, 2013) – With the alpine glow on the Zugspitze and the crimson sky as the sun rises over the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, some may reflect on their days gone by. Others, like the eight Harvard Kennedy School Alumni working at the Marshall Center, are reminded that they “bleed crimson” as they engage in tomorrow’s solutions.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that so many HKS alumni are working at the Marshall Center. The Marshall Center focuses on key issues confronting the European, Eurasian, and transnational regions while the Kennedy School Harvard Kennedy School strives to place itself as leading the way in new developments in public policy.

Like the Marshall Center, Harvard focuses its attention to emergent issues: What’s coming up? What’s important? What do we need to know about?

To highlight the work of its graduates, Harvard Kennedy School recently requested photographs from alumni in their place of work holding a red card that read, “I am here.” The Marshall Center contributed to that promotional effort.

When Jean Callaghan, senior program analyst at the Marshall Center, arrived at Harvard Kennedy School in 1992, she was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow on assignment to the International Security Program as a fellow, becoming an adjunct fellow the following year. She completed two projects while at Harvard Kennedy School. For her first project, she collaborated with the team—led by Ash Carter, including Michèle Flournoy and Graham Allison—who literally “wrote the book” that led to the Cooperative Threat Reduction program. The second project was for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, focusing on the history and current status of US-Russian bilateral and multilateral programs. This study provided OSD with lessons learned and recommendations on ways ahead for improving US-Russian military-to-military programs.

“The Kennedy School is kind of a policy hub, full of experts and practitioners from all over the world who are working on important issues and developing new approaches. When interesting things are going on in the policy world, they are often first discussed and worked on at Harvard,” Callaghan said. “So after new ideas are developed at Harvard Kennedy School, some of the people working on these projects then go out into the world, go where the action is, and apply these new concepts and approaches. Research isn’t conducted merely to get a publication; research—like the Cooperative Denuclearization project—conducted at the Kennedy School is used to create new programs that actually make the world demonstrably safer.”

Because of the work Callaghan did on US-Russian military relationships, she attained her current job working at the Marshall Center.

“You meet amazing people at Harvard and from the discussions you get great ideas. You learn so much from each another, which is like the Marshall Center,” Callaghan added.

Ralph R. "Rick" Steinke, the director of the Event Support Directorate at the Marshall Center had a similar experience when he went to Harvard Kennedy School in 1998.

“I learned a lot from my National Security Program classmates, who came from all of the U.S. military services. The breadth and depth of the international participants and students at the Kennedy School were also quite remarkable," Steinke said.

Steinke mentioned that Harvard Kennedy School provided a “very stimulating, international and public service environment.” He said that one thing that makes it so special is the type of accomplished individuals the school is able to bring in, either as a speaker or professor.

“I was able to take a course on dealing with the media from retired Senator Al Simpson, the former Republican Whip from Wyoming. He was both illuminating and funny,” Steinke said. “I was also able to audit a class at Harvard College on the Federalist Papers, co-taught by George Will. It was pretty amazing to sit in class during the week and then see him every Sunday on TV, holding forth on U.S. politics, foreign policy and national security.”

Steinke credits attending the Kennedy School for further inspiring him to continue a career in public service.

Currently eight Marshall Center staff members are Harvard Kennedy School alumni, including the director, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith W. Dayton. This is a good example of the level of education seen here at the Marshall Center.

As the crimson sun sets, the participants at the Marshall Center have the same opportunity to identify common values, create transnational friendships, and work toward common understandings. Through these relationships, research, and common goals, the Center upholds a stake in influencing policy in the European, Eurasia, and transnational regions for the hope of a more stable future.