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Welcome to The Harkin Institute.

The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement exists to inform citizens, inspire creative cooperation, and catalyze change on issues of social justice, fairness, and opportunity.

Founded on the premise that good public policy is best achieved when policymakers have access to high quality information, political processes are open and well-understood, and citizens are informed and active participants, The Harkin Institute offers programing, experiences, research, and connectivity focused on the areas that defined Senator Harkin’s career—people with disabilities, retirement security, wellness and nutrition, and labor and employment.

News from The Harkin Institute

  • In Fall 2016, The Harkin Institute hosted Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and leader of the global movement to end child labor, for the sixth installment of its Sussman Lecture Series. The Spring 2017 lecturer, coming April 18, is British Consul General Stephen Bridges. Bridges will discuss the U.K.'s leave from the EU, particularly focusing on how Americans (specifically Iowans) will be affected by Brexit. Reserve free tickets here.

  • On August 1, 2016, Joseph Jones began his position as executive director at The Harkin Institute, following a role as senior VP for government relations and public policy at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Click here to read more about Joseph.

  • After guiding the creation and establishment of The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement for the past three years, Marsha Ternus has retired from her position as director of the institute. Her leadership was crucial to creating a sustainable foundation for the future.  Marsha’s leadership and vision have been vital to the success of The Harkin Institute, and we wish her all the best. Read all about Marsha's tenure here.
Harkin Institute
October 2, 2017
Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Stephen Benjamin will discuss the evolving role of American mayors in today’s political environment and other top issues facing American cities at The Harkin Institute’s Sussman Lecture on Oct. 30 at Drake University.