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Robert Putnam      

Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Author of "Our Kids"

Robert D. Putnam is the Malkin Research Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, having retired from active teaching in May 2018. Raised in a small town in Ohio, he was educated at Swarthmore, Oxford, and Yale. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. In 2006 Putnam received the Skytte Prize, the world’s highest accolade for a political scientist, in 2013 President Barack Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest honor for contributions to the humanities, for “deepening our understanding of community in America,” and in 2018 the International Political Science Association awarded him the Karl Deutsch Award for cross-disciplinary research. He has received eighteen honorary degrees from universities in eight countries, including in 2018, Oxford.

Putnam has written fifteen books, translated into twenty languages, including Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Italy and Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, both among the most cited (and bestselling) social science works in the last half century. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, co-authored with David Campbell, won the Woodrow Wilson award as the best book in political science published in 2011. His 2015 bestseller, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, chronicled the growing class gap among American youth.

Before coming to Harvard in 1979, Putnam taught at the University of Michigan and served on the staff of the US National Security Council. At Harvard he has served as Dean of the Kennedy School, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He co-founded the Saguaro Seminar, bringing together leading thinkers and practitioners (including President Obama) to develop actionable ideas for civic renewal. His counsel has been sought by national and grassroots leaders on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Atlantic, including Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, Prime Ministers Blair and Cameron, and prime ministers from Ireland and Finland to Singapore and South Korea. Over the last several decades he has also worked directly with thousands of grassroots leaders in scores of local communities’ coast to coast across America.

He lives in Jaffrey, New Hampshire and Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife Rosemary.


A Conversation With Robert D. Putnam | The Weekly Standard
The latest Conversations With Bill Kristol features author and professor Robert D. Putnam: A best-selling author and professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, ...
Harvard professor, best-selling author Robert Putnam to present ...
Robert D. Putnam, the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and best-selling author, will present the 2016 T.W. Samuels ...
Harvard professor Robert Putnam to be honored at the White House ...
A Harvard professor whose book "Bowling Alone'' examined the role of community in the United States will receive the 2012 National Humanities Medal from ...
Robert Putnam to keynote Conference on Cross-Sector Collaboration
PORTLAND, Maine — Robert Putnam, professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School and author of the best-selling book “Bowling Alone,” will present  ...

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