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Welcome to the Harkin Institute.

The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and 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. Located at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, but with a national and international footprint, the Harkin Institute is starting its second year of full operations with a focus on establishing nonpartisan public policy research programing, archiving 40 years of Senator Harkin’s congressional papers, and serving as the premier nonpartisan source of information and analysis on the Iowa Caucuses.

Spring at the Harkin Institute

  • Don't throw out all of that caucus related mail you are getting this season! Instead, use it to help contribute to academic research about the caucuses happening at the Harkin Institute. Upload pictures of the campaign mail you get here to be a part of history!

  • Check out the Harkin Institute's Iowa Caucus Project! It's your one stop shop for knowing about caucus activities happening at Drake University, campaign events across the state, and it features original, nonpartisan analysis content from Drake students and Harkin Institute fellows.
  • Cowles Library Political Papers Archivist, Hope Grebner, is a co-curator of the new "Great Society Congress" online exhibition about what many consider the most productive Congress in American History. Click here to take an online tour of the 89th Congress.
Harkin Institute
February 8, 2016
Bill Nye, renowned scientist, inventor, and host of Bill Nye the Science Guy, will deliver the 36th installment of the Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series at Drake University.