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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.

Fall at the Harkin Institute

  • UPDATE: All tickets have been reserved for Charlie Cook of The Cook Political Report's annual Harkin Institute on Monday, December 7, 2015. You can be added to the waitlist by emailing your name and phone number to This year, Cook has planned a fun night of nonpartisan, up-to-the-minute political analysis, insights, and stories about the Republicans and Democrats. Don't miss the most unique event of the caucus season!

  • 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.