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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

  • After guiding the creation and establishment of The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement for the past three years, Marsha Ternus has decided to retire from her position as director of the Institute. Her leadership has been crucial to creating a sustainable foundation for the future.  Marsha’s leadership and vision has been vital to the success of The Harkin Institute, and we wish her all the best. Read all about Marsha's tenure here.

  • What is the ADA Generation? What do the youth who have never known life without the ADA want for persons with disabilities for the next 25 years. Check out our new project with all the answers here! #ADA2040

  • Drake University and Harkin Institute student, Zachary Mecham, was profiled by the Des Moines Register! Read all about Zach here. 
     
  • 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.
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