Harvard Kennedy School PolicyCast-logo

Harvard Kennedy School PolicyCast

Government >

A weekly podcast on public policy, politics and global issues hosted by Matt Cadwallader and featuring leading voices from Harvard Kennedy School and beyond.

A weekly podcast on public policy, politics and global issues hosted by Matt Cadwallader and featuring leading voices from Harvard Kennedy School and beyond.
More Information


United States


A weekly podcast on public policy, politics and global issues hosted by Matt Cadwallader and featuring leading voices from Harvard Kennedy School and beyond.




187 Reinventing City Government

HKS Prof. Stephen Goldsmith describes how cities are poised to shed the strict bureaucracies of the 20th century in favor of a distributed governance model where the city acts as a platform and service providers can be evaluated by outcomes.


Is Social Media Good For Democracy?

Adam Conner, a spring 2018 fellow at the Institute of Politics, digs into the nuance behind the question many are asking about platforms like Facebook and Twitter, namely: are they good for democracy?


185 Turning a Personal Loss into Policy Action on Opioids

Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld, a non-resident senior fellow at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, knows firsthand the damage inflicted by the ongoing opioid crisis. After losing his son to addiction in late 2017, he has committed himself to finding solutions to the seemingly intractable public health dilemma. He discusses his recently-launched foundation Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic (SAFE) and the six strategies they are pursuing from awareness to prevention to treatment.


Lessons Learned as a Political Prisoner in Venezuela

Francisco Marquez MPP 2012 describes his experience as a political prisoner in his home country of Venezuela. He describes what drove him to pursue his political advocacy despite the inherent risks, what his experience was like in captivity, what he learned from the ordeal, and what motivates him to continue his advocacy in exile. Marquez is the Executive Director of Vision Democratica Foundation and a fellow at the Ash Center’s Democracy in Hard Places Initiative.


183 Stop Calling It Fake News

The Shorenstein Center’s Claire Wardle and journalist Hossein Derakhshan explain how information disorder explain how information disorder has taken the world by storm, breaking down how it’s created, produced, and distributed, paying particular attention to the ways in which social media has exacerbated the problem, and making the case that the term F*** News isn’t just inaccurate, but actively harmful to democratic institutions.


182 The Mueller Investigation

HKS Lecturer Juliette Kayyem provides context to the endless stream of news regarding Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. In addition to giving a brief on what we now know, Kayyem also discusses the potential ramifications if President Trump were to attempt to fire Mueller in a move reminiscent of Nixon’s infamous Saturday Night Massacre.


181 Another Round on Tax Reform

With tax reform legislation now in conference committee having cleared both the U.S. House and Senate, HKS Professor Jason Furman returns with an update on where things stand.


180 A State Department in Crisis

HKS Professor Nicholas Burns sounds the alarm about what he sees as a deliberate attempt to dismantle the US State Department and Foreign Service.


179 Talking Politics over Turkey

HKS Senior Lecturer Jeff Seglin offers advice and strategies on how to handle conversations about politics with family and friends who you may not see eye to eye with. And as an added bonus, he shares his family recipe for turkey stuffing.


177 Exploring the Atlas of Economic Complexity

HKS Professor Ricardo Hausmann, the director of the Kennedy School’s Center for International Development, explains the concept of economic complexity and why it has become a reliable predictor of future economic growth. He also discusses the Atlas of Economic Complexity, an interactive website that could help entrepreneurs and policymakers see where a particular country’s economy is heading. This interview was originally recorded in 2013.


176 Reason for Doubt on Tax Reform

HKS Professor Jason Furman speaks with host Matt Cadwallader about the Trump administration’s tax reform proposal, expressing serious doubts about some of the claims made by the Council of Economic Advisors, a White House agency he previously presided over as chairman from 2013 to early 2017. Among the issues he digs into are simplifying the tax code; increasing the standard deduction for the middle class; how cutting the corporate tax would affect workers’ wages; repatriation of money...


From CEO to Cabinet Secretary: Transitioning to the Forever Business

Former US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, currently a Fall 2017 Fellow at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, recounts her experiences as a private sector executive and how they shaped her attitude towards environmental stewardship, and ultimately prepared her for her role in President Obama’s cabinet.


174 Stressing Over Health Care

Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and former Doctors for America CEO Alice Chen dive into the state of healthcare in the United States, from the Trump administration’s recent moves to end cost-sharing subsidies, to finding ways to cut costs by focusing efforts on prevention. They also discuss the oft-neglected impact of loneliness and stress on health. Dr. Chen and Vice Admiral Murthy were on campus as guests of the Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership.


The Public Protector

As South Africa’s Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela investigated and exposed corruption at the highest levels of government. Now she’s a fellow at the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative and is sharing her experience and insights on what it takes to hold powerful public officials accountable.