“If we are to improve politics and public life,” says Richard C. Harwood, founder and president of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, “then we need to release ourselves from our resignation that public life and politics has to be the way that it is today, and declare that it can be better, that we can be better! Over the past 20 years, he has become a leading national authority on improving America’s communities, raising standards of political conduct and re-engaging citizens on today’s most complex and controversial public issues. Harwood, who has been called "one of the great thinkers in American public life," has dedicated his life to helping people make good on their urge to do good.
Rich Harwood seeks to uncover answers to some of the most pressing questions of our time. He has worked with thousands of people in dozens of U.S. cities, spreading a vision for what American society should be, and putting innovative practices to use on the ground to turn that vision into reality.
Rich is the author of Make Hope Real (2008) as well as Hope Unraveled (2005), and numerous articles, essays and op-eds.
A dynamic and inspirational public speaker, Harwood has been featured at hundreds of events and is a frequent keynote speaker for foundations and national organizations. He is a commentator and contributor on national and syndicated television, newspapers, radio and web sites, including MSNBC, NPR, The Christian Science Monitor, CNN's Inside Politics, The Jim Bohannon Show, Special Report with Brit Hume, C-SPAN, and many other media outlets.
In October of 1999, Harwood was a featured speaker along with Colin Powell and Doris Kearns Goodwin at the White House Fellows 35th Anniversary Program. He is a faculty member of the Public Affairs Institute and also has lectured at the prestigious Poynter Institute, a national school of journalism.
Rich did his undergraduate work in Political Economy at Skidmore College. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was a Harry S Truman Scholar. He received his M.A. in Public Affairs from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Rich lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife Jackie and their two children.