What We Do
Our primary focus includes four of the issue areas important to our founder, Senator Tom Harkin: labor and employment, people with disabilities, retirement security, and wellness and nutrition.
The Harkin Institute provides policymakers with non-partisan, unbiased, and socially diverse information. Our promise is to give policymakers access to high-quality information for fact-based policy decisions. We also offer policymakers a chance to connect with a broadly diverse group of citizens to get their ideas and learn firsthand how current and proposed policies will impact real lives.
For the Public
Factually informed citizens are empowered citizens, and The Harkin Institute provides high-quality nonpartisan information that’s been proven accurate in efforts to combat the rise of misinformation and fake news.
When we include citizens in the conversation about American policy changes, we help them experience a sense of duty and accomplishment by being part of the solution. We enhance understanding of policy issues by facilitating interaction with national thought leaders as well as with a diverse array of fellow citizens. We offer the public a way to further engage by learning about the institutions and processes that make public policy.
We encourage Drake University students to explore careers in public policy and social change. The Harkin Institute offers students a chance to do real public policy research in preparation for a career in a related field. Our student staff receives valuable, hands-on career-building experiences. Scholarship opportunities are offered to students seeking internships with outside organizations in Washington,D.C.
We deliver access to national thought leaders and facilitate the meeting and respectful exchange of ideas among a broadly diverse set of students. These interpersonal experiences lead to new understandings, better public policies and personal networking opportunities.The institute also offers classes to further aid students in understanding roles in public service.