Our Values

The Harkin Institute was 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.

We also believe that good public policy requires communication, collaboration and courtesy from everyone involved. This belief underlies The Harkin Institute’s five core values of inclusion, education, respect, accessibility and opportunity.


We strive to include people from the widest possible range of backgrounds and beliefs. The Harkin Institute is a non-partisan organization that believes the best solutions come from creating dialogue among highly diverse speakers, special guests, and community audiences.


We develop new and innovative educational opportunities for both Drake University students and members of the local, state, and national communities. We facilitate collaboration between students and faculty in specific areas of research, enhance curriculum with internships, and offer programing on a wide variety of relevant socio-political topics.


We encourage respectful conversation among people from diverse backgrounds about important policy issues. Not only does respectful discussion focused on ideas and issues improve the outcome of the discussion, it improves the overall tenor of public dialogue.


We strive to ensure institute programs and contents of The Tom Harkin Collection are open to all who seek to use them to help advance public policy in the United States. Guided by our founder’s work in creating the Americans with Disabilities Act, we understand that solutions are best achieved when problems can be addressed by people from every ability level. Thus, we work to ensure all resources and opportunities presented by The Harkin Institute are inclusive and accessible.


We create opportunities for people of all backgrounds to learn from and interact with each other, along with nationally known policy experts and other national and international figures who have improved the quality of life for Americans and our global peers.

Address: 2800 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311

Phone: (515) 271-3623

Email: harkininstitute@drake.edu

Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.