About the Shorenstein Center

At this moment of division and distrust, our broken news environment poses a threat to the public good. Every pressing public policy concern is affected by the flows and flaws in information. The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy is a Harvard Kennedy School research center dedicated to addressing this challenge at its root by examining how essential information is created, conveyed and consumed. We believe that improving the quality of public information and expanding access to it will bring about healthier, stronger, more peaceful societies.

The center was founded in 1986 to allow journalists to engage with public policy students and faculty at Harvard Kennedy School. In the past two decades it has expanded its mission to advance research across multiple disciplines into the forces and factors that shape our broader media environment.

Today, the Shorenstein Center pursues its core mission through original research, convening leaders in practice and scholarship, providing trainings and educational opportunities for students and media practitioners, and highlighting best practices across the fields of media and content production.

Center Leadership

Nancy Gibbs, Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice at the Kennedy School, is the Shorenstein Center’s faculty Director. She leads the strategic and academic focus for the Center. From 2013-2017 she was Editor in Chief of TIME, the first woman to hold the position. She directed news and feature coverage across all platforms for more than 65 million readers worldwide, and served as Editorial Director of the Time Inc. News Group. During her three decades at TIME, she was the author of more cover stories than any writer in TIME’s near-100 year history, including the black-bordered “September 11” special issue, which won the National Magazine Award in 2002.  Learn more about Professor Gibbs on her HKS Faculty page.


photograph of Laura ManleyLaura Manley is the Center’s Executive Director. Laura is an experienced leader in higher education and non-governmental organizations, with over a decade of experience using data and technology for the health of democratic societies. She was most recently Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’ Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project at Harvard Kennedy School, and previously co-founded the Center for Open Data Enterprise (CODE), and served as Senior Consultant for the World Bank Group and the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs.


Advisory Board

The Center’s Advisory Board include prominent leaders in journalism, academia, and policy. Find the full list of our Advisory Board here. 

Faculty and Staff

The Center’s affiliated and resident faculty members, along with research staff, lead and execute the core of the Center’s research mission, supported by the administrative and programmatic staff. Learn more about the people at the Shorenstein Center here. 

Research Projects

The Center is home to resident faculty who run a wide range of academic research projects and programs. You can learn more about them and their work here.


Joan ShorensteinThe Shorenstein Center’s roots can be traced back to the early days of the John F. Kennedy School of Government. The Kennedy School has been singular in declaring its mission to be teaching and research plus engagement with the real world, something that sets it apart. Early on, leaders at the School recognized that engagement with the press should be part of the School’s focus, and the Shorenstein Center has grown from there to increase understanding and engagement with the entire ecosystem of media and information that is essential for healthy societies.

Read a full history of the Center’s creation and early years.