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Harkness Fellow Experience

Harkness fellows stand in front of sign reading "A Path to Health Equity"

2022–23 Harkness Fellows attending the FTLive and Commonwealth Fund Forum on Health Equity in Washington D.C.

2022–23 Harkness Fellows attending the FTLive and Commonwealth Fund Forum on Health Equity in Washington D.C.

Harkness Fellows on their time in the U.S. and how the experience impacted their careers post-fellowship: 

It was an exceptional year, and one that has been critically influential for me, both personally and professionally. The fellowship introduced me to leading thinkers, researchers, policymakers, and innovators across the country, many of whom I continue to connect with today. I was challenged and encouraged to pursue my interests and create my own direction — the knowledge, skills, and confidence I gained have been invaluable. As a family, we loved the experience and thrived in the environment. We experienced incredible generosity from the U.S. people, from the vice president of a major medical center spending an hour discussing leadership and risk-sharing with me, to an invitation from our neighbours to watch the Super Bowl in their home. I cannot recommend the Harkness Fellowship highly enough, and would do it again if I could! — Juliet Rumball-Smith (201617), Chief Clinical Advisor, New Zealand Ministry of Health 

Two years after the Harkness Fellowship, I can confidently say that it has boosted my professional life as no other experience has. By providing me with time to think and reflect; access to top scholars and key decisionmakers in U.S. health care; and an amazing group of like-minded peers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and across Europe, the program truly prepared me for my next step as a leader in health policy. On top of this, I have made new friends from all over the world and continue to work with them on a variety of projects through the extensive Harkness Fellows network! — Marit Tanke (201617), Head of Strategy and Innovation, VGZ Health Insurance

The Harkness Fellowship offered an immersive experience in U.S. health care policy that broadened my horizons, deepened my skills, and bridged countless new relationships. Coming from a government background, spending a year at a globally renowned research centre at Harvard was daunting at first — but with the generosity and kindness of my mentors, research collaborators, colleagues, Commonwealth Fund staff, and other Fellows I made a distinctive contribution, had a lot of fun, and am now embedded in networks that continue to offer encouragement, advice, and inspiration. I cannot recommend the Harkness Fellowship highly enough. — Daniel Northam Jones (201516), Director of Strategy, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

The Harkness Fellowship is widely regarded as the pinnacle international program for health system researchers and policy leaders, and for very good reason. The Commonwealth Fund’s standing allows Fellows direct and unparalleled access to leading U.S. health care experts within government, academia, and provider organisations. My time at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) led to a publication in the New England Journal of Medicine and allowed me to build a strong network of U.S. and international collaborators that continues to this day. The Harkness Fellowship has been, and will continue to be, instrumental in my career development, and the bonds made with other Fellows will be long-lasting. — Adam Elshaug (201011), Professor of Health Policy and Director of the Centre for Health Policy, University of Melbourne