Harvard Kennedy School: Dean Rescinds Fellowship Offer to Former Human Rights Watch Director Over Criticism of Israel


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Case Overview

Shortly after Kenneth Roth announced his plan to step down in August 2022 as executive director of Human Rights Watch after nearly thirty years, Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy offered him a senior fellowship with the center. Roth accepted the offer, which was then sent to HKS Dean Doug Elmendorf for final approval. But Elmendorf withdrew the offer, reportedly over Roth’s purported “anti-Israel bias.” On January 6, 2023, FIRE wrote HKS explaining that the school violated Roth’s expressive rights and undermined Harvard’s educational mission by denying him the fellowship because of his views.