"The landscape and the people were far more gripping and dramatic than anything I had ever seen"

Alistair Cooke

"The Harkness Fellowship was a brilliant experience and a pivotal point in both my professional and personal life (I met my wife in New York while I was a Fellow)"

Simon Stevens

“It gave me an understanding of America, its culture and institutions and a deeper global perspective”

Aminatta Forna

“It broadened my horizons – figuratively and literally – in ways that have influenced and benefited my entire life”

Sir Colin Blakemore

"It provided the time and place for an invaluable period of creative development and art world contacts that continue to this day"

Nigel Hall

"Without the Harkness fellowship, I would never have become really internationally focussed, or been able to hold my own in US academic circles - it was life changing"

Baroness Julia Neuberger

"The Harkness Fellowship was the most profound experience of my life"

Harold Evans

Our Purpose

The Harkness Fellows Association and Transatlantic Trust is the alumni association of Harkness Fellowships, an international programme offering study fellowships in the USA. The aims of the association are to keep alive the spirit of the programme and to encourage transatlantic contacts and relationships. To this end it runs a programme of lectures, discussions, and other activities, publishes a Members’ newsletter and has produced a film about the programme.

Membership of the Harkness Fellows Association is open to all interested in transatlantic relationships. The core of our members are former Harkness and Commonwealth Fund Fellows who at some stage in their careers enjoyed the benefit of living, studying and travelling in the United States of America,
If you wish to join the Harkness Fellows Association, please click here ».


Harkness Fellowships (known as Commonwealth Fund Fellowships until 1960) were set up by Edward Harkness – a major benefactor on both sides of the Atlantic – in 1925. They were funded by the Harkness family foundation, the Commonwealth Fund of New York. Over the years the scheme has gradually changed to reflect prevailing priorities for the Commonwealth Fund and transatlantic study opportunities, as well as to include fellows from many other countries, not just the UK. Read more »

The Harkness Fellows Association, set up by a number of former holders of Harkness Fellowships in the UK, was registered as a charity on 13 September 2001. The HFA has no full-time staff. Its activities are carried out on a voluntary basis by committee members and part-time administrative assistance is bought in from an educational organisation, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU). Read more »

Forthcoming Events

The Harkness Fellows Association runs a regular programme of events open to Harkness Fellows and their guests, and other interested parties.

28th July 2019 11am – 1pm – Origins of the Royal Academy of Arts – John Entwistle OBE

This talk will be given by John Entwistle OBE, Emeritus Trustee of the Royal Academy Development Trust

Read More & Tickets >


26th September 2019 6:30pm – 8:30pm – Higher Education: a crisis of confidence?  – Sir David Bell

This talk will be given by Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sunderland

Read More & Tickets >


Save the Date

Wednesday 6th November – early evening Central London

The City after the crisis and Brexit: Will bankers ever be respected again?

Sir Howard Davies, Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc


Harkness Stories

Welcome home to the four UK 17/18 Harkness Fellows in Healthcare Policy and Practice.  Read more about these fellows here. Harkness and Commonwealth Fund Fellows have spanned the breadth of human endeavour in their studies and careers. Many have led innovation and discovery in their respective fields. Many have been active in voluntary and charitable activities as well as pursuing successful careers. The HFA wants to share more stories of former fellows.  Please share your alumni story with us. See here for guidance on what to cover in your story.

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Stuart Devlin, (1931 to 2018) AO, CMG, was a Harkness Fellow from 1960 to 62 based at Columbia University. A conversation with Stuart’s wife Carole Devlin and her sister Victoria Simkin throws light on his fellowship and how they came to edit the book of his work ‘Stuart Devlin: Designer, Goldsmith, Silversmith’, published in 2018 by ACC Art Books.  A multi-talented designer, goldsmith, silversmith, sculptor, painter, engineer, furniture and house designer, Stuart was a man who took all the opportunities life offered, and his Harkness Fellowship was no exception.  This book showcases the breadth of his skill and work.

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Recent Events

Harkness Fellows meet regularly to hear stimulating speakers and discuss current topics. In keeping with the spirit of inquiry that all Harkness Fellows have, fostered by their time in the US, the issues explored are wide ranging and provocative. 

In November Dr Anna Dixon shared insights and evidence from the work of Ageing Better. To ensure that longer lives are a blessing not a curse means doing more to promote healthy ageing; enabling people to remain in good quality work for longer; ensuring that homes are safe, accessible and affordable; and creating communities that are age-friendly where people can be active and connected to others. 

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