"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.


17th January 6.30 for 7pm – Harkness Birthday Dinner – Baroness Julia Neuberger

The 2019 Harkness Birthday Dinner will be held at Browns Bar and Brasserie, and our speaker for this year is Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE.

Read More & Tickets >

Save the Date

Sir David Logan on Turkey’s foreign policies
March 27 2019  
Early evening in Central London.


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. They should be between 150 and 250 words and sent to harkness@acu.ac.com

Read more »


Both the US and UK are struggling at the moment to find common ground for discussions on the way forward due to partisan stereotyping. Trump supporters and Trump haters, or Brexiteers and Remainers find it hard to discuss issues. Too quickly we brand people who do not appear to support the same cause as “other” and fail to understand the full range of views in our own or the other camp.  Prof Christina Pagel shares with us how she developed survey questions on key political issues in both the US and UK that did not lead people to jump straight back into their partisan box. 

Read more »

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 September we heard from Sir David Omand who has a long and distinguished career in intelligence.  His thesis was that it is possible for governments in the liberal democracies to command public support for digital intelligence activities by ensuring that these are conducted in accordance with the rule of law, are properly regulated and entail restraint in the use of State power.

Read more »