Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI)


The Harkness Fellows Association (HFA) is a small alumni association, funded from annual subscriptions and donations. Membership of the HFA is open to all who are interested in transatlantic relationships. The core of our members consists of former Harkness and Commonwealth Fund Fellows.

The aims of the HFA are to keep alive the spirit of those Fellowships and to encourage transatlantic contacts and relationships. To this end we run a programme of talks and visits to places of historic or cultural interest, and host an annual Returners’ event, supported by the Health Foundation, to introduce those returning from their Fellowships to the Harkness alumni family. We also produce a Fellowship newsletter twice a year. The HFA seeks to ensure that all these experiences are equitable, diverse and inclusive.

Our activities are open to all Harkness/Commonwealth Fund alumni. Charges for attending talks and taking part in visits are calculated solely to cover costs.  The newsletter is free of charge. The annual membership fee is small (£40).

The HFA supports freedom of speech within the law. We invite speakers for their known expertise and experience in specific fields. We do not expect our hosting of any speaker to be interpreted as HFA endorsement of that speaker’s views.  A speaker’s views are their own. Talks are always followed by a question-and-answer period to enable challenge.

Our support to returning Fellows is standard. We write to all Returners each summer to welcoming them to the Harkness family. We tell them that free first year membership of the HFA (supported by the Commonwealth Fund) is on offer. We invite them to speak at the Returners’ event. We ask them to update their Fellowship project description for posting on the HFA website. We offer to talk through any concerns about their return. We ask whether they would find a connection to former fellows helpful.  Not all take advantage of these offers, but they are made to all.    

The HFA does not employ staff. It has a contract with the ACU for administrative support; the ACU is an EDI employer.  The HFA contracts on an hourly basis for further administrative support as needed.  Where involved in recruitment, we believe in an inclusive approach to staff employment, welcome staff from diverse backgrounds and are committed to equality.

Concerns about the application of the HFA’s approach to EDI should be emailed to our administrator at  Emails will be forwarded to the committee for consideration.

 December 2020