About Heller

Dean David Weil

Welcome to the Heller School! 

As soon as you step foot in Heller, you’ll probably notice that we’re quite different from most other graduate schools. Heller attracts people who are deeply committed to positive social change both locally and globally. Our motto, “knowledge advancing social justice,” is a powerful idea, but to the people who work, learn and teach here, it’s much more than words.

Here, you’ll join a community of 500 faculty, staff and students (and 4,500 alumni) who are actively engaged with today’s most critical social policy issues. In the 2019-2020 school year we will celebrate our 60th anniversary: six decades of academic innovation, scientific rigor and excellence rising. As an institution and as engaged global citizens, we believe in continuous improvement.

My vision for Heller includes four key objectives:

  1. We push the boundaries in our academic programs. This doesn’t just mean making them the best; it means providing an interdisciplinary experience so that you can tackle the specific social policy challenges you care about.
  2. We prioritize high-impact research. Complex social problems require evidence-based, cross-disciplinary solutions. Heller’s 11 research centers, institutes and collaboratives are constantly finding new ways to work together.
  3. We connect our work with the world. We pride ourselves on engaging with local stakeholders, global leaders and everyone in between—but we are always looking to do more. Our academic and scholarly work is only as valuable as its reach.
  4. We strive to lead by example. Heller has a lofty mission and values, and we constantly push ourselves to “walk the talk.” We seek to be a community where all students, faculty and staff members can not only belong, but thrive.

Staying deeply rooted to our mission in today’s rapidly-changing policy landscape requires dedication and awareness—but we’re committed to doing the work. I welcome you to join our unique community. The world needs you more than ever.

Best wishes,

David Weil
Dean and Professor

Biographical Information

David Weil is an internationally recognized expert in employment and labor market policy. He co-founded and co-directed the Transparency Policy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and has advised international organizations as well as government agencies at the state and federal levels. He is also the author of more than 100 articles and five books, including, most recently, "The Fissured Workplace: Why Work Became So Bad for So Many and What Can Be Done to Improve It," which examines how practices like outsourcing change business organizations and erode relationships between employers and their workers. Read the latest about David's research at The Fissured Workplace.

Weil earned a bachelor’s degree at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, a master’s in public policy and a PhD in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to joining the Heller School, Dean Weil served as the administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the United States Department of Labor under President Obama. 

Read a profile of David Weil from the Winter 2017 Heller Magazine.

Recent News

Recent Publications


Conversations with the Dean 

Throughout the school year, Dean David Weil invites prominent public figures, policymakers and advocates in social justice fields to Heller for wide-ranging conversations. Recent conversations have featured former U.S. Attorney and senior FBI official Chuck Rosenberg, who discussed Robert Mueller's Russia investigation; Sen. Tom Harkin, who discussed his long career fighting for disability and labor rights; and former EEOC Chair Jenny Yang, who spoke about importance of changing workplace culture around sexual harassment. Each event is recorded and recapped

“We live in challenging times when pursuing social justice has never been more important. We welcome you to join our community in that work.”