Sharad Goel

Sharad Goel

Professor of Public Policy
Harvard Kennedy School
Sharad Goel headshot.

Sharad Goel is a Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. He looks at public policy through the lens of computer science, bringing a computational perspective to a diverse range of contemporary social issues, including policing practices, the design of equitable algorithms, and democratic governance.

Before joining Harvard, Sharad was on the faculty at Stanford University, with appointments in management science & engineering, computer science, sociology, and the law school. At Stanford, he was the founding director of the Computational Policy Lab, a group comprised of researchers, data scientists, and journalists working to address policy problems through technical innovation. Sharad and the Computational Policy Lab team built and deployed a "blind charging" platform that is now used by district attorneys to mitigate racial bias in prosecutorial decisions. They also created the Open Policing Project, collecting and releasing records on over 200 million traffic stops conducted across the United States.

Sharad's research has appeared in a variety of venues in statistics, computer science, and the social sciences, including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Human Behaviour, Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Political Science Review, and Management Science.

In addition to publishing in academic outlets, Sharad often writes essays about policy issues from a statistical perspective for the general public. These include discussions of algorithms in the courts, in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe; mass incarceration, in the Washington Post; election polls, in the New York Times; claims of voter fraud, in Slate, as well as an extended interview with This American Life; and affirmative action, in Boston Review.

Sharad holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago, as well as a master's degree in computer science and a doctorate in applied mathematics from Cornell University. After finishing graduate school, Sharad completed postdoctoral fellowships in the math departments at Stanford University and the University of Southern California, after which he worked as a research scientist at Yahoo Research and Microsoft Research in New York City.

Sharad lives in Cambridge with his wife, Kelly, a classical musician, and their Goldendoodle, Wolfie.