Announcing the Fall 2017 Fellows

The Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School today announced the selection of its 2017 Fall Fellows.

“This exceptional group of leaders and practitioners will offer our students diverse and multi-layered insights into a range of issues through their up-to-the-moment experience and demonstrated commitment to public service and civic engagement,” said Institute of Politics Acting Director Bill Delahunt. “We are pleased to welcome Yohannes Abraham, Dan Balz, Jason Chaffetz, Karen Finney, Sally Jewell and Mark Strand to the IOP in September.”

The Fellows program is central to the IOP’s dual commitment to encourage student interest in public life and to increase interaction between the academic and political communities. Over the course of an academic semester, Fellows interact with students, develop and lead weekly study groups and participate in the intellectual life of the Harvard community.

Participating in the 51-year-old program through the 2017 academic semester will be:

Yohannes Abraham, Senior Advisor at the Obama Foundation, previously served in the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President, Chief of Staff of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Senior Advisor to the National Economic Council. He will guide students through discussions on how White House staff develop and advocate for policy priorities, advance nominations, and manage crises. Full Biography. 

Dan Balz is Chief Correspondent at The Washington Post. He has been with the Post since 1978 and has covered every presidential campaign and midterm election since then. He will lead a discussion on the roots of—and possible solutions to—the current upheaval in our politics and the challenges to both political parties, the media and the voters. Full Biography. 

Jason Chaffetz, U.S. Congressman (R-UT) from 2009 to 2017, is a Fox News Network contributor and former Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He will guide students through a discussion of the possible political, regulatory and personal impacts developing information technology may have on our expectations of privacy. Full Biography. 

Karen Finney, a veteran of four presidential campaigns, is a political consultant and commentator and was senior advisor and spokesperson for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. The columnist and former TV host, will help students examine how current social, political, and cultural disruption is catalyzing diverse responses and sparking change. Full Biography. 

Sally Jewell, United States Secretary of the Interior from 2013 to 2017, is an engineer and former CEO of REI who has leadership experience in both the public and private sectors. She will challenge students to define issues and to examine strategies for building an economically successful and environmentally sustainable future. Full Biography. 

Mark Strand is President of the Congressional Institute, which provides guidance and resources to members of Congress and sponsors educational conferences for Republican members and staff. The author and veteran Congressional staffer will challenge students to develop ideas on how to reform the legislative process to make it more effective for citizens. Full Biography. 

“The Fellows program has been at the heart of our Harvard experience and many others'. We are thrilled to have Mr. Abraham, Mr. Balz, Rep. Chaffetz, Ms. Finney, Sec. Jewell and Mr. Strand as part of a class that will continue the impact past Fellows have made on our lives by connecting with future students,” said Emily Hall and Jason Ge, student chairs of the IOP's Fellows and Study Groups program.