Announcing the Spring 2018 Resident Fellows

Cambridge, MA – The Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School announces the appointment of its Spring Resident Fellows.

For more than half a century, Fellows participating in the semester-long program have shared views on civic engagement, and their knowledge and experience on a range of topics. Spring Fellows will lead discussions on U.S. trade policy, racial equality, policing, and local governance, the impact of technology on politics, social activism, the development of public policy from conservative and progressive frameworks, and the future of the two-party system.

The Resident Fellows program is central to the IOP’s commitment to inspire student engagement in public life and to increase interaction between academic and political communities. Over the course of the semester, Fellows regularly interact with students, develop and lead weekly study groups, collaborate with other IOP programs, and participate in the intellectual and social life of the Harvard community.

"We are very excited for the contributions that this diverse and inspiring class of Fellows will make to students at the IOP and Harvard. Not only will they engage the campus in the most relevant political conversations of today, but they will also provide invaluable guidance and mentorship to students," said Fellows program student co-chairs Abby Bloomfield, ’20 and Shreeya Panigrahi, ’19.

2018 IOP Spring Resident Fellows are:

Adam Conner has spent the last decade as the first Washington, D.C. employee for several Silicon Valley companies. Most recently, he was the first D.C. employee for Slack. In 2007, he founded Facebook’s Washington, D.C. office, where he created the company’s government and political outreach team.  His study group will explore the expected and unexpected ways that new technology platforms and networks are impacting policy, politics, and elections. Full Biography. 

Ed Gillespie is a former national and state Republican Party chair, White House counselor to President George W. Bush, top congressional aide, and Republican nominee for both the U.S. Senate and Governor in his home state of Virginia.  The processes through which ideas become public policy -- from ideation and policy formulation to campaign issues to legislative enactment -- will be the focus of his study group. Full Biography.

Fred P. Hochberg recently concluded eight years of service as Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). Throughout his career as a leader in business, and academic and public service, Hochberg has been a champion of expanding LGBT rights and promoting LGBT leadership. His study group will examine the recent history of U.S. trade politics, the factors influencing those politics, and potential impacts on the future of trade. Full Biography.

Betsy Hodges was the 47th mayor of Minneapolis (2014 – 2018). Among the key accomplishments of her administration were creating a Zero Waste Minneapolis, improving police-community relations, helping small businesses thrive, and launching the city’s successful efforts to raise the minimum wage and mandate sick leave for all workers. Her study group will focus on racial equity, policing, and local governance. Full Biography.

Scott Jennings is a CNN contributor and founding partner of RunSwitch Public Relations in Louisville, KY. A veteran of four presidential campaigns and Senate Majority Mitch McConnell’s last three reelections, he served as Special Assistant to President George W. Bush from 2005-2007. Jennings’ study group will explore the status of the two-party system and the rise of tribalism. Full Biography.

Symone Sanders is a CNN political commentator, strategist for Communications and Political Outreach at Priorities USA, and principal of the 360 Group LLC. She was the youngest person to serve as a national press secretary to a presidential candidate during her tenure with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. She will lead study group discussions on Millennials, progressives, and the future of the Democratic Party. Full Biography. 

“I look forward to welcoming an exceptional group of political practitioners, policymakers, and social activists who will provide students with a broad spectrum of perspectives and direct opportunities to participate in respectful dialogue and provide unique insight,” said IOP Acting Director Bill Delahunt.