The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Institute of Politics is Harvard's premier arena for political speech, discussion and debate.

The forum regularly hosts heads of state, leaders in politics, government, business, labor and the media. A living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, the Institute's mission is to unite and engage students, particularly undergraduates, with academics, politicians, activists, and policy makers on a non-partisan basis to inspire them to consider careers in politics.

Contact & Follow

Students seeking information about the IOP Forum Program should contact the Student Chair Juan Castano or IOP Forum Coordinator Cathey Park. If you're interested in attending a JFK Jr. Forum or watching online, make sure to sign up for our newsletter.

Upcoming Forums

Tuesday October 25 - 6:00pm

Jason Brennan
Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Chair and Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University
Contributor, Bleeding Heart Libertarians
Ilya Somin
Professor of Law, George Mason University
Contributor, Washington Post “Volokh Conspiracy”
Melissa Williams
Visiting Scholar, Ash Center, Harvard Kennedy School
Professor of Political Science & Founding Director, Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
Christopher Robichaud (Moderator)
Lecturer in Ethics and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School


Wednesday October 26 - 6:00pm

Michèle Flournoy
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Center for a New American Security
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (2009 -2012)
Graham Allison (moderator)
Douglas Dillon Professor of Government and Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School


Thursday October 27 - 6:00pm

Dmitri Alperovitch
Chief Technology Officer, CrowdStrike
Ben Buchanan
Postdoctoral Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Cyber Security Project, Harvard Kennedy School
Pamela Smith
President, Verified Voting
Michael Sulmeyer (moderator)
Director, Cyber Security Project, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School


Saturday October 29 - 5:00pm

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
New York Times Best-Selling Author, "Writings on the Wall"- Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Moderator)
Alphonse Fletcher University Professor
Director, Hutchins Center for African & African American Research

***Harvard ID Only***
Seating is first-come, first-served. Doors will close when venue is full. 

Tuesday November 1 - 6:00pm

Chuck Hagel
Joint Visiting Fellow, Institute of Politics and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
United States Secretary of Defense (2013 - 2015)
United States Senator from Nebraska (1997 -2009)


Friday November 4 - 4:00pm

Ed Felten
Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
David Kenny
General Manager, IBM Watson
David C. Parkes
George F. Colony Professor of Computer Science, Harvard College
Rosalind Picard
Founder and Director, Affective Computing Research Group, MIT Media Lab
Mustafa Suleyman
Co-founder, Google DeepMind (via Skype)
Juliette Kayyem (Moderator)
Belfer Lecturer in International Security, Harvard Kennedy School


Tuesday November 8 - 7:00pm

Election Night Watch Party

Commentary and Call-Ins with Special Suprise Guests
Doors open at 7:00 pm

Refreshments will be served.


To enter the lottery, go HERE before Thursday, November 3 at 12:00 PM. Winners will be notified on Thursday, November 3. Winners must pick up their tickets at the Institute of Politics on Friday, November 4 or Monday, November 7, between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM; a valid ID must be presented to pick up a ticket.


Tuesday November 15 - 6:00pm

Larry Wilmore
Comedian, Producer, Writer, and former host of "The Nightly Show"

***This Event Will Be Ticketed***

Tickets are free, but will be distributed by lottery. Enter the lottery HERE. The deadline for entries is midnight Tuesday, November 8. Winners will be notified via email on Wednesday, November 9. Winners must pick up their tickets at the Institute of Politics at HKS on Thursday, November 10 or Monday, November 14 between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. No exceptions.