Inspiring public service, civic engagement, and leadership for more than 50 years

The Institute of Politics inspires students to lives in politics and public service.

Our mission is to engage students, particularly undergraduates, with academics, politicians, activists, and policymakers on a non-partisan basis to inspire them to consider careers in politics and public service. Founded in 1966 as a memorial to President John F. Kennedy, the Institute strives to promote greater understanding and cooperation between academia and public affairs.


This Spring in 
the JFK Jr. Forum

Upcoming Events

Internships &
Career Services

The IOP Director's Internship, Summer Stipend, and Senior Start-up programs make it possible for more than 200 Harvard undergraduates and recent graduates to take fully-paid summer internships or to help get started on a career in government, politics, journalism, and other public service roles each year. 

Learn more

Director's Internships

The Director's Internship program pairs undergraduates with high-profile organizations and elected officials in Boston, Washington, DC, across the country, and around the world for funded internships that may otherwise be difficult for students to obtain or finance.

Summer Stipend

For undergraduates who find their own unpaid or low-paid public service summer internships, the IOP Summer Stipend Program provides funding to help cover the cost of rent, food, and other necessities for the summer.

Senior Start-Up Stipend

Graduating seniors who are pursuing a full-time post-graduation role in politics or public service can apply for an IOP Senior Start-Up Stipend to help cover relocation costs, housing, clothing, and other basic living expenses when leaving campus.

Meet Our 
Student Leadership

Students play a critical role in the leadership of the IOP, determining our programming and priorities and innovating to expand the reach of our work.

Meet our elected Executive Team and the chairs of our student programs who comprise the Student Advisory Committee.

Recent News &

Reading tea leaves with Steve Kornacki
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NBC, MSNBC analyst sees Democratic potential, but lots of slack, uncertainty ahead for both parties
Pushing back against China — without igniting war
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GOP, Democratic leaders of House panel detail hot issues with ascendant superpower: Taiwan independence, intellectual property theft, oppression of Uyghurs
Want better democracy? Let's talk
Published on
Kennedy School panel wrestles with how to repair divides by creating culture of candid, constructive conversation, commitment to system