Staff

Stephane Alexandre
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Assistant to the Director

Steph Alexandre is the assistant to Director, Mark Gearan. In addition to supporting Mark and the IOP’s leadership team, she also coordinates with the Forum team and the Fellows & Study Groups Program by assisting with scheduling and planning brainstorming meetings. Equipped with experience building relationships with students, coordinating high-level events, and working with different partners across the University, Steph provides administrative reinforcement to the Institute. Prior to joining the IOP, Steph worked as a Staff Assistant at the Harvard Global Health Institute supporting research and programmatic teams in operational logistics. A proud Jumbo and Tisch Scholar ’17, she graduated from Tufts University with a B.A in International Relations and Community Health. 

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Dan Balz, Senior Fellow
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Senior Fellow

Dan Balz is chief correspondent at The Washington Post. He joined The Post in 1978 and has been involved in political coverage as a reporter or editor throughout his career. Before coming to The Post, he worked at National Journal magazine as a reporter and an editor and at the Philadelphia Inquirer. At The Post, he has reported on 10 presidential campaigns. The first political convention he covered was the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968. He is the author of several books, including two bestsellers. He was born in Freeport, Ill., and served in the U.S. Army. He is married to Nancy Johnson Balz.

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Morgan Burke
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Digital Content Strategist

As the Digital Content Strategist, Morgan share the story of the Institute of Politics by creating and deploying digital communications across social media, email newsletters, and other channels. Prior to joining the IOP in fall 2019, Morgan worked for two and a half years in digital marketing for the development office at UNC-Chapel Hill. She was a digital content manager at the Democratic National Committee and the North Carolina digital organizer on President Obama’s re-election campaign. Morgan was born in Ottawa, Canada, and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a proud Tar Heel, graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015 with a B.A. in Political Science and History.

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Nanda Chitre - John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum Director
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Director of the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum

Nanda Chitre joined the Institute of Politics as the Director of the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum in 2020. Nanda has more than twenty years of experience working in the executive branch of the U.S. government, in national public-policy and political campaigns, and as a consultant to foreign governments. She has also worked as a strategic advisor in the nonprofit sector, on film and television projects, and as a visiting university lecturer.

In both the Clinton and Obama administrations, Nanda was an on-the-record spokesperson. In the Obama administration, she served as the Acting Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Justice and as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of State. At the White House, she was Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary to President Clinton. Previously, she was the Assistant Spokesperson for the State Department and the media coordinator for Secretary of State Warren Christopher’s overseas missions. Nanda also worked on the 1992 and 1996 Clinton-Gore campaigns and the Presidential Transition. In the nonprofit sector, she worked at the Center for American Progress, and she provided strategic communications planning advice to emerging democracies in Eastern Europe and Southern and East Africa through the National Democratic Institute. Nanda’s professional experience also includes work on the award-winning NBC series “The West Wing.”  In the Boston area, Nanda worked at PBS station WGBH on Rx for Survival – A Global Health Challenge. Most recently, Nanda designed and taught government communications courses at Tufts University. She received her B.A. in international relations and history from Tufts University and a J.D. from American University in Washington, D.C.

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Staff Assistant / Receptionist

As the Institute of Politics' staff assistant, Kerri runs the front desk and reception area, handles requests for IOP room reservations, helps with IOP events, directs incoming phone calls, and assists the Director, Executive Director, IOP Fellows and guests. Kerri graduated with a degree in Travel and Hotel management. Prior to joining the IOP, she worked in guest relations and catering sales departments at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge for 10 years. Kerri is an active volunteer with the Boston chapters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and The Jimmy Fund.

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Director of Polling

John Della Volpe is the Director of Polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics, where he has led the institute’s polling initiatives on understanding American youth since 2000.  The Washington Post referred to John as one of the world’s leading authorities on global sentiment, opinion and influence especially among Millennials and in the age of digital and social media.  In 2008, he received an Eisenhower Fellowship for which he traveled extensively throughout China, Hong Kong, and Korea (including a supervised day in North Korea) studying Millennials; in 2011, he was appointed to the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission on Media.  John is also founder of SocialSphere, a Cambridge based public opinion and analytics company.  He serves on the Board of Trustees of iCatholic Media, the Ad Club of Boston and is a member of the Global Alumni Council for Eisenhower Fellowships.  John appears regularly on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and his insights on the Millennial generation are found in national media outlets in the U.S. and abroad, including the Daily Show with Trevor Noah. 

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Director of Special Projects

As Director of Special Projects at the IOP, Christian plans and coordinates a range of Harvard Kennedy School's highest profile political and public service-related conferences for elected officials, academics and media. Key events include the Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress; Campaign for President: The Managers Look at the Presidential Campaign; and IOP Director's Dinners. Flynn also works with the Harvard Political Union. Christian has worked at Harvard since 1995 almost exclusively for the IOP. In 1994, he served as a surrogate scheduler for Senator Ted Kennedy during the 1994 Senate campaign, and had the opportunity to work with many members of the Senator’s extended family. Christian and his partner Dan Schutt have a son Derrick and live in Milton, MA.

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Fellows and Study Groups Program Coordinator

Abbie joined the Institute of Politics in 2015. Abbie has managed the Fellows and Study Groups program since fall 2017, and prior to that was the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum Staff Assistant. As the Fellows Coordinator, Abbie oversees all IOP Fellows experience at Harvard by providing support in implementing weekly study groups and managing all program logistics. Prior to joining the IOP, Abbie worked as NH Scheduler for Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). A native of Needham, MA, she is a graduate of Saint Anselm College and holds a degree in Politics.

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John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum Coordinator

As the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum Coordinator, Cathey is responsible for the planning, marketing, and implementation of Forum events, including outreach and fostering co-collaboration with interested undergraduate student groups and Harvard Kennedy School centers and recruitment.  Previously, Cathey coordinated the Institute's "Women’s Initiative in Leadership” (WIL) created to address the interest and importance of students of all gender and gender identities at Harvard in developing leadership skills. In addition to overseeing WIL she worked on special events and conferences. Before joining the IOP, Cathey worked on the staff of former Harvard Kennedy School Dean, Joseph S. Nye, Jr.  Cathey was born in Seoul Korea, raised in Portland, Oregon and attended Boston University where she majored in Political Science. 

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Internships and Career Services Manager

Sadie joined the IOP in May 2013. As part of the Internships and Career Services team, Sadie works on the Director’s Internship Program, the Stipend Program, Research Assistantship Program, Gov 2.0 Grants, the Summer in Washington Program, and Career Services Programming. She has long been engaged in politics and public service – from interning in the US Senate and the Office of the Attorney General of DC to conducting research on juvenile recidivism rates and  working with children who have chronic and life-threatening illnesses and with youth in a state-mandated rehabilitation facility. Prior to joining the IOP, she worked at Harvard’s Center for European Studies. She holds a B.S. in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis, and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she studied the intersection of education and community. 

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Events and Outreach Coordinator

Andrew joined the Institute of Politics in 2019. As the Events and Outreach Coordinator, Andrew organizes event details and outreach for various IOP events such as the Pizza and Politics series with HPU, as well as special conferences and ceremonies such as the Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress. Before becoming a part of the IOP staff, Andrew was a staff assistant at the Harvard Alumni Association on the reunions team, where he helped execute memorable and meaningful Harvard Reunion events in conjunction with reunion committees. A Boston native, Andrew attended Harvard University where he graduated with a B.A. in Classics. While an undergraduate, he was involved in public service through the Phillips Brooks House Association, as well as the Black Men's Forum and the Harvard College Japan Initiative.

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Executive Director

Setti D. Warren is the executive director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to this role, he served as the executive director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. He previously served as Mayor of Newton, Massachusetts from 2010 to 2018 and was the first African American to be a popularly elected mayor in Massachusetts. After graduating from Boston College, he began an extensive career in public service, serving as special assistant in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs for President Bill Clinton; as New England director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and as deputy state director for Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA). Prior to running for mayor, Warren completed a yearlong tour of duty in Iraq as a naval intelligence specialist. He served on the advisory board of the United States Conference of Mayors, chairing the organization's community housing and development committee, and is currently a life member of The Council on Foreign Relations.

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