Setti Warren

Setti D. Warren is director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to this role, he served as 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. Warren has had 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. Warren received his B.A. from Boston College and J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.

Office hours with the director take place every Wednesday from 12:00-2:00 PM ET, and Friday from 1:00-3:00 PM ET. Students interested in booking office hours with Setti can do so by contacting Celina Hollmichel at

E-mail address: 

Zoe Anderson Headshot
Staff Assistant

Zoe joined the Institute of Politics in March 2023. Born and raised in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Westminster College and a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from Chatham University. Prior to working at the IOP, Zoe worked as a graduate assistant for Chatham University’s Career Services Internship Program. At the IOP, Zoe works as a staff assistant for the Internship and Career Services and the Fellows and Study Groups programs.

E-mail address: 

Dan Balz
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 ten 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.

E-mail address: 

Cassidy Bissell
Fellows and Study Groups Coordinator

Cassidy oversees planning and execution of the Fellows and Study Groups Program at the Institute of Politics. Prior to Harvard Kennedy School, Cassidy worked for political campaigns, nonprofits, and in community organizing. Born and raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Cassidy attended Boston University and graduated with dual degrees in political science and communications.

Kerri Collins
Finance and Administrative Coordinator

Kerri first joined the Institute of Politics as a receptionist and staff assistant in October 1999, coming to the Kennedy School with over ten years of experience in hospitality management with Interstate Hotel properties. As finance and administrative coordinator, Kerri works closely with the IOP finance manager, program leads, fellows, and students on day-to-day finance tasks including invoice payments, billing, reconciliation, and reporting. Kerri also onboards new members of staff and works closely with the JFK Jr. Forum on event management. Kerri is born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

E-mail address: 

John Della Volpe
Director of Polling

John Della Volpe is the director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics, and the author of Fight: How Gen Z is Channeling Their Fear and Passion to Save America (St. Martin's Press, January 2022). The Washington Post referred to John as one of the world’s leading authorities on global sentiment, opinion, and influence, especially among young Americans and in the age of digital and social media. While John's research focus at the IOP is exclusively young Americans, he often collaborates with other HKS centers including the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. In 2008, John 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.

E-mail address: 

Laura Dove Headshot
Senior Director of Administration

Laura Dove joined the Institute of Politics in 2023 after a stint as a Pritzker Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.

Laura devoted decades of service to the United States Senate, from her appointment as a page in the 1980s to her election as the body’s secretary for the majority. An officer of the Senate, Ms. Dove was nominated by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, elected unanimously by the Republican Conference, and ratified by the full Senate from 2013 until her retirement in 2020.

As party secretary, Ms. Dove was responsible for forging consensus among Republican and Democratic Senators to move legislative and executive matters across the floor of the Senate, confirming presidential nominations and treaty documents, and coordinating activities with the minority, House of Representatives, and the executive branch.

When Laura retired from Senate service, she joined Ford Motor Company, where she led federal government relations for two years. 

She holds a master’s degree from the University of Virginia and a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

E-mail address: 

Augusta Durham
Events and Outreach Coordinator

Augusta Durham joined the Institute of Politics in January 2022. She is originally from Virginia and graduated from the University of Virginia in 2019 where she double majored in women, gender and sexuality, global development studies, and minored in African American studies. Prior to joining Harvard Kennedy School, Augusta worked as a finance associate on the Sara Gideon for Maine political campaign. She has also been involved with several non-profits that work to eradicate power-based violence.

E-mail address: 

Tatyana Gao Headshot
Internships & Career Services Coordinator

Tatyana joined the Institute of Politics in 2023. For over three years she served as a faculty assistant and publications coordinator for the International Public Management Journal at Harvard Kennedy School. She also supported the Harvard University Commencement Morning Exercises in 2019, welcoming former German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the Commencement speaker.

While serving as a program officer at the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College, she developed, created, and ran a robust portfolio of leadership development programs for undergraduate students for four years. Tatyana also supported students at the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding as an advisor for international internships and fellowships.

She is the founder of Monada Coaching, a high-performance leadership and confidence coach, a motivational speaker, and author of programs on conscious leadership.

She holds a master’s degree in globalization from Dartmouth College and a combined bachelor's and master's degree in French and English languages and literature from Kuban State University, Russia.

A headshot of Aaron Goldman.
Director of the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum

Aaron joined the IOP in March of 2023, following five years working in communications and student engagement at Harvard College. In this role, he also worked with undergraduate students as a first-year advisor, and faculty advisor for Harvard Yearbook Publications. Previously, he served the City of Newton for eight years in a variety of senior positions in the Office of the Mayor, with a focus on constituent services, communications, performance management, and intergovernmental relations.

After graduating from the University of Massachusetts with a B.A. in political science, Aaron served as a policy advisor in the Massachusetts state legislature and was a field organizer for Secretary Hillary Clinton's campaign for president in 2007/08. He worked on caucuses and primaries in Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania.

In addition to his role at Harvard, he currently serves as chair of the Board of Directors for the West Suburban YMCA. 

Celina Hollmichel
Administrative Coordinator

Celina joined the Institute of Politics in July 2022. She is originally from Germany and graduated from Harvard College in 2022 with a joint degree in government and East Asian studies. Prior to joining Harvard Kennedy School, Celina worked as a student advisor for the Office of International Education at Harvard. She has also been involved with the European Youth Parliament and held various leadership roles in the international student society at Harvard College. As administrative coordinator at the IOP, Celina assists the executive team and provides logistical support for the daily workings of the Institute.

E-mail address: 

Abbie James
Director of Student Programs

Abbie has directed student programs at the Institute of Politics since January 2022. Abbie first joined the IOP in 2015, working first as a staff assistant to the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum and then as fellowships and study groups coordinator. Prior to joining the IOP, Abbie worked as New Hampshire 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.

E-mail address: 

Dejanee Miller
JFK Jr. Forum Coordinator

Dejanee Miller joined the Institute of Politics in June 2022. Originally from Boston, Dejanee graduated from St. John’s University in May 2022 with a degree in criminal justice. Prior to joining Harvard Kennedy School, Dejanee interned with the New York Civil Liberties Union and New York State Department of Probation. She has also been involved with non-profit organizations assisting with prison reform and the fight to gain exoneration for those who were wrongfully convicted. In her role as coordinator of the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, Dejanee assists in the planning and execution of Forums at the IOP.

Cathey Park
Conferences and Special Projects Manager

Cathey Park joined the Institute of Politics in 2004 and currently manages the Conferences and Special Projects portfolio. She oversees all signature IOP seminars, including Newly Elected Mayors, Newly Elected Members of Congress, and the Presidential Campaign Managers Conference. Cathey works collaboratively with students on a wide variety of special projects and events. She also partners with the John F. Kennedy Library on the New Frontiers Award. Cathey has been involved with many IOP programs, including Fellows and Study Groups, Women’s Initiative in Leadership (WIL), and most recently the JFK Jr. Forum. Before joining the IOP, Cathey worked for former Harvard Kennedy School Dean Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Cathey was born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in Portland, Oregon, and received her B.A. in political science from Boston University.

E-mail address: 

Kimberly Peeples
Director of Finance and Administration

Kimberly joined the Institute of Politics as finance manager in August 2021. Kimberly comes to the Kennedy School with over thirteen years of research administration financial background. Prior to this role, she served as senior financial officer at the Computer Science Artificial Intelligence Lab, one of the largest labs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

As director of finance and administration, Kimberly oversees all financial management of the organization while supporting the strategic mission of the Center, which includes managing IOP program budgets and other functional operations. Kimberly attended Fisher College and was born and raised in the Boston area.

James Rasaiah
Digital Content Specialist

James joined the Institute of Politics as a digital content specialist in September 2021. His portfolio includes managing the Institute's newsletters, web assets, and social media channels, in addition to publishing original multimedia content that supports the IOP's mission and broader communications strategy. James joins the IOP having previously managed the democratic governance program at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

Outside of Harvard University, James has contributed to the digital operations of a number of political campaigns at the local, state, and national level. A native of the United Kingdom, he holds a master's degree in post-war recovery studies from the University of York, a bachelor's degree in international relations from the University of Birmingham, and has previously worked in Thailand, Kosovo, and Iraq conducting field research pertaining to conflict, internal displacement, and governance.