Events at the IOP

  1. Election 2020: Behind the Decision Desk

    Friday October 23 - 2:00pm

    On Friday, October 23 at 2 PM ET, join the Institute of Politics and Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy for a discussion with newsroom leaders on navigating the complexity of Election coverage this November. Nancy Gibbs, Director of the Shorenstein Center and formed Editor-in-Chief of TIME, will be joined in conversation with Brian Carovillano, Vice President and Managing Editor of the Associated Press, David Chalian, Vice President and Political Director of CNN, and Chuck Todd, Host of NBC News Meet The Press.

    With the potential for a turbulent and prolonged election outcome, will newsroom leaders clearly outline their reasoning and standards behind their coverage leading into November 3rd? How will they educate the public on the range of election laws and nuances state by state and can their coverage mitigate confusion around the results? Ultimately, can the media help build the confidence and trust of the public to embrace election outcomes in the coming weeks?

    RSVP here to join the JFK Jr. conversation.

  2. Study Group with Carol Giacomo

    Wednesday October 21 - 4:30pm

    Image courtesy of Lauren Bulbin.

    Join us on Wednesday, October 21 at 4:30pm ET for a study group with IOP Fellow Carol Giacomo. Carol Giacomo was a member of The New York Times editorial board from 2007-2020 writing opinion pieces about all major national security issues including nuclear weapons, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    SPECIAL GUEST: Secretary Madeleine Albright (Former U.S. Secretary of State, 1997 - 2001; Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital Management)

    OVERVIEW: Is authoritarianism/nationalism the wave of the future? If not, what do democracies have to do to govern more successfully? Case studies include Turkey, Hungary, India, Israel and the United States.

    RSVP by 12:00pm ET on Wednesday, 10/21

  3. Study Group with Jorge Vasquez Jr.

    Tuesday October 20 - 4:30pm

    Join us on Tuesday, October 20 at 4:30pm ET for a study group with IOP Fellow Jorge Vasquez, Jr. Jorge L. Vasquez, Jr. is the Director of the Power and Democracy Program with Advancement Project, a national non-partisan multi-racial, policy, communications, and legal action organization.

    SPECIAL GUEST: Jorge Renaud (Regional Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Southwest, LatinoJustice PRLDEF)

    RSVP by 12:00pm ET on Tuesday, 10/20

  4. The Leadership Playbook: Insights from Great Leaders

    Monday October 19 - 6:00pm

    No two leaders are the same. But through conversation with some of the world’s greatest CEOs and game changers, David M. Rubenstein has found commonalities among the motivations and challenges that shape the careers of leaders who thrive—how do they handle decision-making, risk, innovation, and crisis? Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow has helmed institutions of higher learning for almost two decades. Drawing on principles and stories from Rubenstein’s new book, How to Lead: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers, the two will share stories of leaders they have admired throughout the courses of their own careers, and why.

    Moderated by Amb. Wendy R. Sherman, the conversation will also look at leadership across the fields of business, education, and government. What are metrics for success? Do different sectors demand different skills? With decades of experience leading organizations and managing change, the group will share personal successes, failures, and leadership observations from the field.

    RSVP for the JFK Jr. Forum conversation here.

  5. LatinX Month Pizza and Politics- Policy Making in Bolsonaro’s Brazil and Running for International Office

    Friday October 16 - 2:00pm

    RSVP Here.

    Tábata Amaral and Renan Ferreirinha are two Brazilian politicians, education activists, and Harvard class of 2016 graduates. Tabata is currently a federal deputy (congresswoman) representing the state of São Paulo. She was elected to office at 24 and has been called Brazil’s AOC. Renan is a state deputy representing the state of Rio de Janeiro in its legislative house. The two have co-founded RenovaBR, a Brazilian NGO dedicated to preparing local citizens to become political leaders and helping to elect 17 new leaders in the 2018 Brazilian congressional elections, and Movimentos Mapa Educação, an education advocacy organization working to improve Brazil’s education program.

    Additionally, Tábata has started Acredito, an organization that promotes young progressive politicians who are seeking office for the first time, with a focus on increasing the diversity of Brazil’s national congress. Tabata has been listed as one of the BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women and Time Magazine’s 100 Next list. Most recently, she has published a book, Nosso Lugar (our place), on the fight for more women in Brazilian politics. 

  6. Election 2020: The Power of Ballot Initiatives

    Thursday October 15 - 6:00pm

    On Thursday, October 15th at 6pm ET, join the Institute of Politics and Harvard Votes Challenge for a conversation on the power of ballot initiatives. This November, voters in 32 states will decide 120 statewide ballot measures that will impact policy surrounding elections, taxes, labor, and criminal justice reform. Ballot measures provide a unique form of direct democracy, allowing citizens to put forth an idea for a statutory or constitutional change and gather signatures to place it on the ballot.

    With less than a month left to cast ballots in this election, we welcome Angel Sanchez and Jesse Mermell to share their first-hand experience with ballot initiatives and to discuss the power of direct democracy.  

    In 2018, Florida voters in a bipartisan moment approved an amendment to the state's constitution that restored voting rights to as many as 1.4 million residents who'd been barred from voting because they had a prior felony conviction. Sanchez was sentenced to 30 years in prison when he was 16 years old. Today he is a law graduate from the University of Miami and works at the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition​, advocating to restore ex-felons voting rights in Florida.

    This fall, Massachusetts voters will consider a measure to enact ranked-choice voting, allowing voters to rank candidates in order of their preferences. Mermell, a former 4th Congressional District candidate, was narrowly defeated in the Democratic primary, which saw the top two candidates take less than 23 percent of the vote each and a winner declared without a majority.

    RSVP to join the conversation in the virtual JFK Jr. Forum.

    The Harvard Votes Challenge is a nonpartisan initiative that strives to build a civic culture at Harvard University by increasing voter registration and participation among students, staff, and faculty. In Fall 2018, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and Institute of Politics launched the Harvard Votes Challenge to promote student voter registration and turnout across Harvard. Make a plan to vote at

  7. Study Group with IOP Fellow Chasten Buttigieg

    Thursday October 15 - 4:30pm

    Join us on Thursday, October 15 at 4:30pm ET for a study group with IOP Fellow Chasten Buttigieg. Chasten Buttigieg is an author and LGBTQ+ advocate, who received his bachelor’s degree in theater and global studies from the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire and his master’s in education from DePaul University. He has worked as a busboy, dog walker, nursing assistant, waiter, cashier, bartender, and most recently a middle school drama and humanities teacher.

    SPECIAL GUEST: Lis Smith (Former Senior Advisor, Pete Buttigieg 2020 Presidential Campaign)

    TOPIC: Twitter is Not Real Life: The Importance of Talking with Voters, Not at Them

    RSVP by 12:00pm ET on Thursday, 10/15

  8. Local Latina Leaders: Empowering and Representing Latinx in State and Local Government

    Wednesday October 14 - 4:00pm

    In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, join us for a special virtual event to hear from three local Latina leaders in Massachusetts state and city government:

    • Rosalin Acosta – MA Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development
    • Judith Garcia – Chelsea City Councilor and Vice President
    • Tania del Rio – Executive Director, City of Boston’s Office of Women’s Advancement (and HKS alumna)

    Our esteemed panelistas will share their stories about their own paths to and within state & city government, their insights on the importance of Latinx leadership during the Coronavirus pandemic, and their ideas on how to inspire and involve more Latinas to serve in a variety of roles in state & city government. HKS Latinx Caucus co-chair Cassandra Duchan Saucedo will moderate, and there will also be audience Q&A.

    This virtual event will be on Wed, October 14th from 4-5pm ET (pre-registration is required here), and is being proudly co-hosted by the HKS Latinx Caucus, the Taubman Center for State & Local Government, the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, the HKS Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and the Institute of Politics. ¡Nos vemos ahí!


  9. Study Group with Mayor Michael Nutter

    Tuesday October 13 - 4:30pm

    Join us on Tuesday, October 13 at 4:30pm ET for a study group with IOP Fellow Mayor Michael Nutter. Michael Nutter served as the 98th Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. As mayor, he managed the City of Philadelphia through the Great Recession, and the City's credit rating was upgraded to “A” by the three major credit agencies for the first time since the 1970s.

    SPECIAL GUEST: Mayor Muriel Bowser (Mayor of the District of Columbia, DC since 2015)

    RSVP by 12:00pm ET on Tuesday, 10/13

  10. VIRTUAL PIZZA & POLITICS: Running For Congress as an open-LGBTQ candidate

    Friday October 9 - 5:00pm

    NEW TIME - 5pm

    RSVP here.

    Council Member Ritchie Torres was first elected to represent the 15th Council District in the Central Bronx in November 2013. As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Housing, Council Member Torres oversaw the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) which is the largest provider of affordable housing in the country. In this capacity, he introduced and enacted legislation to improve safety and quality of life for thousands of NYCHA residents. In November 2017, Council Member Torres was elected to his second term and became Chair of the new Oversight and Investigations Committee of the City Council. In this role, he is tasked with investigating matters within the Council’s jurisdiction concerning property, affairs, or government of New York City.

    Council Member Torres is now running for Congress to represent his South Bronx district. His legislative victories include legislation protecting the City’s affordable housing stock; improving mental health resources for the LGBT community; tackling the city’s opioid epidemic; and reforming the NYPD’s daily interactions with New Yorkers. Council Member Torres became active in politics at an early age, first as a fellow in the inaugural class of the Coro NY Exploring Leadership Program, and then going on to work as the Housing Director for Council Member Jimmy Vacca before running for office in 2013.

  11. There and Back Again: Leadership Lessons from the Farm to Silicon Valley

    Thursday October 8 - 6:00pm

    On Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 6pm ET, join us for “There and Back Again: Leadership Lessons from the Farm to Silicon Valley” with John L. Hennessy, James F. and Mary Lynn Gibbons Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Stanford University School of Engineering; 10th President of Stanford University; and Chairman of Alphabet, in conversation with David R. Gergen, Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School; CNN Contributor. Harvard Kennedy School Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf will provide a welcome to the 2020 Godkin Lecture.

    From the east coast to the west coast, leadership strategies are constantly changing, and in the midst of a global pandemic we look to leaders to create new paradigms to survive and thrive in these unprecedented times. We welcome an experienced innovator in academia, technology, and private sector to discuss how to draw upon experiences at educational institutions, silicon valley, and business to create innovative public policy.

    RSVP to join the conversation in the virtual JFK Jr. Forum.

  12. Study Group with Brittany Packnett Cunningham

    Thursday October 8 - 4:30pm

    Join us on Thursday, October 8 at 4:30pm ET for a study group with IOP Fellow Brittany Packnett Cunningham. Brittany Packnett Cunningham is a social justice activist, educator and writer. Leading at the intersection of culture and justice, she has and continues to build platforms to amplify, educate, and activate everyday people to take transformative action against every form of injustice.

    SPECIAL GUEST: Congressman Beto O’Rourke (TX-16) (2013- 2019)

    TOPIC: Radical Imagination in Hostile Waters

    The deep and declarative challenges to democracy, the vote, and the safety of people and leaders of color is not new in American life.  And while the addition of a deadly pandemic may make this threat seem novel, there are moments in recent history that can show us how to protect and preserve the pursuit of radical imagination until November 3, and most importantly, beyond November 3. There will still be fights that need fighting after election day.  So what do we do in the face of unimaginable pushback in real time? How do we recover? And how do we remain focused and disciplined in the days ahead?  We’ll close our semester in discussion with people who’ve done exactly that-and still are.

    RSVP by 12:00pm ET on Thursday, 10/8