Study Group with Grisella Martinez - October Surprise: What to Watch Leading Up to November 2024


Meeting Method:
Associated Program:
Fellows & Study Groups

Events with the potential to impact the November elections are typically expected in October, but in a 24/7 news cycle, are no longer isolated to that month. We will discuss the state of the elections, important policy developments, data points and trends to watch over the summer and fall.

GUEST: David Montes (Harvard ‘03, Eliot House), Chief of Staff, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA), will join Resident Fellow, Grisella Martinez, in-person for the April 11 session.

David Montes is a seasoned Capitol Hill operative with experience that spans both the House and Senate, and in personal, committee, and leadership offices.

David serves as Chief of Staff to Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA). David has deep experience with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), having served as a senior staff member to multiple CHC members over the past decade. David previously served as Chief of Staff to Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03), as Senior Advisor to then-Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (NM-03), and Legislative Director to then-Rep. Joe Garcia (FL-26). Earlier in his congressional staff career, David worked as a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and was the point person on tribal policy issues for then-Democratic Leader Senator Harry Reid (D-NV).

In addition to his time on Capitol Hill, David served as Associate Director for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Washington, D.C. Office, advocating for the City of Los Angeles’ legislative and appropriations priorities, and as the Speechwriter for the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The son of Mexican immigrants, David and his siblings were the first in their family to attend college. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and today lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Jennifer Swize.

AUDIENCE: These conversations are open to members of the Harvard community. Please RSVP with a valid Harvard email address.

OFF-THE-RECORD: In keeping with our long tradition at the IOP to ensure honest and candid discussions of politics, all IOP study groups are off-the-record.


The IOP encourages persons with disabilities to participate in our programs. If you have questions about accommodations or the physical access provided, please contact 617-495-1360 or in advance of the event.