The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Institute of Politics is Harvard's premier arena for political speech, discussion and debate.

The forum regularly hosts heads of state, leaders in politics, government, business, labor and the media. A living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, the Institute's mission is to unite and engage students, particularly undergraduates, with academics, politicians, activists, and policy makers on a non-partisan basis to inspire them to consider careers in politics.

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Students seeking information about the IOP Forum Program should contact the Student Chair Anan Hafez or IOP Forum Coordinator Cathey Park. If you're interested in attending a JFK Jr. Forum or watching online, make sure to sign up for our newsletter

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Recent Forums

Wednesday April 28 - 6:00pm

As the Biden administration approaches 100 days of governing, there are signs of legislative and political successes – a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, accelerated distribution of vaccines, and the "American Jobs Plan," a  $2.3 trillion infrastructure rebuilding agenda. While his approval rating is at historic highs, there are looming crises emerging at the US southern border, continuing challenges from populist forces, and a recent spate of mass shootings around the country.
Join us on Wednesday, April 28 at 6PM ET for a discussion with Ayesha Rascoe, White House correspondent for NPR, Matthew Viser, national political reporter for The Washington Post with moderator Janet Hook, IOP Spring 2021 Fellow and national political reporter for the Los Angeles Times for a conversation around President Biden's 100 days.  They will analyze his successes and how he is facing challenges around navigating a fraught partisan political landscape, a second year of a global pandemic, and reassessing and rebuilding US foreign policy around the world.   

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

Tuesday April 27 - 6:00pm

The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School, along with USC Shoah Foundation, invite you to join Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow and University of Southern California President Carol Folt for an event celebrating Harvard University's subscription to USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive, making the archive available to the Harvard community.
Opening Remarks:
Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow
University of Southern California President Carol Folt
Panel Discussion: Media scholars and experts on how to combat the rise of hate and the disinformation that spreads it.
How can we learn from lessons of the past to stop hate movements today? What role does the media play in stopping the spread of hateful ideologies? How are disinformation and media manipulation used as tools by extremist groups and individuals? How do current civil rights movements, like Black Lives Matter and Stop AAPI Hate, combat hateful ideologies today?
The panel will include:

  • Marty Baron, former Executive Editor of The Washington Post
  • Cornell William Brooks, J.D., Professor of Practice at Harvard Kennedy School and former President & CEO of the NAACP
  • Joan Donovan, Ph.D., Research Director of the Shorenstein Center and scholar of disinformation and networked hate groups
  • Stephen Smith, Ph.D., Finci-Viterbi Exec. Director of USC Shoah Foundation, UNESCO Chair of Genocide Education
  • Nancy Gibbs (Moderator), Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and former Managing Editor of TIME

USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive allows users to search through and view more than 55,000 video testimonies of survivors and witnesses of genocide. Harvard University is a full subscriber to the Visual History Archive, providing access to the complete archive of 55,000 testimonies to the Harvard community. Harvard University affiliates can access the subscription through this Harvard Library database record.

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