Harvard's Institute of Politics Announces Spring 2024 Resident and Visiting Fellows

January 17, 2024
Press Contact:
Brigid O'Rourke


CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School today announced the appointment of seven Resident Fellows and one Visiting Fellow who will join the IOP for the Spring 2024 semester. The fellows bring diverse experience in global politics, elected office, legal affairs, and journalism to address the challenges facing our country and world today. 

"We are incredibly excited to welcome this fantastic group of Fellows to Harvard to engage and collaborate with our students and community. We welcome their expertise, their insight, and their guidance as we gear up for a historic presidential campaign," said IOP Director Setti Warren. "I am confident that they will help to inspire our students to pursue careers in public service and prepare the next generation to provide impactful political leadership in the United States and around the world." 

"We are thrilled to have such a remarkable cohort of Fellows to the IOP this spring. They each bring diverse perspectives on how to best approach some of our country's – and our world's – most pressing challenges. Our students will undoubtedly have important conversations and gain valuable insight into an array of critical issues, and we couldn't be more excited to welcome them to Cambridge," said Michael Nutter, Chair of the Institute of Politics Senior Advisory Committee, and former Mayor of Philadelphia. 

"We are thrilled to welcome the incredibly accomplished members of the 2024 Spring Fellows Cohort as we begin the spring semester of an incredibly important year. Dubbed the 'biggest election year in history,' democracy will be tested in 2024 as countries containing more than half of the world's population go to the polls. Nations globally are currently in the longest period of democratic backsliding on record. This year's elections, in the United States and abroad, will prove pivotal in determining whether reactionary, far-right actors continue to chip away at the rule of law or if the forces of liberalism will persist in upholding individual liberties and democratic norms — a key pillar of the Institute of Politics. These challenges bring with them no shortage of discussion topics, and our incoming cohort of Fellows brings with them decades of collective experience in journalism, policymaking, governing, and diplomacy. We are looking forward to a healthy, active, and productive semester of discussions at the Kennedy School to explore the multitude of challenges facing our world today and to equip students with the knowledge and ideas necessary to create a better tomorrow. The Fellows program remains a critical source of discussion across ideological boundaries, and one that we will work to keep strong in the face of intense polarization," said Éamon ÓCearúil '25 and Summer Tan '26, Co-Chairs of the Fellows and Study Groups Program at the Institute of Politics. 

IOP Resident Fellows are fully engaged with the Harvard community. They reside on campus, mentor a cohort of undergraduate students, hold weekly office hours, and lead an eight-week, not-for-credit study group based on their experience and expertise. Fellows will hold study groups on topics including diplomacy and statecraft, governing in a divided America, national political parties, judiciary affairs, and policy development. 

Visiting Fellows come to the IOP for a shorter stay and participate in a variety of comprehensive discussions, events, and programming.

Spring 2024 Resident Fellows:

  • Kostas Bakoyannis: Mayor of Athens, Greece (2019-2023), Governor of Central Greece (2014-2019), Mayor of Karpenissi, Greece (2011-2014), (Harvard Kennedy School '04)
  • Jeff DenhamU.S. Representative, CA-19/10 (2011-2019), California State Senate (2002-2010), U.S. Air Force
  • Josh GersteinSenior Legal Affairs Reporter for Politico, (Harvard College '91)
  • William Hurd: Former Republican Presidential Candidate (2023), U.S. Representative, TX-23 (2015-2021), and former CIA officer (2000-2009)
  • Alison King: Political Reporter for NBC10 Boston/New England Cable News (NECN) for nearly three decades
  • Grisella M. Martinez: Strategist, former Director of Legislative Affairs for Vice President Kamala D. Harris
  • Erika MouynesFormer Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama (2020-2022), Chair of the Board of the Atlantic Council-Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and is a current fellow at the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative

Spring 2024 Visiting Fellow:

Brief bios and quotes can be found below. Headshots are available upon request.

Kostas Bakoyannis
Dr. Kostas Bakoyannis served as Mayor of Athens from 2019 to 2023. Previously, he served as Governor of Central Greece from 2014 to 2019 and as Mayor of Karpenissi, from 2011 to 2014. Born in 1978 in Athens, he graduated from Millfield School (1996, UK), before attending Brown University (2000, USA) to study History and International Relations and continued with postgraduate studies in Public Policy, with a specialization in Macroeconomics, at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (2004). Bakoyannis also holds a D.Phil. in Political Science and International Relations, from the University of Oxford (2019, UK). He has worked at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as executive manager in the private sector in Athens. He has also held positions in the European Parliament in Brussels and the World Bank in Kosovo. Bakoyannis is a council member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and a Greek Leadership Council member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). In 2022, he was declared “Grand Officier de l'Ordre de la Couronne” by King Philippe of Belgium. He has served in Greek Special Forces as a Paratrooper, speaks Greek, English, and German.

"It is a privilege to return to the Kennedy School and join the IOP. In an increasingly complex and dynamic world of multiple and overlapping crises, it has become vital to tackle global issues drawing from the local perspective. I look forward to discussing bottom-up crisis management, sharing experiences, working with faculty and staff, and particularly learning from the leaders of tomorrow," said Dr. Bakoyannis.

Jeff Denham
Jeff Denham is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, having served four terms, from 2011-2019, representing California’s 10th and formerly 19th districts. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he served as chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials and the Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Veterans’ Affairs Committees. From 2002 to 2010, Denham was a member of the California State Senate, representing the state’s 12th District. He was chairman of the Agriculture and Veterans’ Affairs Committees and focused on such issues as education, government waste, agriculture, and economic development. A staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, Denham served in Operation Desert Storm with the 452nd Air Force Refueling Wing and was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal and various campaign medals for combat duty.

"I look forward to contributing to the academic environment by sharing my political expertise and experiences. The lectures will include guests who add a political perspective and dialogue to critical topics, both current and future predictions," said Congressman Denham.

John Bel Edwards
John Bel Edwards served as the 56th Governor of Louisiana from 2016 until January 2024. In 2008, he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives, where he represented the people of Amite, Greensburg, Kentwood, and Hammond for eight years before being elected governor. Edwards attended the United States Military Academy at West Point. As a cadet, he completed Airborne School and served as vice-chairman of the panel that enforces the West Point Honor Code. The governor graduated from West Point in 1988, commissioning as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served on active duty for 8 years, earning Airborne, Ranger, and Jumpmaster status, culminating with command of a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He earned his J.D. from LSU Law Center in 1999.

"I am honored to come to Cambridge this spring and join the IOP as a Visiting Fellow. I look forward to collaborating with the next generation of political leaders, and to working together to share ideas and imagine solutions to some the nation's most pressing challenges," said Governor Edwards.

Josh Gerstein
Josh Gerstein (Harvard College ’91) is a senior legal affairs reporter for POLITICO, where he chronicles the increasingly seismic impact of the legal system on American politics and policy. In 2022, Gerstein co-authored POLITICO’s award-winning exclusive on the Supreme Court’s draft opinion overturning the federal constitutional right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade—a groundbreaking story widely credited with ushering in a new era in more aggressive, accountability-focused coverage of the nation’s highest court. Gerstein has taken readers inside some of the most politically-charged trials and legal showdowns of the past several decades, including the four unprecedented criminal cases dogging former President Donald Trump as he tries to return to the White House. After cutting his teeth at the Crimson chasing candidates for the Harvard presidency and the occasional wayward Saudi prince, Gerstein spent the early part of his career working for CNN’s investigative unit, as a national reporter for the New York Sun, and as a White House correspondent and China correspondent for ABC. He also spent almost a full year on the road as an embed for ABC on the 1996 presidential campaign of Sen. Bob Dole and did several tours in Afghanistan after 9/11 reporting for Nightline and other programs.

"As we face our first presidential election poised to play out as much in the courtroom as on the campaign trail, I’m delighted to be joining the IOP to explore and reflect on the implications of this shift and how it is changing the way politicians and other policymakers approach both elections and governing," Gerstein said. "I’m eager to engage with an impressive and diverse group of fellows, along with scholars and students, about the forces behind the legal realm’s growing incursion into the political sphere, as well as the wisdom and practicality of proposals to curb this trend."

William Hurd
The Honorable Will Hurd, a San Antonio native with a Computer Science degree from Texas A&M, has been a CIA officer, cybersecurity executive, congressman, artificial intelligence policy pioneer, author, investment banker, and presidential candidate. In his 20s serving overseas with the CIA, he thwarted terror threats. In his 30s, he helped build FusionX to combat cyber adversaries, and in Congress, he addressed critical national issues from AI to the New Cold War with China. In his 40s, as a Managing Director at Allen & Company, a board member of OpenAI, and a trustee of the German Marshall Fund he was at the center of technology, national security, and public policy. As a presidential candidate, he introduced innovative AI and border policies. Known for his love of movies, Tex-Mex, and his wife, Will is celebrated as a transformative leader, dedicated to securing a better future for everyone.

"If we are going to keep this experiment called America succeeding for another 247 years then we need our future leaders to have a thirst for public service. By sharing a different perspective forged from my unique experiences, I hope to show the students at Harvard how to pursue a life of public service and why they should," said Congressman Hurd.

Alison King
Alison King is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the broadcasting industry. She spent most of her career covering politics in New England including leading the local, state, and regional political coverage for NBC Boston/NECN from 1995 until her retirement from TV in March 2023. She has covered seven presidential elections and interviewed every Republican and Democratic presidential candidate since 1996. King has also reported and produced three documentaries, including one about the late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Most recently, she executive produced and reported on an 11-part docu-series, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of New Hampshire,” which chronicles the Free State Project and the efforts by libertarians nationwide to settle in New Hampshire to create a libertarian Utopia. King has won several awards for her reporting including from the Emmys, Gracies and Associated Press. She also contributed to the collection of stories that won NECN a Dupont award. King received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Colgate University and a Master of Arts in Journalism from New York University. She and her husband live in Boston and have two children. King will hold a separate, concurrent research fellowship at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at HKS, where she will research and publish on the impact of the collapse of local political news on the conduct of presidential primary campaigns.

"After covering dozens of IOP events over the years and interviewing multiple fellows, I'm thrilled to be joining the IOP as a fellow myself. I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned covering politics for three decades including seven Presidential primaries - especially as the 2024 election is playing out. I’m also excited to interact with and learn from our future leaders - the students," said King.

Grisella M. Martinez
Grisella M. Martinez is a respected and trusted leader on Congressional policy and political matters on Capitol Hill and the White House. She most recently served as Director of Legislative Affairs for Vice President Kamala D. Harris in the Biden-Harris Administration. She was the most senior Latina on the Vice President’s team and the first Latina to hold this role for a Democratic Vice President. She has worked in policymaking and politics for over fifteen years. Some of her previous roles include Chief of Staff to Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03); Vice President of Government Relations at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB); and Policy Director for House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra (CA-34). Martinez began her career in immigration law and non-profit advocacy and holds an LL.M. from Washington College of Law at American University, a J.D. from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, and a B.A. in English and Political Science from James Madison University.

"I am honored to be joining the Harvard community as an IOP Fellow and excited to engage with students, faculty and staff during an important time in American democracy and as we head into the 2024 elections. Public service is one of the most rewarding, complex and impactful careers one can have, and I’m looking forward to sharing my unique perspectives and experience with students about politics, policymaking and elections as they consider their own futures and help shape ours," said Martinez.

Erika Mouynes
Minister Erika Mouynes, a diplomat and senior business executive, is the Atlantic Council's Latin-American Center Chair. She brings over two decades of high-level government and private sector experience. She has held several high-ranking governmental positions, practiced as a senior attorney in a top global law firm, and been responsible for executive management of the business and legal affairs of a multi-billion investment company on Wall Street. As Panama's Minister of Foreign Affairs, she achieved notable "first female" milestones for the Latin-American region and received distinctions for her unwavering commitment to empowering women. As Chief Diplomat, she earned recognition by brokering global alliances to protect the largest Pacific marine corridor, contributing to the protection of global biodiversity. During her roles in the private sector, she provided strategic counsel on intricate corporate transactions, including cross-border infrastructure and investment projects in emerging markets. She graduated with honors from Panama, receiving a law degree from the University of Santa Maria La Antigua and a bachelor's degree in Business from the Latin-American University of Science and Technology. She received a postgraduate certificate in Business and a Master of Laws from New York University and a Master of Laws from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a fellow of the Advance Leadership Initiative of Harvard University.

"In a year where half of the planet’s population will hold elections in a context defined by geopolitical tensions and multiple ongoing crises, it is a unique opportunity to have a frank dialogue on critical drivers of the elections globally and the role of foreign diplomacy," said Mouynes.

Additional information can be found here.

About the Institute of Politics Fellows Program

The Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School was established in 1966 as 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 policymakers on a non-partisan basis to inspire them to pursue pathways in politics and public service. The Institute blends the academic with practical politics and offers students the opportunity to engage in current events and to acquire skills and perspectives that will assist in their postgraduate pathways.

The Fellows Program has stood as the cornerstone of the IOP, encouraging student interest in public service and increasing the interaction between the academic and political communities. Through the Fellows Program, the Institute aims to provide students with the opportunity to learn from experienced public servants, the space to engage in civil discourse, and the chance to acquire a more holistic and pragmatic view of our political world.

For more information on the fellowship program, including a full list of former fellows, visit: iop.harvard.edu.