Institute of Politics Announces Fall 2020 Fellows to Address Election 2020, COVID-19 Pandemic, Social and Racial Justice



Join the Fall 2020 Fellows in the virtual John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at 6:00pm ET on Thursday, September 10th. RSVP information here.

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School today announced the appointment of six Fellows who will join the Institute virtually this Fall semester. The incoming Fellows bring diverse experiences in public service and expertise on contemporary issues and challenges in modern civic and political life.

“We are excited to welcome an extraordinary cohort of Fellows for the Fall semester. They bring their accomplished life experiences in elected office, public service, activism, and journalism and we are grateful for their engagement,” said IOP Director Mark D. Gearan ‘78. “The Fellows Program is a pride point for the IOP and by sharing their perspectives with our students, they will inspire Harvard students to lead lives committed to public purpose.”

For over fifty years the Institute’s Fellows Program has provided Harvard students with the opportunity to learn from prominent public servants, engage in civil discourse, and acquire a more holistic and pragmatic view of our political world. 

Fall 2020 Fellows: 

  • Chasten Buttigieg - Author, LGBTQ+ Advocate

  • Brittany Packnett Cunningham - Activist, Founder of Love & Power Works, Director’s Leader F’19 

  • Carol Giacomo - Journalist, Editorial Board of The New York Times (2007 - 2020)

  • Michael Nutter - 98th Mayor of Philadelphia (2008 - 2016), Visiting Fellow F’18

  • Alice Stewart - Republican Communications Advisor, CNN Political Commentator, Senator Ted Cruz's 2016 Presidential Campaign, Resident Fellow F'19

  • Jorge Vasquez Jr. - Civil Rights Advocate & Attorney, Project Director of the Power and Democracy Program at Advancement Project, Associate Counsel of LatinoJustice (2018 - 2020)

“A global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and a racial injustice reckoning here in the U.S. have made 2020 nothing short of eventful. This combination of new and familiar Fellows will be instrumental in inspiring students to involve themselves in politics and public service at this critical moment,” said Carine Hajjar ‘21 and Eric Jjemba ‘21, Student Co-Chairs of the Fellows and Study Groups program at the Institute of Politics. “As they reflect upon these recent months and look toward the 2020 election, we look forward to welcoming this cohort virtually this semester and creating community in a time of uncertainty.”

Over the course of their appointment, Fellows will continue traditional cornerstones of the fellowship virtually. The Institute will convene virtual study groups, led by Fellows, twice a week on pressing topics including the 2020 election, the fight for social and racial justice, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Fellows will immerse themselves in the Harvard community by mentoring a cohort of undergraduate students, holding weekly virtual office hours, and engaging faculty and co-curricular activities. 

Study groups will begin the week of September 14th, 2020. For more information, you can view the complete bios of our Fall 2020 Fellows at and stay up to date on IOP programming at

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 academy with practical politics and offers students the opportunity to engage in current events and to acquire skills and perspective 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