Institute of Politics Announces New Members of Senior Advisory Committee



February 25, 2021

CAMBRIDGE, MA — The Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School today announced the appointment of six new members of the Institute’s Senior Advisory Committee.  The Advisory Committee works closely with the Institute to fulfill its mission to inspire Harvard students to pursue pathways in politics and public service. 

From its founding in 1966 as a living memorial to President Kennedy, the Institute has benefited from the counsel and engagement of the Senior Advisory Committee, a bipartisan group of distinguished individuals who have held roles in elected office, public service, and journalism.

New members joining the Committee include Harvard alumni and former IOP Resident Fellows: 

  • LaTosha Brown — Co-Founder, Black Voters Matter Fund
  • Alex Burns ’08 — National Political Correspondent, The New York Times
  • Jeff Flake — U.S. Senator (R-AZ) (2013 – 2019)
  • Michael Nutter — Mayor, City of Philadelphia (2008 – 2016)
  • Abby Phillip ’10 — CNN Senior Political Correspondent and Anchor of Inside Politics Sunday with Abby Phillip 
  • Alice Stewart — CNN Political Commentator and Media Consultant

“The Institute of Politics will benefit from the extensive experience of these new members of the Senior Advisory Committee. Their perspective from being in elected office, public service and journalism will be valuable in guiding the critical mission of the IOP,” said Douglas Elmendorf, Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School.  

“I am thrilled to welcome these outstanding new members to our Senior Advisory Committee.  They have led lives committed to the public good and our staff and students will value their counsel and engagement,” said Institute of Politics Director Mark D. Gearan.

The expertise, experiences, and professional networks of the members of the Senior Advisory Committee strengthen the Institute’s goal to provide students the opportunity to engage on current events and to acquire skills and perspectives that will assist in their postgraduate choices. In meetings and informal conversations, the Senior Advisory Committee focuses on topics prominent on the Institute’s agenda—in areas such as student programming, internship opportunities, and the evolving landscape of politics in today’s rapidly changing civic life. The Institute is grateful for the continued dedication of existing members of the Senior Advisory Committee for their commitment to helping Harvard students.

Brief bios of the new members of the IOP Senior Advisory Committee:

LaTosha BrownCo-Founder, Black Voters Matter Fund
LaTosha Brown is an award-winning organizer, philanthropic consultant, and political strategist with over twenty years of experience working in the non-profit and philanthropy sectors on a wide variety of issues related to political empowerment, social justice, economic development, leadership development, wealth creation and civil rights. She is the co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, a power building southern based civic engagement organization that played an instrumental role in the 2017 Alabama U.S. Senate race, the 2020 presidential race, and the Georgia Senate runoff race where the efforts led to historic turnout of Black voters. Throughout her career, Ms. Brown has distinguished herself as a trusted expert and resource in political strategy, rural development and special programming for several national and regional philanthropies. From creating community-led funds to establishing donor networks, Brown has raised substantial support for social justice causes and created projects that bring more investments into marginalized communities. She is the founding project director of Grantmakers for Southern Progress. Brown was a Resident Fellow at the IOP in Fall 2019.

Alex Burns, Harvard College ’08National Political Correspondent, The New York Times
Alexander Burns is a national political correspondent for The New York Times and a political analyst for CNN. He has covered four presidential races, including as one of the lead reporters on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and the 2020 Democratic primaries and general election. Before joining The Times, he was a reporter and editor at Politico. Burns is a graduate of Harvard College, where he was student chair of the IOP Fellows and Study Groups program and editor of the Harvard Political review. He lives in New York with his wife, MJ Lee, who is a White House correspondent for CNN, and their daughter, Penelope, who was born on Wednesday.

Jeff FlakeU.S. Senator (R-AZ) (2013 – 2019)
Jeff Flake served as a United States Senator from Arizona from 2013 to 2019 following his service in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. Born in Snowflake, Arizona, Flake attended Brigham Young University, from which he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations, and later his Master of Arts degree in political science. Prior to entering Congress, he directed the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia during that nation’s transition to independence. After returning to the United States, Flake served as Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute, before being elected as a Republican to the House of Representatives from Arizona's 1st congressional district in 2001. Senator Flake is currently a contributor to CNN and is a Visiting Fellow at Arizona State University and his alma mater, Brigham Young University. He has also guest lectured at Princeton, Yale and Stanford. Senator Flake and his wife, Cheryl, split their time between Mesa, Arizona, and Provo, Utah, and are the parents of five children. Senator Flake was a Resident Fellow at the IOP in Fall 2019.

Michael NutterMayor, City of Philadelphia (2008 – 2016)
Michael Nutter served as the 98th Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. As mayor, he managed 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. Mayor Nutter is a past President of the United States Conference of Mayors as well as the Pennsylvania Municipal League, an organization that brings together municipal officials from across Pennsylvania to advance policy initiatives. During the Obama Administration, Nutter served on My Brother’s Keeper Advisory Council. In 2020, he was elected to the Advisory Board of the African American Mayors Association and the Board of the Urban Institute. Mayor Nutter is a frequent political commentator for CNN and PBS Newshour and is a Senior Fellow and national spokesperson for the What Works Cities program through Bloomberg Philanthropies. He is a life-long Philadelphian from West Philadelphia and was educated at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Mayor Nutter is married to his wife Lisa, and a proud parent to Christian and Olivia. Mayor Nutter was a Fellow at the IOP in Fall 2020.

Abby Phillip, Harvard College ’10CNN Senior Political Correspondent and Anchor of Inside Politics Sunday with Abby Phillip
Abby Phillip is CNN's senior political correspondent and anchor of Inside Politics Sunday, an hour-long in-depth conversation on the week's most important political storylines, with a diverse set of analysts and news-making interviews. She joined the network in 2017 to cover the Trump Administration and served as White House Correspondent through 2019. In January 2020, she moderated CNN's Democratic Presidential Debate in Iowa. She also anchored special coverage of Election Night in America surrounding the 2020 election, which lasted several days until CNN was the first news outlet to project Joe Biden as the winner. In January 2021, she anchored the CNN Special Report: Kamala Harris: Making History about the Vice President's barrier-breaking career and the childhood experiences that helped shape her. Phillip is working on her first book, The Dream Deferred: Jesse Jackson, Black Political Power, and the Year that Changed America, which will be released in 2022 and serves as the first major contemporary book on the life and political legacy of Jackson. Phillip was raised in Bowie, Md. and is a graduate of Harvard College with a degree in Government. She currently lives in Washington with her husband.

Alice StewartCNN Political Commentator and Media Consultant 
Alice Stewart is a CNN Political Commentator, Communications Consultant, veteran Senior Communications Advisor on numerous presidential campaigns and an Emmy Award winning journalist. Stewart is a contributor on National Public Radio and serves on the faculty at the Leadership Institute where she conducts media training for political leaders in the United States and abroad. Stewart worked as Communications Director for the presidential campaigns of Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Mike Huckabee, Senator Rick Santorum and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.  She also served as a surrogate for the Republican National Committee. Stewart was an IOP Resident Fellow in Fall 2019 and led a study group entitled: From the Reagan Rule to Trump Tweets: Was 2016 Incivility an Aberration or Precedent-setting? It included a look back at the election process, press and data, with a glimpse to the future of Populism, Socialism, and Trumpism.

Additional members of the IOP’s Senior Advisory Committee are: David Axelrod, Director, University of Chicago Institute of Politics and former Senior Advisor to President Obama; Sarah Bianchi ‘95, Chair, Advisory Board, Biden Institute, and former Head of Global Policy Development and Federal Affairs, Airbnb; Maj. Gen. Charles Frank Bolden Jr., Former Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and United States Marine Corps - Retired; Heather Campion, Managing Director, Koya Leadership Partners, and former CEO, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation; Torie Clarke, former Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs, SAP, and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs; William D. Delahunt, Special Counsel, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC and Former U.S. Representative from Massachusetts' 10th District; Joseph Kennedy III J.D. ‘09, former U.S. Representative from Massachusetts' 4th District; Susan Molinari, former Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Google, and former U.S. Representative from New York's 13th District; Philip R. Sharp, Past President, Resources for the Future and former U.S. Representative from Indiana’s 2nd and 10th Districts; Olympia Snowe, Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center, and former U.S. Senator from Maine; Michelle Wu '07, J.D. '12, Boston City Councilor (at-large).

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About the Institute of Politics

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 consider careers in politics and public service. The Institute blends the academy with practical politics and offers students the opportunity to engage on current events and to acquire skills and perspectives that will assist in their postgraduate choices.