Institute of Politics to Host Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress


For Immediate Release - Thursday, December 3rd, 2020


Sessions to focus on pressing national issues as lawmakers prepare for their public service. Harvard faculty and policy experts, including Kennedy School Dean Doug Elmendorf, Arthur Brooks, Cornell Brooks, Juliette Kayyem, and Amb. Wendy Sherman to lead sessions in December

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School today announced the 23rd convening of the Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress.

Incoming lawmakers will be briefed on several national challenges and engage in conversation with Harvard’s faculty and other policy experts during four convenings in December. Topics include fighting COVID-19, rebuilding the economy, America’s role in the world, and the effects of the pandemic and economic recession on educational access, food security, criminal justice, and democratic governance.

“Since 1972, the Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress has been an important part of lawmakers’ orientation to the House of Representatives.  While we will miss their presence in Cambridge this year, we are proud to offer the expertise of Harvard faculty and other policy experts as they begin their public service,” said Mark D. Gearan ‘78, Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School.  “This program allows new Members of Congress the opportunity to get to know their colleagues, explore the policy implications of these important topics, and utilize the expertise of our faculty colleagues during the program and during their service.”  

The program will also provide perspective on the transition from the campaign to Capitol Hill from current members of Congress, including Institute of Politics Senior Advisory Committee Members, Congressman Joe Kennedy (D, MA-04) and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik AB ’06 (R, NY-21), and Congressman Dan Crenshaw MPA’17 (R, TX-02) and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D, MA-07).

Established in 1972, the Bipartisan Program For Newly Elected Members of Congress has hosted more than 700 incoming members including future Vice Presidents, Speakers of the House, Majority Leaders, presidential candidates, and Civil Rights champions. A comprehensive list of past participants can be viewed here.

Given Harvard University’s remote learning environment this fall, newly-elected members will convene virtually over the course of four sessions throughout December. The complete agenda can be found HERE. Note: These sessions are open to newly-elected members of Congress and closed to the public.

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 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 perspectives that will assist in their postgraduate pathways.

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