January 23, 2009 - Harvard’s Institute of Politics Announces Spring Resident Fellows


JANUARY 23, 2009

Contact: Esten Perez
(617) 496-4009


Former Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao, Obama for America Campaign Manager David Plouffe,
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and Washington Post Columnist Eugene Robinson to serve as Visiting Fellows


Cambridge, MA – Harvard’s Institute of Politics, located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, today announced the selection of an experienced group of individuals for Resident and Visiting Fellowships this spring. Over the course of an academic semester, Resident Fellows interact with students, participate in the intellectual life of the Harvard community and pursue individual studies or projects. Visiting Fellows join the Institute for a shorter period and maximize their time meeting with students, faculty and Harvard research center staff.

“In a year of historic change and challenge, this is an ideal class of Fellows to help shape the discussion and the thinking of our students,” said Institute of Politics Director Bill Purcell. “These Fellows uniquely understand the need for public servants and the many roads to public service at a time when this is again at the center of student life and planning and our nation’s agenda.”

The following Resident Fellows will join the Institute for the spring semester and lead weekly study groups on a range of topics:


  • Tina Flournoy, assistant to the president for public policy, American Federation of Teachers; former co-chair, Democratic National Committee’s rules and bylaws committee
  • Jim Ramstad, U.S. Representative (1991-2009; R-MN)
  • Rose Styron, renowned poet, journalist and human rights activist
  • Teresa Vilmain, prominent political organizer, manager and consultant
  • Howard Zucker, former assistant director-general and representative of the director general, World Health Organization; former deputy assistant secretary of health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Elaine L. Chao, former U.S. secretary of labor; David Plouffe, Obama for America campaign manager; Tom Ridge, former U.S. secretary of homeland security and governor of Pennsylvania; and Eugene Robinson, Washington Post associate editor and op-ed columnist will join the Institute as Visiting Fellows. Chao’s fellowship will take place in early spring, Plouffe and Ridge’s fellowships will occur in April and Robinson’s fellowship will take place in late spring. Visiting Fellows traditionally meet with student groups; lead discussion groups on topical issues and their experiences in public and political service; and participate in public policy classes with students and Harvard Kennedy School faculty. The Fellows program is central to the Institute’s dual commitment to encourage student interest in public life and to increase interaction between the academic and political communities.


Harvard University’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, was established in 1966 as a memorial to President Kennedy. The IOP’s mission is to unite and engage students, particularly undergraduates, with academics, politicians, activists, and policymakers on a nonpartisan basis and to stimulate and nurture their interest in public service and leadership. The Institute strives to promote greater understanding and cooperation between the academic world and the world of
politics and public affairs. More information is available online at www.iop.harvard.edu/.