Alumni Highlights

Over the course of 40 years, the IOP has hosted future Vice Presidents, Speakers of the House, Majority Leaders, presidential candidates, and Civil Rights champions. Below, please find a brief bipartisan list of some of the most celebrated and recognizable alumni of the program.

John Lewis, a champion of Civil Rights and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, was a distinguished alumni of the program, having served Georgia's 5th district from January 3, 1987 until his death on July 17, 2020. A leader in the March on Washington in 1963, Lewis was one of the key players in the fight to end legalized racial segregation in the United States. The late representative focused his agenda around health care; transportation; unemployment; children, women, and families; peace and nonviolence; and voting rights.

Eric Cantor is a politician and lawyer who served the House as Majority Leader during the 112th Congress and fought passionately for economic growth, entitlement reform, and solving our nation’s spending crisis. He was known as an incredibly efficient servant leader who has continued to fight for voting rights across the country to this day.

Albert Arnold Gore Jr. is no stranger to public service. Gore served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee's 4th and 6th district, a United States Senator from Tennessee, and the 45th Vice President of the United States during the Clinton Administration. An environmental champion, Gore’s contribution to climate change activism earned him, in junction with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Today, Gore serves as the founder and current chair of the Alliance for Climate Protection.

Before he was a two-term governor of Ohio, John Kasich served Ohio’s twelfth district for 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee and then as chair of the House Budget Committee from 1995 to 2001. A fiscal conservative who was often considered moderate compared by his peers, Kasich made strives as a Representative and Governor to help balance the budget and close the federal deficit. In 2016, Kasich was a candidate for the Republican Nomination for President.

After serving as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 20th district from 2007 to 2009, Kirsten Gillibrand assumed office in the United States Senate and now serves the great state of New York alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Kirsten has fought sexual assault in the military and sexual harassment for years and is best known for her work supporting a healthcare public option, government transparency, and female equality and involvement.

From 2011 to 2015, John Boehner served as Speaker of the House. Before his time as speaker, Boehner served as both House Minority and House Majority Leader, overseeing one of the most ideologically diverse Republican caucuses in history. A staunch conservative, Boehner worked to protect citizens against government fiscal waste and advocated for increased defense spending.

The longest-serving Independent Congressional member in history, Bernie Sanders has been a progressive force in American politics. A self described “democratic socialist” and organizer during the Civil Rights Movement, Bernie Sanders has been a consistent advocate for social, economic, and racial equality. Before becoming the Senator from Vermont, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and most notably 2016 Presidential Candidate, Sanders served as Vermont’s at-large member in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Mayor of Burlington.