Steve Jarding is an American and international educator, lecturer and political consultant who currently is on the faculty at Harvard University where he has taught since 2004 and who also has been teaching annually at the IESE Business School in Madrid, Spain. Jarding is a founding partner of the international consulting company, SJB Strategies International which advises candidates and causes around the world. In addition, Jarding has managed and worked on both statewide and national campaigns for the Democratic Party, including a host of winning Senate and gubernatorial races. He has lectured or consulted internationally for campaigns or causes in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.
Education and Teaching
Jarding graduated with a degree in government from the University of South Dakota. He received a master's degree in government from the University of Oklahoma, where he had been selected as a fellow at the Carl Albert Congressional Studies Center.
In 2004, Jarding was selected to serve as a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics. Following the fellowship, Jarding was hired as a member of the faculty at Harvard and continues to be a lecturer in public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, where he teaches courses on political communication and political campaign management. In 2013 Jarding's course on Campaign Management was nominated for a "Most Influential Course Award" by the Strengthening Learning and Teaching Excellence Initiative. Since 2010 Jarding also has been teaching annually at the IESE Business School at the University of Navarra in Madrid, Spain. Jarding has also taught at the University of Oklahoma, George Mason University in Virginia and American University in Washington, DC. In addition, Jarding has lectured at Strathmore Business School in Nairobi, Kenya, Africa, Northeastern University, Virginia Tech University, George Washington University, Wellesley College, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Tougaloo College.
In November 2012, the Financial Times of London profiled Jarding and his cutting edge methods of teaching campaign management techniques to students in America and around the world. In Madrid, the El Confidencial newspaper profiled Jarding's unique teaching methods in March 2013.
Jarding also regularly offers commentary to national and international news organizations including having appeared with NBC's Tim Russert, MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Fox News, CNN's Inside Politics, NBC's Andrea Mitchell, Tucker Carlson, Hannity and Colmes, Fox Radio, Air America and many others. Jarding currently serves as a weekly contributor to National Journal's Congressional Insiders Poll.
In addition to his teaching and consulting, Jarding also is a sought after public speaker who has given addresses to the Judiciary Working Committee on Election Preparations in Nairobi, Kenya, Africa in 2013, the 2012 Political Action for Sustainability Network Lecture in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the 2012 POLIConference International Conference on Political Marketing, the keynote address to the 2010 National Farmers Union convention, the 2010 Lusk Lecture at South Dakota State University, the 2010 Denver Forum on the State of American Politics, the 2008 Keynote Address at the South Dakota Democratic Party convention, and the 2004 Center on Politics Lecture on the Future of the Democratic Party at the University of Virginia, to name just a few.
In June 2013, Jarding organized and moderated the historic International Peace and Reconciliation Summit in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This Summit brought together both political and religious leaders who had not been united previously since the 1995 Dayton Accords. It was also the first time that the Presidents of Parliament from Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika of Srpska all appeared in the same legislative chamber. At the Summit, Jarding addressed the Parliament before moderating a panel discussion with the six Presidents present.
In 2011, Jarding founded the South Dakota Alliance for Progress a progressive think tank which worked to educate citizens on various progressive issues and causes. In 2011 and 2012, Jarding served there as President and as editor and senior contributor to the organization's weekly on-line newspaper, The Antidote, whose circulation reached a nationwide audience.
In the 1980s, Jarding served as Executive Director of the South Dakota Democratic Party, and on the first Senate campaign of former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle. In 1988 and again in 1994 he worked on the successful U.S. Senate campaigns of Bob Kerrey of Nebraska. He also worked as national Communications Director on Kerrey's unsuccessful 1992 presidential campaign. In the mid-1990s, he served as Communication Director and later a senior advisor for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Jarding also ran Leadership PACs for Kerrey and U.S. Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.
In 2011, Jarding was a founding partner in the international political consulting firm, SJB Strategies International. He has since worked on campaigns and causes with clients in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.
In 2012, Jarding was the recipient of the George McGovern Grassroots Award, named after the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee and international statesman, George McGovern, for his work to "substantially improve" the South Dakota Democratic Party. In 2013, Jarding was named a member of the Selection Committee for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting for 2012-2013 at Harvard University.
Jarding is notable in Democratic political operative circles for winning races in places Democrats are not supposed to win, and for his focus on white male voters in the South and Midwest that he believes the Democratic Party continues to needlessly cede to their Republican counterparts. In 2006 he authored, with Dave Saunders, the political book, Foxes in the Henhouse, published by Simon and Schuster, which contends that Democrats have proven distinctly incompetent at expressing their common values with rural voters particularly white male voters (referred to as NASCAR Dads by other analysts). To rectify the problem, the winning gubernatorial campaign for Mark Warner sponsored a NASCAR team and a bluegrass band to convey to these voters that Warner did not condescend to them and was not the stereotypical Democrat.
- "Kennedy School of Government Faculty". Harvard University.
- Kenneth D. Schulz, "IOP Welcomes Spring Fellows", Harvard Crimson, February 4, 2004
- Harvard University
- "Harvard University Institute of Politics, Former Fellows, Steve Jarding 
- Matt Bai "Nascar-Lovin" New York Times Magazine September 15, 2002 
- Maverick Strategies, "Steve Jarding" 
- Denise Ross "On Steve Jarding …", Republic Insider June 10, 2011
- Jill Lawrence, "'Foxes' doles out advice to Dems", USA Today, Feb. 9, 2005