Harvard Institute of Politics

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The Institute of Politics
Harvard Institute of Politics Logo.jpg
Established 1966
Director Mark Gearan
Location Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Campus Urban
Website www.iop.harvard.edu

The Harvard Institute of Politics (IOP) was created to serve as a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy and inspire Harvard University undergraduates into careers in politics and public service, much as President Kennedy was inspired during his days as a student at Harvard. The IOP also brings together the academic world with the world of politics and public affairs. All of this activity occurs on a non-partisan basis with the sole aim of promoting public service.

Following President Kennedy's death in 1963, the Kennedy Library Corporation raised more than $20 million for both the construction of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and for the creation and endowment of an institute at Harvard for the study of politics and public affairs. More than 30 million people from around the world, including school children, contributed to the fund. In 1966, the Kennedy Library Corporation presented Harvard University with an endowment for the creation of the Institute of Politics.

The IOP is currently led by Director Mark Gearan, and the Student Advisory Committee is led by Dustin Chiang as president and Miguel Undurraga as vice president.[1] The organization also has a full-time staff, a Student Advisory Committee, and an advisory board including former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), former Senator John Culver (D-IA), former Congressman William Delahunt (D-MA), former senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), former White House Chief of Staff Kenneth Duberstein, former congressman Phil Sharp (D-IN), Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), former New York Times executive Rick Berke, and former advisor to President Obama David Axelrod.

Among the 15 programs offered by the IOP include fully funded internships, prominent and diverse Forum speakers, the Harvard Political Review, study groups led by visiting and resident Fellows, periodic public opinion surveys focused on America's youth, policy groups, the Campaigns and Advocacy Program, the Politics of Race and Ethnicity, Civics tutoring for Boston public schools, and conferences intended to provide opportunities for interaction with the people who shape politics and public policy. The IOP does not offer formal courses or degree-granting programs; instead, it provides avenues for practical experience and encourages students to examine critically and think creatively about politics and public issues.

In 2003, the IOP launched the National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement, working collaboratively with other schools and organizations across the country to engage young people. The IOP also conducts research and surveys into the political views of America's young voters. In addition, the Institute offers conferences for new members of Congress and new mayors, and, after each Presidential election since 1972, brings together top campaign officials to analyze the race in the "Campaign for President" series.[2]

The Institute of Politics is housed within Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and is affiliated with the Kennedy Presidential Library.

Littauer Building, John F. Kennedy School of Government

John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum[edit]

The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum is one of the world's premier arenas for political speech, discussion and debate. Located at the heart of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Forum regularly hosts heads of state; leaders in politics, government, business, labor and the media; academics; community organizers; and artists.[3] In addition to speeches, debates and panel discussions on pressing issues, the Forum has sponsored television and radio programs, film screenings, and theatrical productions.[4]

Since its founding in 1978, the Forum has hosted more than one-thousand events, seen by live audiences totaling more than 650,000 people and millions more via cable television, teleconferencing and the Internet.

The current director of the JFK Jr. Forum is Carrie Devine.

Prominent speakers at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum[edit]

Harvard Public Opinion Project[edit]

Founded in 2000, the Harvard Public Opinion Project (HPOP) aims to track young Americans' (18- to 29-year-olds) attitudes toward politics and public service. Undergraduate members, in conjunction with the IOP's Director of Polling, John Della Volpe, conduct the largest national survey of the Millennial generation. These take the form of a tracking poll in the fall and a more comprehensive poll in the spring. After analyzing the data, the committee shares its findings in a nationally covered media release.[7]

Fellows & Study Groups[edit]

The Fellows and Study Groups program represents a unique opportunity for political practitioners with diverse experiences and viewpoints to spend a semester at Harvard. Fellows interact with students, participate in the intellectual life of the community, and pursue individual studies or projects. The Fellows program is central to the Institute's dual commitments to encourage student interest in public life and to develop ways for the academic and political communities to learn from each other.

Harvard Political Review[edit]

The IOP is also home to and publishes the Harvard Political Review (HPR).[8] The HPR is a quarterly, non-partisan journal of political affairs, written, edited, and managed entirely by Harvard College undergraduates.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]