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Harvard Institute of Politics Announces Spring 2020 Resident Fellows

The Institute of Politics welcomed six new residential fellows for the spring semester, including former governor of Alaska Bill Walker.
The Institute of Politics welcomed six new residential fellows for the spring semester, including former governor of Alaska Bill Walker. By Steve S. Li
By Sixiao Yu, Crimson Staff Writer

The former governor of Alaska and five other prominent political figures are slated to join the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics this spring as part of their residential fellows program, the IOP announced Thursday.

Bill Walker, the former governor of Alaska, and Mark P. Harvey, a former Special Assistant to President Donald J. Trump, will join the semester’s cohort, along with former British Ambassador to the United States Lord Kim Darroch and Rohini Kosoglu, chief of staff to former presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). The class also includes Tara Setmayer, a CNN and ABC political commentator and former Republican communications director, and Tiffany Cross, co-founder and managing editor of The Beat DC.

In an email announcing the fellows, IOP Director Mark D. Gearan ’78 wrote that the Institute was “pleased” to bring them to the institute at such an important political time.

“At this important time in civic life we are pleased to welcome an extraordinary group of Resident Fellows from highest levels of government to national security, foreign affairs, and electoral politics,” Gearan wrote. “Our Resident Fellows are central to our mission of inspiring students to public service and model lives of consequences.”

The fellows will spend the upcoming semester on campus, each leading weekly study groups on a topic of their choice as well as mentoring a select group of undergraduate students and holding office hours.

Some of the new fellows took to social media to announce their study groups. Setmayer announced on Twitter that her study group will be called "Principle vs. Party."

“It’s never too late to stand up for what’s right!” Setmayer tweeted.

Cross tweeted that her study group will engage with representation in media and will build on her work at The Beat DC “[highlighting] stories of politics, policy, & people of color.”

Walker told the Seattle Times Thursday that he expects to base his time as a fellow around his experiences as an independent politician.

Student co-chairs of the IOP Fellows and Study Groups program Carine M. Hajjar ’21 and Eric K. Jjemba ’21 wrote in the announcement that they also look forward to welcoming the new fellows to campus.

“Given the importance of the 2020 election, Harvard students are eager to learn from and engage with this incoming class,” Hajjar and Jjemba wrote. “The relationships built among students and Resident Fellows help shape and inform our own pathway in politics and public service. We look forward to welcoming this cohort to campus this semester.”

The fellows will start their semester at the IOP beginning the week of Feb. 3.

—Staff writer Sixiao Yu can be reached at

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IOPPoliticsHarvard Kennedy SchoolPolitical GroupsFront Middle Feature