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From Harvard Square to the Oval Office: A Political Campaign Practicum (Oval Office) is a non-partisan initiative of the Women and Public Policy Program that provides a select group of Harvard graduate students with the training and support they need to ascend in the electoral process at the local, state and national levels. Our students form a robust network of women in government who support each other as they advance their careers. We believe that providing these tools and building a supportive network within the ranks of professional politics are necessary steps in correcting the large scale gender imbalance in the United States' government.
The Oval Office program is designed to teach students to run for office through hands-on trainings, by growing their professional and personal network, and connecting them with women leaders who have shattered the glass ceiling in the public sector.
Strategic programming starts each fall and finishes each spring, and students meet regularly throughout the academic year. The Barbara Lee Women in U.S. Politics Training Program and Lecture Series skills-training sessions bring the nation’s leading campaign strategists, fundraisers, and organizers and provides “behind-closed-doors” mentoring sessions with leading figures in American political life. These are unique opportunities for students to gain invaluable first-hand guidance. Past speakers include U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA 8th), Congresswoman Anne Northup (R-KY 3rd), and former Governor Christie Todd Whitman (R-NJ).
Participating students may apply for financial support for a summer internship, giving them the chance to utilize acquired skills in a real-world political setting. They will also have the opportunity to advance their political careers by connecting with elected officials, campaign professionals, and Harvard Kennedy School alumni at networking events throughout the year.
The Oval Office program is open to all Harvard graduate students, including international students. Upon completion of the program, students are encouraged to remain active in the Oval Office network. Ultimately, our goal is to fill the political pipeline with women, striving towards equal representation in government.
From Harvard Square to the Oval Office is made possible through the generous support of Barbara Lee, Joanne Egerman, Judi Wagner, Agnes Gund and the Beatrice Koretsky Bleicher Memorial Endowment Fund.
Victoria A. Budson, founding Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program more >
November 7, 2012 - Four of WAPPP's Oval Office alumnae won their elections last night: Lori Ehrlich (Oval '05) was re-elected to the MA Legislature, Stefani Carter (Oval '05) also was re-elected to the Texas Legislature, and Marjorie Decker (Oval '06) won her first MA State Rep race. To their ranks, they welcome Michelle Fay (Oval '11) who won her election to the Vermont State House. Congratulations to all!!
The 2013-2014 application will be available in September 2013. If you have questions before then, please contact Danielle Boudrow, program administrator at email@example.com.