Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Win Election to Public Office

Winners include federal and state lawmakers

December 2, 2008
By Lindsay Hodges Anderson

More than 60 Harvard Kennedy School alumni and executive program participants were elected to public office in the November elections. Victors included several members of Congress, more than two dozen state legislators, a governor and a Superior Court Judge – from 30 different states and across the political spectrum.

Congressman Michael McCaul, Executive Education Senior Executive Fellow 2002 (R-TX), won reelection to serve a third term as representative for Texas’ 10th congressional district. With the global economy in turmoil, McCaul said citizens in his district are looking for strong leadership to address the financial crisis.

“Today, the greatest challenge facing our nation is once again the economy,” said McCaul. “President Kennedy advocated a reduction in the capital gains tax rate as a prescription to invigorate the economy. We should follow his advice today.”

McCaul said he draws inspiration from his time at Harvard Kennedy School.

“The Harvard Kennedy School provided invaluable leadership training by providing insight on how leaders throughout history have responded to crises,” he said.

Chris Van Hollen MPP 1985 (D-MD) won reelection in Maryland’s 8th congressional district. Van Hollen says he is anxious to work with the next presidential administration in confronting the many foreign policy challenges facing the United States.

“My studies at Harvard gave me a framework to understand the complexities of foreign policy,” he said. “It assisted me as a staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and continues to inform my thinking today.”

Van Hollen also noted that his constituents are facing serious concerns over “rising foreclosures, strained credit markets, increasing unemployment and uncertainty in the stock market.”

The Harvard Kennedy School alumni community is now more than 20,000 strong and growing, with members in more than 170 countries.

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Photo of Rep. Michael McCaul

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul SEF 2002 (R-TX), at podium (far right), speaks on the importance of radio communications interoperability for the state of Texas.

Photo Credit: Rep. McCaul's Congressional website

“The Harvard Kennedy School provided invaluable leadership training by providing insight on how leaders throughout history have responded to crises,” said Rep. Michael McCaul SEF 2002.

Photo of Rep. Chris Van Hollen

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen MPP 1985 (D-MD)

Photo Credit: Rep. Van Hollen's Congressional website