Cambridge, MA – The Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics (IOP) has selected its spring 2017 class of Visiting and Resident Fellows, available at

“This class of Fellows boasts deep insights into the rapidly evolving landscape of national and global challenges. They will bring this range of perspectives and deep subject knowledge to benefit our undergraduate students and the Harvard community this semester,” said Maggie Williams, IOP director.

The six resident fellows bring their expertise in border security, foreign policy, the environment, America’s opioid crisis, and other pressing topics with them to Harvard. Three public service leaders will complement the Resident Fellows as distinguished Visiting Fellows:

Kelly Ayotte, U.S. Senator (R-NH; 2011-17); New Hampshire Attorney General (2004 –09). Senator Ayotte will concurrently serve as a Visiting Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Ray Mabus, U.S. Secretary of the Navy (2009-17); United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1994-96); Governor of Mississippi (1988-92). Mabus will concurrently serve as a Visiting Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Executive Fellow at the Harvard Business School, and Lecturer in Law at the Harvard Law School.

Peter Shumlin, Governor of Vermont (D-VT; 2011-17); Vermont State Senator (1993-2003 and 2007-11); member of the Vermont House of Representatives (1990-93) 

Six Resident Fellows will join the IOP for spring 2017:

  • Jon Finer, Chief of Staff and Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State (2015-17); Senior Advisor to Deputy National Security Advisor; Special Advisor for the Middle East and North Africa; Foreign Policy Speechwriter for Vice President Joseph R. Biden (2011-15); White House Fellow (2009-11)
  • Sarah Hurwitz, Special Assistant to the President, Senior Strategic and Policy Advisor to the Council On Women and Girls, and Senior Presidential Speechwriter. Served as the chief speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama (2010-17)
  • R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (2014-17); Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (2009-14); Chief of Police for the City of Seattle (2000-09)
  • Gina McCarthy, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (2013-17); Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation (2009-13). McCarthy will concurrently serve as a Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
  • T.W. Shannon, Member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives (R-62nd district; 2007-14); Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives (2013-14); Chairman of Future Majority Project (2014-present); Chief Administrative Officer, Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce (2004-06)
  • Christopher Shays, Member, United States House of Representatives (R-CT; 1987-2009)

For 50 years, the Fellows Program has stood as an integral component of the IOP’s dual commitment to encourage student interest in public service and to increase interaction between the academic and political communities. During their tenure, Resident Fellows interact with students, develop and lead weekly study groups and participate in the intellectual life of the Harvard community. Visiting Fellows join the Institute for shorter periods and maximize their time meeting with students, faculty and Harvard research center staff.




Our mission at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics (IOP) is to create the future of politics and public service every day, inspiring undergraduates to lead lives of purpose by committing themselves to the practice of politics and governing, and to public service and the countless opportunities to serve at home and around the world.  The IOP was established in 1966 as a memorial to President John F. Kennedy. More information is available online at    


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