John Culver Named Interim Director of Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics

Contact: Esten Perez
Phone: (617) 496-4009
Contact Organization: Institute of Politics
Date: May 11, 2010

Cambridge MA. – Former U.S. Senator John C. Culverhas been named interim director of the Institute of Politics(IOP) at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The announcement was made today by Harvard Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood. Culver, who succeeds outgoing director Bill Purcell, will assume his new duties on July 1 and will serve until a permanent director is named.

Culver served five terms in Congress as a Democratic representative from Iowa’s second district, winning his first election in 1964. He was elected to the Senate in 1974, where he served until 1981. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Culver is a graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He was inducted into the Harvard University Football Hall of Fame in 1978. Culver recently retired from the Washington law firm of Arent Fox, where he established the government affairs practice. He is the co-author of American Dreamer: The Life and Times of Henry A. Wallace.

A former Harvard overseer, Culver has served on the IOP’s Senior Advisory Committee since 1975 and as chair of the committee for the past 14 years. “We are thrilled to have someone with Senator Culver’s leadership skills and political experience to guide the IOP,” said Dean Ellwood. “Senator Culver’s deep, long-time connection to the IOP, combined with his many years of dedicated service on Capitol Hill, as a practicing attorney, and in the U.S. military, make him an excellent choice and a superb role model for students.”

Senator Culver added: “It has been a privilege to serve on the IOP Senior Advisory Committee for many years. I look forward to working even more closely with the students and staff as the IOP interim director.”

The Kennedy School and the Institute of Politics will also launch a search for a new permanent IOP director.

Harvard University’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at Harvard Kennedy School, was established in 1966 as a memorial to President Kennedy. The Institute strives to inspire young people to engage in politics and public service, and to promote greater understanding and cooperation between the academic world and the world of politics and public affairs. More information is available online at


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