Institute of Politics announces diverse group of Fall 2013 fellows

University Communications

A former member of the House Republican Leadership, a prominent Democrat and former Missouri Secretary of State, one of Latin America's leading political strategists, and two leading political journalists form the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics' group of fellows for Fall 2013.

The group includes Vin Weber, a Republican from Minnesota who served six terms in Congress and is one of the most prominent strategists in the GOP; Robin Carnahan, the former Missouri Secretary of State and 2010 Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate; Miguel Silva, a former Colombian presidential chief of staff and an adviser to several Latin American governments; Amy Walter, national editor of The Cook Political Report and former political director at ABC News; and Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor at National Review and a leading conservative policy expert.

“The Institute of Politics aims to connect young people with top practitioners of varied political perspectives to encourage students to pursue a life of public service,” said Institute of Politics Director David Axelrod. “Each of our fellows this quarter will bring invaluable insights and experiences, and I’m certain that our students will benefit tremendously from their presence on campus.”

The Institute of Politics Fellows will interact with students and faculty on campus, participate in public forums and, along with guests, lead seminars on topics they have chosen:

  • Carnahan will examine the health of our democracy in a series entitled, “Democracy 2.0: How the Next Generation of Leaders Can Save a System in Crisis.”
  • Ponnuru will explore “Rebuilding the Movement: Conservative Ideas for a New America.”
  • Silva will lead a series called, “Latin American Politics: Economic Independence, Drug Wars, and the Return of Anti-American Autocrats.”
  • Walter will explore the nature of modern-day campaigning in “Do Candidates Matter?: Campaigning in an Era of Technology, Partisanship and Polarization.”
  • Weber will examine “The Role of Democracy Promotion in U.S. Foreign Policy.”

The UChicago Institute of Politics is soliciting applications for Spring 2014 fellows. Political practitioners—including current or former elected officials, policymakers, journalists, campaign officials and strategists—are encouraged to apply at

“For me, there is no greater mission than to inspire young people to make their country and world a better place,” Axelrod said. “My time with the students at this great university has only reaffirmed my commitment to them, and I’m excited by the contributions our new fellows will bring to this rewarding program.”

The UChicago Institute of Politics officially launched in January 2013, and in nine months presented more than 150 guest speakers, hosted 114 events and placed students in more than 160 internships.