UChicago Institute of Politics announces new fellows, previews Spring Quarter programming

A former governor and former chairman of the Republican National Committee Haley Barbour; former senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart; and Jon Favreau, who recently stepped down after eight years as chief speechwriter for President Obama, are among a compelling roster of Resident and Visiting Fellows this spring at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.

That roster includes former Rep. Steve LaTourette, who recently retired after nine terms in the House; Chris Lu, former White House Cabinet secretary from 2009 until this year; and Bethany McLean, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and co-author of All the Devils Are Here and The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron.

“Our mission at the Institute of Politics is to bring high-level practitioners from across the political spectrum to share their insights and experiences,” said Institute of Politics Director David Axelrod. “With this group, I am proud to say we are fulfilling that mandate. They are, to a person, compelling leaders in their fields from whom our students will learn and be inspired.”

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:

  • Barbour will reflect on the topic, "What Washington Can Learn from State Governments"
  • Favreau will recount his speechwriting experiences in a series titled “Words Matter: Storytelling with President Obama in an Age of Sound Bites”
  • Hart, a recognized authority on national security issues, will explore the topic, “The Changing Nature of Security in a New Century”
  • LaTourette, an insightful and sometimes acerbic critic of the Congress in which he served, will cover the topic, “The Politics of Debt and the Deficit of Trust in Washington”
  • Lu will draw on his years in the West Wing and on Capitol Hill with a series called “The Power of the Presidency in a Time of Political Gridlock”
  • And McLean will recall the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath in “Covering the Calamity: The Financial Crisis, and How We Faced It”

The UChicago Institute of Politics also is seeking Fellows applicants for the 2013 Fall Quarter. Political practitioners—including current or former elected officials, policymakers, journalists, campaign officials and strategists—are encouraged to apply at politics.uchicago.edu/fellows.

“There is nothing more invigorating than to interact with the bright, idealistic young people who will be tomorrow’s leaders,” Axelrod said. “And to do it on the campus of one of the world’s greatest universities, in the heart of America’s greatest city, is even better. I hope many of my old colleagues will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.”

The UChicago Institute of Politics officially launched in January with a Winter Quarter that featured an intensive review of the 2012 presidential race. Candidates, strategists and leading political journalists helped animate the major events and decisions behind them, giving students a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the campaign.

“Through the support of the University, the enthusiasm of our students, and the wide range of timely and evocative programming this Winter Quarter, the Institute has established itself as a powerful presence on campus,” said Institute of Politics Executive Director Darren Reisberg. “This momentum will only grow stronger as students take advantage of the programming opportunities we will offer this spring, as well as the internship experiences we have secured for the summer.”