On a stage filled with former mayors, writers, and a past leader of a small island nation, the Institute of Politics (IOP) showcased its new spring fellows last night at the ARCO Forum.
IOP Director Alan K. Simpson moderated the event, entitled "Perspectives on Politics," providing introductions for the new fellows in their first public appearance before the Harvard community.
The five new fellows took the opportunity to share how they became involved in politics and provided an overview of the study groups they will lead during the spring.
Jon Cowan, the chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will run a study group entitled "We Got Game," which will focus on how America's youth can become involved in politics.
As a young adult Cowan said he remembers wanting to get involved in civic life.
"We were very frustrated, to put it mildly, with sitting on the sidelines while our futures were getting mortgaged," he said.
Cowan, who also co-founded the youth political action group Lead...or Leave, said he hopes that students will lead rather than follow.
"If you are committed and willing to work hard, you can make a difference," Cowan told the audience. "I hope to teach you how to become a more effective player in the game of politics."