IOP Introduces Fall Fellows
The Institute of Politics introduced a diverse group of fall 2010 Resident Fellows last night, including a former chief of police, a former prime minister of Haiti and a former secretary of education.
The conversation, led by IOP Interim Director John C. Culver ’54, allowed the fellows to answer questions about their time in politics and public service, as well as share words of wisdom and advice with attendees.
Culver asked the fellows what inspired them to be involved in politics. Dennis W. Archer, a former Mich. Supreme Court justice and the mayor of Detroit from 1994 to 2001, explained, “Politics is all around us, especially in our everyday lives.” Archer said that while on the Court he read about gangs in Detroit and the businesses leaving the city. He felt a calling to make conditions better, so he ran for mayor, and won.
Michèle D. Pierre-Louis, the prime minister of Haiti from 2008 to 2009, on the other hand, was less enthused about politics. She explained that because she grew up in a Haiti ruled by a dictator, she acquired the sense that politics should be avoided because it did not help the public interest or common good.
But, after years of being asked to enter the political world, she agreed to be in former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s private cabinet in 1991, a position she held for only seven months. Pierre-Louis stayed away from politics until she became prime minister in 2008.
“I became prime minister with a sense of engagement, a sense that I had to make a difference, had to look at things differently, and had to project a different image of women in politics in Haiti,” Pierre-Louis said. After a little over a year as prime minister, Pierre-Louis said she faced pressure to run for president in Haiti, but instead left the country.
Other Resident Fellows this semester are Susan Milligan, a former political reporter; Ophir Pines-Paz, Israel’s minister of the internal affairs in 2005; Margaret Spellings, secretary of education from 2005 to 2009 and John Timoney, the Miami chief of police from 2003 to 2009.
These fellows will be leading study groups throughout the fall semester. The IOP will host an open house on Friday from 2 to 4 p.m., where students can meet the fellows and learn about fall programming.
—Staff writer Monika L.S. Robbins can be reached at mrobbins@college.