Richardson Named IOP Spring Visiting Fellow

Former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson will be a Spring Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Politics during the week of March 28, the IOP announced yesterday.

During his time at the IOP, Richardson will deliver the 2011 Corliss Lamont Lecture, which features a leader who has played a role in diminishing the likelihood of nuclear war.

He will also meet with students and speak in several public policy classes both at the College and the Kennedy School.

Jeffrey F. Solnet ’12, president of the IOP, said that he thinks Richardson’s diverse experiences will give students first-hand exposure to a wide variety of state, national, and international issues.

Richardson began his political career as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he represented New Mexico’s third district from 1983 to 1997.

He then went on to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 1997 to 1998. Due to his diplomatic work, Richardson has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize five times.

In 1998, he was appointed Secretary of Energy by former President Clinton. After the end of the Clinton administration,

Richardson became the governor of New Mexico in 2003, a position that he held until he reached the term limit this year.

Richardson made another bid for the national stage when he was a candidate for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination before ultimately dropping out of the race due to a lack of support.

Richardson was also a nominee for the position of Commerce Secretary in President Obama’s administration. He withdrew his name from the candidacy due to a federal grand jury investigation, although ultimately Richardson did not face charges.

Richardson’s spring fellowship will not be the first time he has been involved in life at Harvard. He served as a member of the IOP’s Senior Advisory Committee from 1999 to 2005.

C. M. Trey Grayson ’94, director of the IOP, said that Richardson’s depth of experience is unparalleled even in the world of politics.

“What’s exciting about him is that he is an expert in so many areas and has such a diversity of experiences,” Grayson said. “I’m hard pressed to think of anybody else who has been a cabinet secretary, UN ambassador, member of Congress, governor of a state, and a presidential candidate.”

Members of the IOP community said they thought Richardson’s presence on campus would inspire students to get involved in politics.

“Governor Bill Richardson is a very dynamic and charismatic figure and he’s going to energize the program and bring a lot of excitement about politics to campus,” said Cyrus B. Kornfeld ’12, co-chair of the Fellows and Study Groups Program.

—Staff writer Monica M. Dodge can be reached at mdodge@college.harvard.edu.

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