Former Republican Presidential candidate and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman Jr. speaks with Harvard Kennedy School students on Thursday afternoon. Huntsman, who held an informal talk with about thirty HKS students, lamented the current position of the Republican Party and spoke of the world's need to fill its "leadership void."
UPDATED: January 24, 2012, at 10:40 p.m.
The Institute of Politics announced on Thursday a spring roster of residential and visiting fellows that includes prominent politicians, journalists, and political advisors.
Former governor and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, Jr., former U.S. Senator Timothy E. Wirth ’61, and CNN’s chief national correspondent John King will all spend several weeks on campus this semester as visiting fellows.
In this role they are expected to interact with student groups, host discussions, and attend public policy classes on campus.
“[The IOP] has always been the marquee political laboratory and discussion center,” King said. In his talks, King plans to highlight the changing American demographic.
The resident fellows will live on campus for the semester and lead weekly study groups during the spring term for undergraduates and members of the Harvard community.
Former ambassador Karen Hughes, who also served as a counselor to former President George W. Bush, and former North Carolina governor Beverly “Bev” E. Perdue headline this class of resident fellows.
“My study group is going to be wrapped around policy and entrepreneurship,” said Perdue who compared public policy to tech-startups. “Public policy is really policy entrepreneurship.”
It is this approach to politics on which Perdue intends to focus during her time in Cambridge.
Hughes, a political communications expert, will work with the Harvard community to plan for her fellowship.
“I’m planning to meet with students during my orientation weeks to see where I could best share my expertise,” she said.
Hughes and Perdue will be joined by John Murray, former deputy chief of staff to U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Stephen “Steve” Kerrigan, CEO of the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee.
Washington Post reporter Keith Richburg and Charles “Charlie” E. Cook, Jr. of The National Journal will contribute a journalistic perspective to the group.
IOP Director C. M. “Trey” Grayson ’94 noted that Richburg, a China correspondent for The Washington Post from 2009 to 2013, and Huntsman, who served as U.S. Ambassador to China for two years, bring with them knowledge of international relations with China, a topic which recently has generated heightened student interest.
“We have heard from students all across campus with an interest in China,” said Grayson, who added that the IOP will likely host a forum with Richburg and Huntsman.