Former Governor, Biden’s Sister Among Fall IOP Fellows

UPDATED: August 7, 2014, at 10:12 a.m.

Former Washington Governor Christine Gregoire and Valerie Biden Owens, the sister and campaign strategist of Vice President Joe Biden, are among the class of six fall semester fellows announced Wednesday by the Institute of Politics.

The fellows, who will lead study groups for undergraduates and community members, and attend other events on campus, also include two members of the media, Kristen Soltis Anderson, a columnist at The Daily Beast, and Phil Kent, the former CEO of Turner Broadcasting Systems.Frank Fahrenkopf, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Anton J. Gunn, a health care consultant who managed public affairs for President Obama’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act, round out the rest of this fall’s class.

The fellows are selected by the staff of the IOP and a student advisory committee, according to Eric R. Anderson, the director of the IOP fellows program.

“The fellows are a resource to students—that’s their number one mission,” Anderson said, pointing to the diversity of this year’s fellows and the program’s efforts to provide programming that appeals to a broad range of undergraduates.

In addition to the weekly study groups, fellows hold office hours for four hours each week and often attend classes or club meetings.

For Frank J. Fahrenkopf, who is also the co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, the fellowship is an opportunity to connect with and learn from students, he said.

"It gives me an opportunity to get to know the issues that are important on the Harvard Campus," Fahrenkopf said. “My wife and I are looking forward to it."

After two weeks of orientation to the campus, fellows will begin hosting their weekly study groups on Sept. 22, according to Anderson.

Those entering the fellowship view the program as an opportunity to give back and inspire a new generation of leaders, Gunn said.

“I want to pay it forward and invest in the next generation of leadership,” he said. “I’m very excited about being a part of this tradition...of getting young people involved in public service.”  

—Staff writer Ivan B. K. Levingston can be reached at Ivan.Levingston@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @IvanLevingston.

—Staff writer Tyler S. Olkowski can be reached at tyler.olkowski@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @OlkowskiTyler.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: August 7, 2014

An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of Valerie Biden Owens.

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