Six experts with varied political backgrounds--including a top Jackson campaign official and a Midwestern lieutenant governor--will be fellows at the Kennedy School's Institute of Politics (IOP) this semester.
For the next four months, the fellows will lead study groups open to the Harvard community on current topics such as the emergence of the two-party South and the increasing influence of women in politics. Fellows also conduct their own research and are available to meet privately with students.
"We carried out the theme set for the IOP by Governor Thornburgh [the IOP director] that was to give a priority to elective politics, and we have three people who have held elected office," said David R. Runkel, the IOP's deputy director. "The others have been closely associated with political campaigns and have worked directly for people who have held elective office.
Former Pennsylvania governor Richard L. Thornburgh is on leave from the IOP to serve as U.S. Attorney General.
Two of this term's fellows have been national political insiders.
Richard Hatcher was the national vice chairman of the Jackson for President Campaign. He will lead a study group called "Politics of Black America: The Jackson Campaign and Beyond."
Matthew Reese has been a political consultant to a multitude of political campaigns, including that of President John F. Kennedy '40. His Washington-based company has been a consultant to more than 500 campaigns. Now a corporate consultant, Resse's study group will be "Winning Elections: How to Get the Voters to Do What You Want Them to Do."
"The core of a political campaign is target and message. All other things are simply tactical decisions of doing something well or not well," said Reese.
"The study group will look at how targets in the public are selected; and you can be selective as to what truths you tell to whom. You find the most responsive people and hit them with the most powerful message," he said.
A second focus of the semester's study groups will be social change as it affects the workplace and the political arena.
Shirley Dennis, director of the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, will lead a group on "Changing the 'Old Boy' Network: Women and Minorities in Politics and the Workplace."