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Recent Grad Manages State Senate Campaign

Liazos Picked as Chief Strategist for Tolman

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

A local state senator has hired a newly-graduated Harvard alum to serve as his campaign manager.

State Sen. Warren E. Tolman (D-Watertown), whose district includes parts of Cambridge, will employ Melissa G. Liazos '96 in the key campaign position as he makes a bid for re-election.

Liazos graduated in June magna cum laude in social studies. She has been involved in political and leadership activities for years, including positions at the Institute of Politics (IOP), White House internships, Youth Vote '96, the Lyman Common Room, the Undergraduate Council and the Women's Leadership Conference.

Tolman said that while it might be unusual to hire a recent college graduate to a high-ranking post in a campaign, he is very happy with his new campaign manager.

"It's certainly not typical but Melissa has shown the ability and willingness to learn," said Tolman. "Melissa is not your typical recent college graduate. She's been very active at Harvard and before Harvard and over the summers."

In Harvard's own political scene, Liazos' record as a campaign manager is not unblemished.

In the first-ever College-wide elections for president of the Undergraduate Council, Liazos managed the second-place campaign of Rudd W. Coffey '97, one of the favorites to win the race.

But Coffey said Liazos' new job is well-deserved and impressive for someone so young.

"That's the first time I'd ever heard of it and it's a pretty big deal," said Coffey, "a pretty proud accomplishment for her."

Coffey said Liazos' activities during her college career were crucial in building political skills.

"She was the vice-chair of the IOP and the projects chair there and that was probably the largest thing she did," said Coffey. "There she developed expertise in planning events."

Bert I. Huang '96, who co-chaired the IOP's Student Advisory Committee with Liazos, said he thought it was a valuable experience for her.

"I think it taught her, beyond obviously the importance of politics and public service, I think it taught her a great deal about organizing, about activism, about the importance of the community in politics," Huang said.

Coffey also praised her organizational skills.

"She's very good at taking the details and taking all the different strains of things that need to get done and weaving them together in a web that's very manageable and very easily comprehensible," Coffey said.

"There's not a procrastinating fiber in her body," he said.

Huang said that being hired for such a position right out of college was somewhat unusual.

"It's certainly a tremendous responsibility and achievement," Huang said "I can't think of anybody else who's done it."

"I think her maturity and professionalism and dedication to service are really unmatched," Huang said, "and I think Tolman needs to realize how lucky he is to have someone like Melissa working with him."

Tolman certainly seems to appreciate his new campaign manager.

"She's always impressed me as somebody who's bright and capable," he said.

"Melissa's terrific," Tolman said. "She brings a great deal of enthusiasm for public policy and I'm excited to have her.

"She's very good at taking the details and taking all the different strains of things that need to get done and weaving them together in a web that's very manageable and very easily comprehensible," Coffey said.

"There's not a procrastinating fiber in her body," he said.

Huang said that being hired for such a position right out of college was somewhat unusual.

"It's certainly a tremendous responsibility and achievement," Huang said "I can't think of anybody else who's done it."

"I think her maturity and professionalism and dedication to service are really unmatched," Huang said, "and I think Tolman needs to realize how lucky he is to have someone like Melissa working with him."

Tolman certainly seems to appreciate his new campaign manager.

"She's always impressed me as somebody who's bright and capable," he said.

"Melissa's terrific," Tolman said. "She brings a great deal of enthusiasm for public policy and I'm excited to have her.

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