Reince Priebus to Join IOP as Visiting Fellow

The Institute of Politics.

UPDATED: April 20 at 12:50 a.m.

Reince Priebus, former chief of staff for President Donald Trump, was named a Visiting Fellow for spring 2018 at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.

Priebus, who also served as the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, will be on campus from April 23 until April 25. Throughout his time at Harvard, Priebus will attend “a number of events” and “engage” with students at the IOP, according to a Monday press release.

“We are pleased to welcome Reince Priebus to campus as a Visiting Fellow during the Spring semester,” IOP Director Mark D. Gearan ’78 said in the statement. “His experience and insight from years in politics, from the local to national level, as well as his time as Chief of Staff to President Trump, will be of great interest to our community.”


Priebus’s fellowship comes at a time when the IOP is facing scrutiny following a series of controversial fellow appointments. Last fall, the IOP appointed Chelsea Manning, a former Army soldier who went to prison for leaking classified military documents, as a visiting fellow but later rescinded the fellowship offer after backlash from then-CIA Director and secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo. At the end of last year, Sean Spicer, the former press secretary for Trump, faced scrutiny for only hosting off-the-record events on campus. Spicer returned to campus last week for another off-the-record meeting.

Abigail P. Bloomfield '20 and Shreeya G. Panigrahi '19, student chairs of the IOP's Fellows and Study Groups program, wrote in an emailed statement that Priebus will provide “guidance” and “advice” to students.

“The Institute of Politics has a long tradition of inviting individuals of varied backgrounds, experiences, and political beliefs to participate in a thoughtful and productive dialogue on Harvard’s campus,” Bloomfield and Panigrahi wrote. “Not only will Mr. Priebus engage the campus in the most relevant political conversations of today, he will also provide valuable guidance and advice to students.”

Other IOP visiting fellows for the school year include former Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, political commentators Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, and former President and CEO of the NAACP Cornell William Brooks.

—Staff writer Alexandra A. Chaidez can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @a_achaidez.


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