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Advocate Chasten Buttigieg, Attorney Jorge Vazquez Jr. Among Institute of Politics Fellows For Virtual Fall Semester

The Institute of Politics hosts speaking events at its John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.
The Institute of Politics hosts speaking events at its John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum. By Ryan N. Gajarawala
By Sixiao Yu, Crimson Staff Writer

Chasten Buttigieg, an author, BGLTQ advocate, and husband of former presidential candidate Pete P.M. Buttigieg ’04, will join the fall semester’s cohort of Institute of Politics fellows, along with five other public and political figures, the IOP announced Tuesday morning.

Civil rights activist and attorney Jorge L. Vazquez Jr. and New York Times foreign policy journalist Carol Giacomo will join the IOP alongside Buttigieg this fall. Rounding out the cohort are three fellows returning to the Institute’s program: former Philadelphia mayor Michael A. Nutter, activist and founder of Love & Power Works Brittany Packnett Cunningham, and CNN political commentator and Republican communications advisor Alice E. Stewart.

The COVID-19 outbreak led the IOP to transition many of its programs online — including this semester’s fellows program. The fellows will lead virtual study groups, mentor a group of undergraduate students, and hold office hours, according to a press release announcing the fellows.

Fellows are expected to address “pressing” topics like the “2020 election, the fight for social and racial justice, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” per the release.

Buttigieg joins the IOP after his husband became the first openly gay person to run a high-profile campaign for president in 2019. After Pete Buttigieg’s campaign ended in March, Buttigieg, a former teacher, began promoting his memoir, “I Have Something To Tell You.”

Student co-chairs of the Fellows and Study Groups Program, Carine M. Hajjar ’21 and Eric K. Jjemba ’21, wrote in the release that the fellows will be a part of discussing this “critical moment” in the nation’s history.

“A global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and a racial injustice reckoning here in the U.S. have made 2020 nothing short of eventful,” they wrote. “This combination of new and familiar Fellows will be instrumental in inspiring students to involve themselves in politics and public service at this critical moment.”

IOP Director Mark D. Gearan ’78 also wrote that the IOP was “excited” for this cohort of fellows to join the program.

“They bring their accomplished life experiences in elected office, public service, activism, and journalism and we are grateful for their engagement,” Gearan wrote. “The Fellows Program is a pride point for the IOP and by sharing their perspectives with our students, they will inspire Harvard students to lead lives committed to public purpose.”

—Staff writer Sixiao Yu can be reached at sixiao.yu@thecrimson.com

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