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Politics Fellows to Engage With Students at New Institute


Pictures of the Institute for Politics and Public Service's First Class of Fellows: Former Gov. Luis Fortuño, Buffy Wicks, Brianna Keilar, Charles Spies and John Stanton.

Former Gov. Luis Fortuño, Buffy Wicks, Brianna Keilar, Charles Spies and John Stanton are the first Fellows at the McCourt School of Public Policy's new Institute for Politics and Public Service.

August 27, 2015 – Former Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño (SFS’86), Buzzfeed’s John Stanton and CNN’s Brianna Keilar are among the five inaugural Fellows announced today at the launch of Georgetown’s new Institute for Politics and Public Service (IPPS).

Also among the Fellows are Republican campaign finance lawyer Charles Spies and Democratic strategist Buffy Wicks.

The Fellows program is designed to connect students with leaders in politics, government and media to tackle some of today’s most challenging and complex political issues. Each of the five Fellows will host weekly non-credit discussion groups on topics such as the 2016 presidential race and money and politics.

Political Thought Incubator

“We are thrilled to welcome some of the top names in politics, communications and journalism to IPPS, where they will engage with students and inspire them to come up with new and innovative ideas to strengthen our political system,” says Mo Elleithee (SFS’94), the former Democratic National Committee’s communications director who now heads IPPS. “We look forward to having these distinguished individuals help define IPPS as an incubator of political thought.” 

The Fellows will each work with a student strategy team to address specific challenges in the United States political system.

Beyond the Fellows program, IPPS will take full advantage of its location in Washington, D.C. by hosting a diverse set of political leaders and public servants to meet with students. Events IPPS hopes to host include town hall style meetings with presidential candidates, debate watch parties and panels discussions on hot political topics.

Mutual Engagement

Students also will connect with top Hill staffers, leading communications consultants, campaign managers, pollsters, journalists and others through the IPPS Mentorship Program, launching later this fall.

“Our goal is to have students listen to the foremost experts in these fields, but also to have the mentors listen to the students,” Ellithee says. “We hope to make IPPS a hub for political activity on campus, and win back a generation that has become increasingly skeptical about public service.”

Alumni and Faculty Involvement

Earlier this week, the Institute announced its Advisory Board, a group of leaders in politics, government and mediawho will help shape the future of the IPPS.

Many are alumni and Georgetown faculty, including former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama Dan Pfeiffer (C'98), The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza (C’98), and Chief of Staff in the Office of President Bill Clinton Tina Flournoy (C’78, L’84).

Georgetown faculty members E.J. Dionne and Ron Christie will also sit on the board.

Founded as part of Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy, IPPS is open to the entire university community.

The institute also has launched a blog called 37th & O, which offers a forum for students to contribute their thoughts on political issues alongside IPPS Fellows, advisory board members and guest contributors.