We couldn't be more excited to welcome the Fall 2013 class of Fellows to Harvard's campus and show them everything we do at the Institute of Politics. We asked each Fellow to respond to a few questions about why they are looking forward to this experience and what students and the Cambridge community can expect to learn about from each one of them.
Meet Ana Navarro. Ana Navarro was born in Nicaragua. In 1980, as a result of the Sandinista revolution, she and her family immigrated to the United States. Ms. Navarro is a graduate of the University of Miami.
In 1993, she earned her Bachelor in Arts with Majors in Latin American Studies and Political Science. She obtained a Juris Doctorate in 1997. She has expertise on Latin American and Hispanic issues. She served as the National Co-Chair of John McCain’s Hispanic Advisory Council and was a national surrogate for the McCain 2008 campaign.
She has played a role in several Federal and State races in Florida. Most recently, she served as National Hispanic Co-Chair for Gov. Jon Huntsman’s 2012 Campaign. She is a political contributor at CNN and CNN en Español.
Why did you apply to be a Fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics?
I applied to the IOP because I goofed-off and partied too much during high school. I couldn't have gotten into Harvard at the point, even if my parents had donated a wing. This was my chance to make up for the lack of focus of my youth. Seriously now, I am a great admirer of the IOP.
It's a great group of very bright people, thinking about politics and how to make a positive difference in our national debate. You'd have to be crazy not to want to be a part. I have many friends who have participated and they all wish they could come back and never leave. Speaking of which, is Mark McKinnon still at Harvard?
What can students and participants expect to learn about during your Study Groups?
There are two schools of thought right now -and maybe more than that - in the Republican Party. One group thinks we need to focus on getting more of the Republican base out. The other group, which I fall into, thinks we need to grow the base by attracting voters outside the traditional GOP box. That's what I want to focus on....how does the GOP attract folks beyond old, white, straight, men. (No offense to old, white, straight, men.)
What are you most looking forward to this semester?
I'm most looking forward to spending time with students and being part of the campus life. It's easy to get jaded and cynical working in politics and I can't think of a better cure for that than hanging out with young people, hearing new ideas and seeing things from a different perspective. Oh, and I am also looking forward to consuming as much New England food and drink as humanly possible.
The range of skills of use to political campaigns is far broader today than it’s ever been before. I think a lot of students who have never worked before in politics will be surprised to learn how ready they are to make important contributions to help candidates win, and to take part in the next wave of innovation.
Ana's first Study Group "Old, White, Straight, Male Voter's Ain't What They Used To Be" will be held on Thursday, September 26 at 4:00 p.m in L166 on the first floor of the Institute of Politics.