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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.

First up is beth Myers. Beth Myers has a long history of involvement in public issues and campaigns. Most recently, she served as a Senior Advisor for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential race and before that served as his Chief of Staff through all four years of the Romney governorship.

She previously worked as a litigation associate at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP in Dallas, Texas. Starting on the 1980 Reagan campaign, Myers has worked for a slew of candidates. Working for Market Opinion Research, she developed and implemented GOTV campaigns in California, Texas, Massachusetts, Louisiana and Missouri.

Why did you apply to be a Fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics? 

As a political junkie and long time Bostonian, I’ve spent many hours in the audience of IOP events over the years. Speakers at the IOP are inevitably lively, interesting and fun, and the students who attend the events are always incredibly engaged. Every former Fellow says that their semester in Cambridge is one of the best experiences of their professional career, and wish they could do it again and again.

So after spending the last few years working to elect Mitt Romney president, I thought I could share some insights that I took from that experience with the students. It’s truly an honor to have been invited to join this year’s group of Fall Fellows.

What can students and participants expect to learn about during your Study Groups?

American presidential elections are extraordinary exercises in democratic self governance, and to be a part of that process – win or lose (although winning is surely better) -- is an enormous privilege for any citizen.  And while there are some excellent books written about presidential campaigns, I’d like to pull back the curtain a bit on what it’s like to be with the candidate in the trenches:

Was the Romney press bus really like the Romney press bus on Newsroom? What really goes on in Iowa and NH right before the voting starts? How hard is it when a family member runs for president? How does a campaign manager make decisions that might influence the direction of the race? 

What are you most looking forward to this semester? 

Spending time with students who surprise, inspire and energize; getting to know the other Fellows whose life experiences are all so impressive and simply fascinating; attending classes at Harvard College taught by world class professors; and immersing myself in the daily life of the Kennedy School and IOP and all that it offers.

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