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 Mo Cowan. William "Mo" Cowan was appointed to the United States Senate by Governor Deval L. Patrick on February 1, 2013, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John F. Kerry. Senator Cowan served until July 16, 2013 on which date he was succeeded by Edward J. Markey, winner of the special election in which Senator Cowan was not a candidate.
Senator Cowan served as a member of the Senate Agriculture, Commerce, and Small Business Committees. Senator Cowan also chaired the Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research.
Why did you apply to be a Fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics?
If you know me, you know that among my passions are public service and political discourse. The past four years have provided me ample opportunity to pursue these passions while working in senior positions in the administration of Governor Deval Patrick and serving in the United States Senate. The IOP Fellowship offers me the opportunity to continue those pursuits while working alongside seasoned public servants and political thinkers, and while engaging in challenging dialogue and debates with the study group participants. This is going to be fun!
What can students and participants expect to learn about during your Study Groups?
When the Vice-President swore me into office I became only the 8th African-American and 25th person of color in the storied history of this Nation to serve in the U.S. Senate. It was also the first time two African-Americans served in the Senate concurrently. Of course, this happened mere months after the elections of 2012 which ushered in a record number of women into the Chamber. And some of the youngest members in the Chamber are becoming most vocal on the issues of the day. Are these representative trends or historical accidents? My study group and I will explore the how and why diverse people and voices get involved in political life and whether it matters when they are not involved.
What are you most looking forward to this semester?
I am thrilled to have the chance to share my experiences and perspective with the students and have those students challenge me through our conversations. I know I will learn much from these exchanges, from the other dynamic Fellows, and from the outstanding faculty and staff at the Kennedy School. And, if time allows, I may sneak into a few Harvard classes (you will find me in the way-back).
Mos first Study Group "Impressions of the Accidental Senator: Lessons and Reflections about Our Changing Democracy Discovered During my Unexpected Journey to the Senate" will be held on Tuesday, September 24 at 4:00 p.m in L166 on the first floor of the Institute of Politics.