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The new Spring 2013 Class of Resident Fellows is filled with talented and experienced practitioners. We are so excited to welcome them to Harvard and show them everything we do at the Institute of Politics. We were able to sit down with each Fellow and ask them a few questions about why they are looking forward to this experience and what students and the Cambridge community can look forward to learning about from each one of them.

First up is John Murray! Murray is the former Deputy Chief of Staff to US House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Founder and President of the YG Action Fund Super PAC and the YG Network, an advocacy non-profit aimed at supporting center-right policies and those who fight for those policies. Murray's background focuses on health care policy and communications.

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

I have been thinking about applying for this fellowship for many years. I became familiar with the program after the 1996 election when a colleague of mine left for Cambridge and returned raving about the program and the experience. Since then I have had the opportunity to work with a number of tremendous political strategists, reporters and congressional staffers who had also been IOP Fellows. Following this last election, I felt like the time was right for me to apply based on my experiences as a House Leadership aide, a Super PAC founder and a K Street veteran. I am honored to have been selected and excited to engage the students, faculty and staff about the future of the American political process.

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

The 2012 election set a new standard for how Super PACs, information technology, demographic targeting, campaign finance and the intersection of politics and policy impact campaigns. As with any election, there are lessons to be learned and new methods that will become the norm for 2014 and beyond. This study group will focus on three areas: the latest campaign strategies and tactics, the impact of outside groups like Super PACs going forward, and how conservatives and the Republican Party can regroup and reshape the issues terrain in advance of 2014 and 2016.  

What are you most looking forward to this semester? 

I grew up in Seattle where Boston seemed so far away. Having the opportunity to move with my family to Cambridge to experience it first hand on the hallowed grounds of the world's greatest university is going to be incredible for all of us. For me the chance to spend time with the students, my fellow….Fellows….and the faculty and staff is going to be fantastic. My family and I are also looking forward to exploring Harvard and its environs, Boston and the surrounding areas together!

Learn more about the Fellows and Study Groups program and see John Murray in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on Wednesday, February 6 at 6pm: The Future of the Republican Party. Joining him will be Spring 2013 Resident Fellow and former Counselor to President George W. Bush Karen Hughes, Fall 2011 Resident Fellow and CEO of Christie Strategies Ron Christie, Spring 2007 Resident Fellow and former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts Kerry Healey, and CNN Contributor and National Hispanic Co-Chair of Jon Hunstman for President Ana Navarro

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