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Summer of Service: During the summer of 2013 the IOP is proud to sponsor and work with over 250 students who are spending their summers in politics and public service around the world. Learn more about this program.

Caleb Theofilos Galoozis ’14 is an IOP Director’s Intern with the Cato Institute in Washington, DC.

As Chair of the Harvard Political Union, I’ve often had the opportunity to moderate and organize political debate among students. But despite this experience, and a strong interest in politics and public policy throughout college, I had never actually had the opportunity to participate in formal debate myself. However, the Institute of Politics, through a summer Director’s Internship at the Cato Institute, finally allowed me the opportunity to do so.

For the past month, I have been interning at the Cato Institute, a libertarian public policy think tank in Washington, DC. Our stated mission is to “increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace. The Institute will use the most effective means to originate, advocate, promote, and disseminate applicable policy proposals that create free, open, and civil societies in the United States and throughout the world.” Cato has been rated the 6th most influential US based think tank by the 2011 Global Go To Think Tank (GGTTT) Index, and also ranks 3rd in economic policy, 2nd in social policy. GGTTT also ranked Cato 1st in the United States for “scores of profile per dollar spent.”

I have been passionate about libertarianism throughout college, and this opportunity at the Cato Institute allowed me to bring that passion into action. I work as a research intern in Budget and Tax Policy for two of Cato’s scholars, Dan Mitchell and Chris Edwards, and work to support the Institute’s overall mission.

Recently, the Cato Institute hosted an intern debate between itself and the Heritage Foundation, a conservative public policy think tank also in Washington. As people often place libertarianism and conservatism into the same intellectual category, this debate intended to highlight the difference between the two political philosophies. Each think tank chose two interns for the debate.

After rounds and rounds of tryouts, I was selected as part of Cato’s team for the debate. I was able to debate the conservative philosophy on issues as far-ranging as immigration, gay marriage, military interventionism, the drug war, and more. There were 400 people in attendance at the Cato Institute, and thousands watched the streaming video online. It was also the highest trending topic on Twitter in Washington, DC, and I received a lot of fun tweets as well. 

The debate, like the internship, was a great experience. It helped me to gain valuable experience, expand my knowledge on a range of subjects, and contribute to issues that I’m passionate about in a substantive way.

Fortunately, this kind of experience is the norm, rather than the exception, with Harvard’s Institute of Politics. I would advise anyone who is interested to join the IOP, and experience a similarly great opportunity.