The Bipartisan Program for Newly-Elected Members of Congress is a dynamic, integrated, bipartisan orientation program for incoming U.S. Representatives. Intended as an essential complement to the orientation offered by the U.S. House leadership, this program offers invaluable resources for new Members of Congress looking to maximize their impact as legislators during their first days and months of service.
Founded in 1972 and hosted every two years by the Institute of Politics, the Bipartisan Program for Newly-Elected Members of Congress is unlike any other training program for new legislators.
Of all of the opportunities offered to my class after our election, Harvard’s program for new members was head and shoulders above anything else. From present and former Cabinet members, to academics, to members of the media this is a rare opportunity to go one on one with experts on the top issues of the day. I enjoyed the sessions, and was pleased with the quality of opinions and perspectives offered from across the political spectrum. If any incoming member chooses not to attend, for whatever reason, they will have no one to blame but themselves.
-Congressman Billy Long, Class of 2010
It provides intensive seminars on major public policy issues such as foreign policy, health care and the Federal budget, led by prominent scholars and practitioners representing viewpoints from across the political spectrum. It also offers an unmatched set of workshops to help new Representatives make the most of their first weeks and months on Capitol Hill. These workshops focus on the "how" of getting things done in Washington, and are led by current and former senior officials from Congress, the White House, cabinet departments, regulatory agencies, and the national media.
The Bipartisan Program for Newly-Elected Members of Congress does a wonderful job of teaching the realities of the legislative process. The excellent faculty make this program stand out from all others.
- U.S Sen. Tom Udall (NM), Class of 1998
The New Members of Congress Conference incorporates Harvard faculty, staff, and outside experts in a multi-day event aimed at preparing the newly elected Members of Congress for, what is for many of them, their first day as legislators. Visit C-Span to watch Understanding the Economic Crisisa video with speakers detailing their experiences working as congressional staff members or White House advisers, explaining the legislative process. For more information regarding the Conference, contact the director of Special Events and Conferences, Christian Flynn.
Program topics generally include:
- The Economy
- White House/Congressional Relations
- Inside Congress
- The Federal Budget
- Foreign Policy
- Making an Impact
Presenters and speakers come from the highest echelons of public life. Past speakers include:
- Graham Allison, Harvard Kennedy School
- Stuart Butler, The Heritage Foundation; Fellow, Institute of Politics (Fall 2002)
- Eric Cantor, U.S. House of Representatives
- Elaine Chao, former Secretary of Labor
- Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy
- Adam Conner, Facebook
- Ken Duberstein, former White House Chief of Staff
- David Gergen, Harvard Kennedy School
- Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Library
- David McCullough, Author
- David Pryor, Former United States Senator (D-AR); Former Director, Institute of Politics
- Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State
- Larry Summers, Harvard University
- David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States
- George Will, Author and Syndicated Columnist
It was a great opportunity to hear about policy and become more educated on the issues we’ll be confronting.
– Lou J. Barletta (PA-11th, R), U.S. Representative and participant in the IOP’s 2010 Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress
The Program for Newly-Elected Members of Congress introduces new legislators to the skills mastered by high-level officials who have met the challenges of governing and getting things done in Washington. It gives new Members access to the most respected thinkers and practitioners in the public policy arena. And it affords new Representatives a priceless opportunity to become acquainted with their colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, in a relaxed setting away from the pressures of Capitol Hill.
Over 600 current and former members of Congress from both parties have attended the Institute’s Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress.
Attendance at this program is by invitation only. The entire proceeding is off the record and closed to the press. Travel and lodging expenses for new Members and their spouses are paid by the Institute of Politics.
For more information about the Program for Newly-Elected Members of Congress or the Institute of Politics, please contact Christian Flynn.