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Program Overview (For Professionals)

  • The Fellows Program represents a unique opportunity for political practitioners with diverse experiences and viewpoints to spend a semester at Harvard. Fellows lead a not-for-credit study group, participate in Institute activities, and engage in informal interchange with students and faculty. The Fellows Program is central to the Institute's dual commitment to encourage student interest in public life and to develop ways for the academic and political communities to learn from each other.

  • Since 2000, the Harvard Public Opinion Project has collected the most comprehensive dataset of the political opinions, voting trends, social media use, and views on public service held by young Americans.  We hope this research will inform governments, businesses, the media and non-profits in their outreach, engagement, and representation of young Americans. 

  • The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum is Harvard University’s premier arena for political speech, discussion and debate. Located at the heart of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Forum regularly hosts heads of state; leaders in politics, government, business, labor and the media; academics; community organizers; and artists. In addition to speeches, debates and panel discussions on pressing issues, the Forum regularly sponsors television and radio programs, film screenings, and theatrical productions.

  • The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Institute of Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government have created the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards to honor young Americans who are changing their communities – and the country – with their commitment to public service.

  • Conferences extend the Institute's reach beyond the academic community. Since 1972, the Institute has conducted training every other year for newly elected members of Congress. Training for newly elected mayors of large cities is also held every other year.

  •  This short-term fellowship periodically brings distinguished veterans of public life to Harvard for a short stay. The program is designed to provide maximum contact with the University community, particularly undergraduate students. Each fellowship is individually tailored to the background of the Visiting Fellow. Visiting Fellows have a compacted schedule and will often conduct three or four events in a day. These events include roundtable discussions, study groups and occasionally a Forum event.