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Director, Fellows and Study Groups Program

Eric Andersen became the Institute of Politics (IOP) Fellows and Study Groups Programs Director in September 2003. Andersen joined the IOP in the fall 2001 as the Fellows and Study Groups Programs Assistant. Andersen began his tenure at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 1999 as a Staff Assistant at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Media, Politics and Public Policy. He serves on the Harvard College Board of Freshmen Academic Advisors, the selection committee for the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program’s “From Harvard Square to the Oval Office,” is a member of the Phillips Brooks House Summer Urban Program Auction Host Committee, and has served as a judge for the John F. Kennedy Library’s Profile in Courage Essay Contest. Andersen is a graduate of St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA and received a B.A. in Government and French from Skidmore College. In 2015 he received an ALM from Harvard University. Andersen is married to Carey Capone Andersen who is on the staff at the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. They are proud parents of Liam Lincoln Andersen.

Executive Assistant to the Director

Candice Antrop joined the IOP in September 2014 as the Executive Assistant to the Director, Maggie Williams. For the past ten years Candice served as the Executive Assistant to Maggie Williams and Dr. Patrick Griffin at Griffin Williams Critical Point Management, a consulting firm that specializes in helping clients navigate challenging communications, organizational and political environments. Prior to joining Griffin Williams Candice held a management position for the Center for Hospice Care in Connecticut. A native of Mystic, Connecticut Candice now resides in Quaker Hill, Connecticut with her husband Mark.

Digital Communications Specialist

Mary Cappabianca joined the Institute in September 2015 as the Digital Communications Specialist responsible for creating, building and publishing content for the IOP’s web and digital platforms – and managing the editorial process for content publication to maximize impact.  Before coming to the IOP, Cappabianca served as a Senior Associate for Public Affairs and Social Media at the Aspen Institute and as a Media Communications Fellow for the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C. Cappabianca also previously held internship positions with Clean Communities of Central New York and U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey (D-PA).  Cappabianca holds a BA in Public Relations, International Relations and Spanish from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Staff Assistant to Eric Andersen

Deisy Carrera is the staff assistant to Eric Andersen, Director of the Fellows Program.  As the assistant she is responsible for coordinating marketing efforts and behind the scenes logistics involving the fellows and the student study groups. Prior to joining the IOP, Deisy served as the assistant to the International Student Specialist at the Harvard Summer School. Deisy attended Mount Holyoke College, where she completed an immigration program in Rabat, Morocco, and graduated with a degree in International Relations. Upon graduation, she worked for the office of Congressman Juan Vargas as the immigration representative before becoming an au pair in Switzerland and France. Deisy’s hobbies include adventure travel (15 countries and counting), genealogy, and documentaries.  She is married to her husband, Karim Amghar.

Staff Assistant / Receptionist

As the IOP's staff assistant, Kerri Collins runs the IOP's front desk/reception area, handles requests for IOP room reservations, helps staff IOP events, directs incoming phone calls, and assists the Director, Executive Director, IOP Fellows and guests. Kerri graduated with a degree in Travel and Hotel management. Prior to joining the IOP, she worked in guest relations and catering sales departments at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge for 10 years. Kerri is an active volunteer with the Boston chapters of Make a Wish Foundation and the Jimmy Fund.

Website Communications Coordinator

Daily generation and management of Institute’s web content, development, layout and design of visual and information architecture for the IOP’s web site and design of electronic and printed IOP marketing collateral. Delaney previously worked for the area’s premier regional sports channel, New England Sports Network (NESN) as a production artist creating dynamic and informative on-air graphics and design for daily and weekly original programming and collaborated and contributed to NESN design and animation projects. Delaney also previously served as a learning management systems administrator at Simmons College and as a web designer for the Boston Globe and a number of freelance clients. Delaney holds a bachelor’s degree from the Art Institute of Boston and participated in a masters program at New York University-CADA.

Director of Polling

John Della Volpe is Director of Polling at the Institute of Politics and has been affiliated with the IOP since the late 1990’s. Each semester, John leads a public opinion survey group of students who develop, field and report on the attitudes of young Americans (Millennial Generation) toward politics and public service. Since 2000, the IOP survey has tracked pre- and post-9/11 attitudes; accurately predicted youth turnout since; marked the generational shift in attitudes toward foreign policy; and provided insight into the ways in which Millennials communicate and form opinions. John was honored to receive an Eisenhower Fellowship (China, Korea) in 2008 and selected as a delegate to the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission on Media in 2011. In addition, John is Founder and CEO of SocialSphere, Inc. a big data and social media analytics company located in Harvard Square, Cambridge.

Director of the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum

Carrie Devine joined Harvard’s Institute of Politics in February 2013 as the Director of the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum. Prior to joining Harvard, Ms. Devine served as Chief of Staff for the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee and was Deputy COO of the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee. She traveled extensively from 2007-2012, serving as a member of the U.S. Department of State’s planning team for NATO and APEC, in the White House Executive Office of the President and Obama for America as an advance lead. Ms. Devine has held management roles in the software industry and with numerous events throughout her career, including three Olympic Games and two World Cups. She holds a journalism degree from Marquette University.

Director of Conferences and Special Projects

Christian Flynn is Director of Conferences and Special Projects at the IOP. In that role he is responsible for some of Harvard University's highest profile conferences and events for elected officials and political operatives, including: Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress; Campaign for President: The Managers Look at the Presidential Campaign; and IOP Director's Dinners. Flynn also works with the student’s Special Events Committee and the Harvard Political Union. Flynn has worked at Harvard since 1995 almost exclusively for the IOP. In 1994, he worked as a surrogate scheduler for Senator Kennedy during the 1994 Senate campaign and had the opportunity to work with many members of the Senator’s extended family. Flynn and his partner, Dan Schutt have a son named Derrick and live in Milton, MA.

Director of Internships and Career Services

Amy Howell joined the IOP in August 2005. A New Hampshire native, Amy earned her BA from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating, Amy returned to her home state to work on the Jeanne Shaheen for Senate campaign, serving as the national travel and fundraising coordinator. Following the campaign, Amy went to Washington, DC, to work for EMILY's List as the Major Gifts Coordinator. Since April of 2007, Amy has coordinated the IOP’s Director's Internship Program, the IOP Stipend Program, Research Assistantships with the Kennedy School of Government, Gov 2.0 grants, IOP HKS Campaign Stipends, and the IOP Summer in Washington Program. Amy resides with her children - Kathryn, Huntting, and Margaret - and her husband, Carson, at Thayer Academy in Braintree, MA.

Executive Director

Catherine McLaughlin has served as the Executive Director of the Institute of Politics (IOP) since 1994. McLaughlin served as the Director of Alumni Affairs and the Coordinator of the Press and Public Liaison Office at the John F. Kennedy School of Government from 1986 - 1989. She left the Kennedy School in 1989 to serve as the Tour Manager for a nationally known band, New Kids on the Block, traveling extensively in the US and across Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. Over the years, Ms. McLaughin has worked on several presidential campaigns including the Vice President Mondale's campaign in 1984 and the Gov. Dukakis' campaign in 1988. Ms. McLaughlin also served as an advance person during the Clinton administration.

John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum Coordinator

Cathey Park is the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum Coordinator.  She is responsible for the planning, marketing, and implementation of Forum events, including outreach and fostering co-sponsorships with interested undergraduate student groups and Harvard Kennedy School centers and recruitment.  Previously, Park coordinated the Institute's "Women’s Initiative in Leadership” (WIL) created to address the interest and importance of female students at Harvard in developing leadership skills.  In addition to overseeing WIL she worked on special events and conference.  Park also served as the staff assistant in the JFK Jr. Forum Office and was responsible for student outreach, publicity, and staffing dozens of events during the academic year.   Before joining the IOP, Park worked on the staff of former Harvard Kennedy School Dean, Joseph S. Nye, Jr.  Born in Seoul Korea and raised in Portland, Oregon  Park attended Boston University and majored in Political Science. 

Director of Communications

Esten Perez joined the IOP at the end of August of 2004 as the IOP's Communications Director, responsible for communications outreach, management, and strategy. Before coming to the IOP, Perez' experience included serving as a press secretary for the 2004 Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) in Boston, as a Communications Director for the Women's United Soccer Association in Washington, D.C., and as an account executive with Fenton Communications, a D.C.-based public relations firm. Perez also served for over five years in various legislative positions on Capitol Hill for Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY).

Internships and Career Services Coordinator

Sadie Polen joined the IOP in May 2013. After graduating from high school in Alaska, she spent the summer interning in the US Senate before moving to California, where she attended the University of California, Davis and spent a semester interning in the Office of the Attorney General of DC and conducting research on juvenile recidivism. After graduating, Sadie worked with children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and with youth in a state-mandated rehabilitation facility. Prior to joining the IOP, she worked at Harvard’s Center for European Studies. As part of the Internships and Career Services team, Sadie works on the Director’s Internship Program, the Stipend Program, Research Assistantship Program, Gov 2.0 Grants, the Summer in Washington Program, and the Career Services Program.

Executive Assistant to the Director

Julie Schroeder, Executive Assistant to Director Maggie Williams, joined the staff of the IOP in the Fall of 2001, moving to Cambridge from Frankenmuth, Michigan. She is responsible for managing Director’s office communication & scheduling, assists with staff organization, oversees the Institute's extensive event calendar and represents the IOP on the HKS Sustainability Initiative. She also is leading the IOP's new initiative to better integrate alumni into IOP programming. Julie was a news producer back in Michigan for many years and has two grown sons, one of whom was an active student at the IOP during his days at Harvard. She is also Nana to Blake, a famous baby model in the greater NY metropolitan area.

Director of Finance and Operations

Theresa Verbic is the Institute's Director of Finance and Operations, and has been with the IOP since September 2000. Verbic has been with Harvard University for thirty plus years. Verbic began her Harvard career with the University's School of Public Health as a Financial Assistant for the School's Health Policy and Management Department. She then transitioned within the school of Public Health, moving to the School's Continuing Education Office to serve as the office's Financial Assistant.