IOP announces 5 new fall fellows

Former CNN Chief White House Correspondent and Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the United States among those to hold weekly seminars for students.

By Henry Bacha

The University of Chicago Institute of Politics (IOP) has announced five new appointees to its prestigious Fellows Program, whose areas of expertise range from journalism to international diplomacy.

The newly appointed Fellows, who will be in residence at the University for the duration of the autumn quarter, include sitting Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, chief campaign strategist for George W. Bush Matthew Dowd, former CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin, executive editor of National Review magazine Reihan Salam, and Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani. 

According to third-year Bess Goodfellow, fellows chair on the IOP’s Student Advisory Board, “The five Fellows this quarter…are each incredible and truly looking forward to engaging students with issues in politics today.” 

Each of the Fellows will be holding weekly office hours, open to all University students, and will utilize University resources to interact and engage with the campus and the city of Chicago. In addition, Fellows will each present a seminar series, open to all University students, staff, faculty, and community members. The series will consist of weekly 75-minute installments aimed at addressing political issues of national and international scope. Dart’s seminar series, titled “Systemic Injustice—the Crushing Impact of America’s Criminal Justice System,” will discuss the proliferation of alleged injustice within the American penal structure. The series will emphasize the disproportionate sentencing and rates of incarceration purportedly levied on people of color, people living below the poverty line, and individuals affected by mental illness. “Our criminal justice systems have broken down and have become repositories for all of the societal ills that people have turned their backs on,” Dart said.

Discussing his seminar series “Pakistan & the United States: Managing a Difficult Relationship,” Haqqani stated, “My seminar is more focused on Pakistan and the United States only as an example of a relationship that hasn’t worked…Why is it that $42 billion in aid did not win Pakistan over?” Haqqani’s tenure as ambassador ended abruptly with his 2011 resignation, following allegations that he requested American intervention to prevent a takeover of the Pakistani civilian government by the country’s military.

Yellin will present “What’s Wrong With the News? Ratings, Clickbait, and the Search for Meaning in Political Coverage,” a discussion of the prioritization of eye-catching stories at the expense of meaningful editorial coverage. 

Dowd’s series, a collaboration with IOP Director and former Obama adviser David Axelrod, is entitled “Campaign 2016: WTF?” Their joint effort will focus on the 2016 presidential race, with a particular focus on the political tactics employed by candidates. 

Salam’s seminar series, “The Rise of Majority-Minority Politics: Color Class, and the American Future,” will revolve around the shifting American demographic landscape and its potential impact on American identity and electoral politics. 

Since the Institute’s establishment in 2013, the Fellows Program has been host to preeminent political practitioners, such as former Senator Mark Udall and Beth Myers, an adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.