April 9, 2013

Political stars align for IOP ribbon cutting ceremony

Several members of the Institute of Politics (IOP)’s newly inaugurated Board of Advisors cut a red, white, and blue ribbon to officially open the IOP House on 5707 South Woodlawn Avenue yesterday. The Board features an ideologically diverse cast of politicians and political advisors that range from Democratic San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to Romney Campaign Advisor Beth Myers.

The role of the Board will be to oversee the broad vision of the IOP, while the existing student advisory board will continue to be actively involved with the daily activities of the organization, IOP Director David Axelrod said.

“[The Board of Advisors] will take a look from 20,000 feet and from the basis of their experience and give us advice as to how we might enhance our programs. The student advisory board is a day-to-day board that is integrally involved in the programs of the Institute,” Axelrod said in an interview with the Maroon.

The first meeting of the Board was yesterday. They will convene at the IOP House twice a year, though the individual members may come to campus more often.

Axelrod started recruiting members for the Board shortly after the presidential election ended. Castro said he was immediately receptive when Axelrod reached out to him in early November.

“I’m glad to lend my support and my perspective to building up this Institute of Politics,” he said in an interview.

The IOP House has already been in use for several months. Axelrod said the ceremony marks the end of renovations as well as the first meeting of the Board.

Other Board members present at the ceremony were Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for President Obama’s 2012 campaign; Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard; Mike Murphy, a prominent Republican political strategist; Neera Tanden, president of the progressive think tank Center for American Progress; and Howard Wolfson, communications manager for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign.