Winter 2016 Fellows Alex Castellanos & Patti Solis Doyle leading one of their seminars at the IOP house.

Fellows Program


The Institute of Politics Fellows Program presents a unique opportunity for leading political practitioners (e.g. former elected officials, campaign strategists, political journalists, pollsters) to be in residence at the University of Chicago during an academic quarter. These accomplished practitioners will draw on their first-hand experiences, research and professional networks to give insightful and unique perspective on politics and policy in action.

Since its launch in January 2013 the IOP has hosted 69 Fellows, including former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, former speechwriter for President Obama Jon Favreau, Jessica Yellin of CNN, GOP strategist Stuart Stevens, former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani, and former New York City Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson. Fellows are selected via our online application process and through targeted recruitment. The Fellows Program is made possible with generous support from both the Pritzker and MacArthur foundations.

What's the best part of being a UChicago IOP Fellow? That's easy: the students. Thoughtful, intelligent, curious, idealistic, open minded and completely dedicated to making their IOP a success. I began my Fellows week eager to share experiences in American politics with the students, and left feeling energized by the young people destined to be part of the next generation of America's leaders." — Beth Myers, Spring 2014 Fellow

The Program

  • SEMINARS: Fellows independently lead non-credit seminars on timely and relevant issues of national import. These weekly, 75-minute discussions, on a topic of each Fellow's choosing, take place at the IOP House and are open to all University students, faculty, staff and community members. Seminars are built to best leverage the expertise of the Fellow and vary from lectures and informal discussion groups to panel discussions and guest lectures.
  • OFFICE HOURS: While in residence, Fellows keep weekly office hours, which are available to all students at the University. These office hours are an incredible opportunity for Fellows to engage with students, and for students to have direct access to speak with the Fellows about anything ranging from an interesting topic in the news, an aspect of the Fellow's career, questions on a class project, or thoughts about the student's journey in politics, public and social service, and journalism, to name a few.
  • ACCESS TO UCHICAGO: Fellows are able to utilize the resources of the University to work on projects of their choosing, whether that means speaking to a class, sitting in on a lecture, engaging with research projects, or student organizations (RSOs).
  • ENGAGEMENT WITH CHICAGO: Fellows, with support from their student Fellows Ambassador team, are given the opportunity to engage with the city of Chicago in multiple ways. IOP staff and Fellows Ambassadors work hard to organize trips to learn about and explore diverse neighborhoods and history of the city, and depending on each Fellow's specific interest, to visit schools, organizations, and local government agencies to speak about their work and role in politics and public service.
  • PURSUE A PROJECT: Fellows are encouraged to use their free time to finish or begin a project, be it writing an article, drafting a book proposal or taking time to delve into a topic that’s out of reach amid the daily grind.
  • COMPENSATION: Fellows receive a living stipend and IOP-provided housing during their stay.

In keeping with the University’s commitment to diversity and the free and open pursuit of knowledge, Fellows represent a broad array of political views and offer diverse policy perspectives.

For more information on our Fellows program, or to inquire about becoming a Fellow, please contact Kate Grossman, Director of the Fellows Program, at or call 773-834-6865.

Being an IOP Fellow was one of the most rewarding professional experiences I've ever had. The Fellowship gave me an unique opportunity to reflect on my time at the White House and share my insights with the remarkable students at the University of Chicago." — Chris Lu, Spring 2013 Fellow