Washington Post chief correspondent Dan Balz will return to the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics this fall as the organization’s first-ever “senior fellow.”
Balz previously served as an IOP residential fellow in fall 2017. IOP Director Mark D. Gearan said Balz’s position as senior fellow is “new” to the IOP and will allow Balz to “visit campus frequently during the semester.” In his new role, Balz will not host a study group or live on campus, as is customary for residential fellows.
Gearan said in a press release Friday that Balz’s popularity as a resident fellow and his experience with the media and politics prompted the IOP to extend him a second invitation.
“Dan Balz brings a unique perspective to our work at the IOP. As a veteran reporter and astute observer of American civic life, he will bring his vast experience covering political campaigns to our work at an important time in electoral politics,” Gearan said in the release. “We are fortunate to have his many talents and his deep understanding of the IOP, as a very popular fellow, and engaged member of the Harvard community.”
Balz, a longtime political reporter for the Washington Post, has covered 10 presidential campaigns since he joined the newspaper in 1978.
In a press release, Balz said “he couldn’t be happier about being welcomed back to the Institute of Politics.”
“My experience last year as a Residential Fellow and my involvement in other programs over many years before that have given me a deep appreciation for the IOP’s mission and its faith in public service as a way to foster a strong democracy,” Balz said. “I’m also grateful for its commitment to the students, who are the lifeblood of the institute, and I especially look forward to working with them in the months ahead.”
Balz's appointment comes as the IOP is restructuring its fellow system in the wake of intense criticism of the IOP’s decision to revoke the fellowship of Chelsea Manning and grant fellowships to former Trump staffers Corey Lewandowski and Sean Spicer. At the time, Kennedy School spokesperson Doug Gavel wrote in an email that the School was “working to better understand our current practices for applying the term 'Fellow', and to establish consistent standards across the School.”
In an interview with The Crimson in Feb. 2018, Dean of the Kennedy School Douglas W. Elmendorf said this new set of standards would take effect in fall 2018.
—Staff writer Alexandra A. Chaidez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @a_achaidez.
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