The IOP Announces Spring Quarter 2015 Fellows

March 16, 2015

By Institute of Politics

The University of Chicago Institute of Politics today announced the eight Fellows who will come to campus during the Spring Quarter:

  • LZ Granderson, a columnist for ESPN and CNN and widely respected voice on sports, politics, and social issues
  • Kate Grossman, the deputy editorial page editor at the Chicago Sun-Times and award-winning education reporter
  • Davis Guggenheim, the director and executive producer of the Academy Award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”
  • Suat Kınıklıoğlu, writer, analyst and former member of the Turkish Parliament
  • Ray LaHood, former U.S. Transportation Secretary and former Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Dan Pfeiffer, former White House special adviser under President Barack Obama
  • Mark Udall, former U.S. Senator from Colorado
  • Genevieve Wood, senior contributor to The Daily Signal, the Heritage Foundation’s multimedia news platform

“Not only is this one of the largest groups of Fellows that we have ever welcomed to the IOP, it is more importantly one of the most diverse and dynamic,” IOP director David Axelrod said. “I look forward to these Fellows illuminating and inspiring our students on a wide range of issues during the coming months.”

When they come to campus this quarter, the Fellows will interact with students and faculty, participate in public forums and, along with guests, lead off-the-record seminars on current political and public policy topics.

At a time of breathtaking change in the news media and the consequential demands that those changes place on the President, Pfeiffer will discuss the “Bully Pulpit” in the Digital Age. Udall, who left the U.S. Senate in 2015, will bring fresh insights into Congress and our political process and will discuss the NSA and privacy matters. Udall and Pfeiffer will each host weekly seminars running from May 11 until June 5.

Wood, a longtime policy and communications expert for conservative organizations and causes, will discuss the role of conservative think tanks in policy-making, with seminars running from April 20 to May 15. Guggenheim, who will be on campus April 21-23, will explore filmmaking, political documentaries and his forthcoming project based on Malala Yousafzai. LaHood, a veteran of Congress and the Obama administration, will be on campus April 27-30, focusing on the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, the Republican controlled Congress, and where Congress and the White House might find common ground.

Grossman, Granderson, and Kınıklıoğlu will all spend the full quarter on campus. Grossman, who has spent the past two decades covering education issues, will examine the debate over how best to improve our schools, while Kınıklıoğlu will discuss the profound and impactful policy changes in Turkey and the Middle East as the threat of ISIS and raging sectarianism grows. Granderson, who has covered stories such as the George Zimmerman trial and the Supreme Court hearings on same-sex marriage, will shed light on the sports world at a time when it is being roiled by issues ranging from domestic violence to homophobia.

Recent Fellows at the IOP include former Sen. Bill Bradley, president of Americans for Prosperity Tim Phillips, former adviser to the Secretary of State on global youth issues Zeenat Rahman, Bloomberg View columnist Megan McArdle, former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, and former congressman Patrick Murphy. Recent Fellows seminars have featured guests such as Rev. Jesse Jackson, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The IOP’s Fellows in Residence program is generously supported by the Pritzker Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Since its launch in January 2013 the IOP has presented over 500 guest speakers, hosted 44 Fellows and over 200 Fellows seminars, and placed over 500 students in internships around the world. Watch Zeenat Rahman reflect on her Fellowship here.

For more information about the IOP, visit and follow the IOP on Facebook and Twitter.


The Institute of Politics is a nonpartisan extracurricular program designed to ignite in University of Chicago students a passion for politics and public service. Three programs form the core of the initiative: a visiting fellows program where political officials, policymakers, journalists and others involved in politics and policy share their experiences with students and others over an academic quarter; an expanded set of policy and public interest internships and civic engagement projects; and a continuous series of public speakers discussing current events and political life.

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