Announcing Spring 2018 Pritzker Fellows

February 19, 2018

By Institute of Politics

(Photo - Clockwise from top left: Kelly Ayotte, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Nneka Jones Tapia, Gerrit Lansing, Matt Lewis, Mark Murray, Tom Perriello, and Dawn Turner)

We are pleased to announce eight Fellows who will come to campus during the upcoming Spring Quarter:

  • Kelly Ayotte, former senator from New Hampshire
  • Nneka Jones Tapia, executive director of the Cook County Department of Corrections
  • Vladimir Kara-Murza, chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom and vice chairman of Open Russia
  • Gerrit Lansing, former chief digital officer for the White House and the Republican National Committee
  • Matt Lewis, author and senior columnist at The Daily Beast
  • Mark Murray, senior political editor at NBC News
  • Tom Perriello, former congressman from Virginia
  • Dawn Turner, author and former columnist for The Chicago Tribune

“I look forward to this diverse and talented cohort of Fellows interacting with our students and expanding on a wide range of timely issues from criminal justice reform to the democratic resistance in Russia,” said IOP founder and director David Axelrod.

While on campus next quarter, the eight IOP Pritzker Fellows will interact with students and faculty, participate in public forums and, along with guests, lead off-the-record student seminars.

Ayotte will discuss her work in the Senate and leadership and bipartisanship among women in the Senate.

Jones Tapia will discuss the impact of trauma in the criminal justice system and ways to heal communities and improve a broken system.

Kara-Murza, a Russian journalist and pro-democracy activist, will discuss Russia’s role on the world stage, the Putin regime, and the Russian opposition.

Lansing will lead a seminar series on the internet’s disruption of politics and government.

Lewis will explore conservatism – both in thought and action – and faith and politics.

Murray will look at what the press got right in 2016, what it got wrong, and how it can do better heading into 2020.

Perriello will lead a seminar series on the rapid convergence of global and domestic politics.

Turner will look at African-American images in the media and how they impact policy and perspectives.

Since its formal launch in January 2013, the IOP has hosted 98 Fellows, including former Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, former RNC chairman Michael Steele, former speechwriter for President Obama Jon Favreau, the Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter, and former New York City deputy mayor Howard Wolfson.

The IOP’s Pritzker Fellows Program is generously supported by a lead gift from the Pritzker Foundation and a major gift from the MacArthur Foundation.

For more information about the IOP’s Pritzker’s Fellows Program, please visit and follow the IOP on Facebook and on Twitter at @UChiPolitics.


The nonpartisan Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago is an extracurricular program designed to ignite in young people a passion for politics and public service. In the past five years, the IOP has welcomed over 1,000 guests to campus as part of its Speaker Series, hosted 98 fellows as part of its resident and visiting Pritzker Fellows Program, supported over 1,000 fully-funded student internships around the world, and helped over 500 students participate in student-led civic engagement projects.

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