March 14, 2016

By Institute of Politics

(Clockwise from top left - Dayan, Isom, Murphy, Brachman, Harkin, Latella, Greenfield, and Nutter)

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

  • Jeff Greenfield, an award-winning political journalist who has reported for CBS News, CNN, ABC News, PBS, The Daily Beast & POLITICO
  • Mike Murphy, a veteran Republican media consultant who led victorious campaigns for more than two dozen GOP governors and senators, with a client list that includes Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Maria Latella, political television show host, author, and columnist for Il Messaggero, Rome’s leading daily newspaper
  • Daniel Isom, former St. Louis Chief of Police who served on the Ferguson Commission
  • Lavea Brachman, urban revitalization expert and executive director and co-founder of the Greater Ohio Policy Center
  • Tom Harkin, retired senator from Iowa who served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
  • Michael Nutter, former Mayor of Philadelphia who served as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors
  • Ilana Dayan, anchor of the investigative news program “Uvda” (“Fact”) on Israel’s Channel 2

“From policing in America to terror attacks in Europe, this diverse group of Fellows offers our students the chance to delve into timely, pressing subjects here and abroad,” IOP director David Axelrod said. “To shed light on this country’s biggest event of the year – the 2016 presidential election – we are also thrilled to host a group of journalists and a strategist straight off the campaign trail.”

While on campus next quarter, the eight Fellows will interact with students and faculty, participate in public forums and, along with guests, lead off-the-record seminars; the five Resident Fellows will teach four to eight week seminars, while the three Visiting Fellows will be on campus for one week engagements. 

Political journalist Greenfield has covered every political convention since 1988 and served as lead analyst for presidential primaries and debates going back more than 30 years. He worked as senior political correspondent, senior analyst and political and media analyst for CBS News, CNN, and ABC News. Greenfield is a best-selling author and current PBS “News Hour Weekend” contributing correspondent, as well as a POLITICO and Daily Beast columnist. He will lead seminars on the fascinating history of political media and its connections to the 2016 race for the White House.

Republican strategist Murphy has handled strategy and advertising for more than 26 successful gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns. He also advises several Fortune 500 corporations and some of America’s largest trade associations. Most recently, he led the Jeb Bush affiliated super PAC Right to Rise. A member of the IOP’s Board of Advisors, Murphy will lead four seminars on the 2016 race for the White House.

Latella, who splits her time between Italy and Paris, will focus her seminars on Europe, politics and media. Her seminar series will discuss the role of tycoons such as Silvio Berlusconi and Donald Trump in contemporary politics, the rise of a new populism in Europe and the United States, how recent attacks in Europe such as the Paris tragedy in December have impacted daily life there, and how the migrant crisis in Europe is igniting concerns and changing perspectives.

Isom served as St. Louis Police Chief until 2013 and also sat on the governor-appointed Ferguson Commission, which produced recommendations on how to transform the St. Louis region in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown. He will lead a seminar series on the state of policing in America, including the continuing concerns over tensions between law enforcement and communities of color.

Brachman will discuss the revitalization of America’s great industrial cities. These older industrial cities in the Midwest and East Coast drove the national and global economies for a century or more, but since the mid-twentieth century these urban centers have struggled to combat losses in jobs and population. This series will analyze if and how these cities can now make a comeback. Brachman also will explore revitalization efforts here in Chicago.

A Democrat who served for three decades as Iowa senator, Harkin retired in 2015 after his fifth term. As the lawmaker who introduced the Americans with Disabilities Act in the Senate, Harkin will lead a seminar on the importance of disability issues in this country, as well as sessions on the 2016 election and the future of the Democratic and Republican parties.

Nutter, who served as Mayor of Philadelphia from 2008 to January 2016, will focus on governing in urban America, providing a first-hand look at his time inside City Hall. His week-long seminar series will explore the ways in which crisis management can upend a mayoralty, the challenges of institutionalizing change after an election, and what the outcome of the 2016 presidential election will mean for America’s big cities.

Investigative reporter Dayan, a lawyer who also teaches free speech at Tel Aviv University, will discuss the tensions in Israel between freedom of speech and national security, as well as the tensions between freedom of speech and market forces in commercial television. Her week-long seminar series also will explore the dilemmas of a journalist in a country in conflict.

Since its launch in January 2013 the IOP has hosted 61 Fellows, including former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, former speechwriter for President Obama Jon Favreau, Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report, Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani, and former New York City Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson. The IOP’s Fellows in Residence program is generously supported by the Pritzker Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

For more information about the IOP Fellowship Program, please 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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