Our Fall 2018 Pritzker Fellows

August 23, 2018

By Institute of Politics

(Photo: Clockwise from top left: Amanda Carpenter, Rep. Tom Davis, Mary Katharine Ham, Rep. Steve Israel, Roberta Jacobson, Ameya Pawar, Maria Ramirez, Paul Tewes)

CHICAGO – The University of Chicago Institute of Politics (IOP) today announced eight Fellows who will come to campus during the upcoming Fall Quarter:

  • Amanda Carpenter, author of “Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies to Us,” CNN contributor, and former senior communications adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz
  • Rep. Tom Davis, former Republican congressman from Virginia and chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee
  • Mary Katharine Ham, conservative commentator, senior writer at The Federalist, and CNN political commentator
  • Rep. Steve Israel, former Democratic congressman from New York and chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
  • Roberta Jacobson, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere
  • Ameya Pawar, alderman for the 47th Ward of the City of Chicago and the first Asian-American member of the Chicago City Council
  • Maria Ramirez, co-founder of Politibot and political reporter for Univision
  • Paul Tewes, veteran political strategist and organizer who in 2008 ran Barack Obama’s historic Iowa caucus campaign

“From the upcoming midterm elections to the art of political organizing to U.S. relations with Mexico, I am thrilled to welcome such a diverse cohort of Fellows to campus this fall,” said IOP founder and director David Axelrod. “I know that our students will relish the chance to interact with this fantastic group and discuss a range of timely issues with them.”

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.

Davis and Israel will jointly lead a seminar series focused on Congress and the 2018 midterm elections in November.

Jacobson will explore big political trends in Latin America and their importance for the United States.

Pawar will lead a seminar series on Chicago politics and innovative ways to fight poverty, including universal basic income.

Ramirez, who hails from Spain and has covered numerous elections in the U.S. and Europe, will compare the efforts in Europe and the U.S. to fight polarization, nationalism, and distrust in the media.

Tewes will draw on his experiences working for the Obama campaign and on many issue campaigns to explore the art of political organizing.

Carpenter and Ham will be visiting Fellows this fall, with Carpenter on campus the first week of October and again in November, and Ham in October. Carpenter will discuss political spin and an embattled media, and the future of conservatism and the GOP in light of the midterm election results. Ham will focus on women and modern-day conservatism and the value of free speech.

Since its formal launch in January 2013, the IOP has hosted 107 Fellows, including former Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, former RNC chairman Michael Steele, former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani, former speechwriter for President Obama Jon Favreau, the Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter, activist, organizer, and author DeRay Mckesson, 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 http://politics.uchicago.edu/pages/fellows-program follow the IOP on Facebook at facebook.com/UChicagoPolitics and on Twitter at @UChiPolitics. If you’re interested in being a Fellow at the IOP, we are currently accepting applications for the Winter and Spring Quarters: http://politics.uchicago.edu/pages/fellows-app.

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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 107 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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