Inspiring a New Generation of Leaders
The new, nonpartisan Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago is an extracurricular program designed to nurture in young people 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 a continuous series of public speakers discussing current events and political life.
The Institute officially opened in early 2013; however, programming began as early as Summer 2012, with the sponsoring of internships with POLITICO at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Its inaugural director is alumnus David Axelrod, AB’76, an accomplished political journalist, strategist, and policy advisor. Axelrod began leading the Institute after the 2012 presidential campaign.
A Legacy of Diversity and Service
Consistent with the University’s tradition of wide-ranging political debate, the Institute of Politics brings together leaders, fellows, and students from a broad spectrum of political beliefs and experiences.
The University of Chicago has a long tradition of diversity of political thought, embracing innovative thinkers with an array of political viewpoints. The University has given rise to some of the most noted political leaders and thinkers of the last century. The list of alumni and former faculty members includes Sen. Paul Douglas, Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, Sen. Charles Percy, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Attorney General Edward Levi, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, and President Barack Obama.
Alumni of the University also have made prominent contributions to public service journalism, including Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist David Broder, AB’47, AM’51; Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders AB '64, New York Times columnist David Brooks, AB’83; Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Daniel Gilbert, AB’05; Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning publisher and author Katharine Graham, AB’38; Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, AB’58; New York Times editorial board member Brent Staples, AM’76, PhD’82; and Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago writer Studs Terkel, PhB’32, JD’34.