Institute of Politics

  • About
  • Our Team


David Axelrod, AB '76

David is a preeminent American political strategist and commentator; the former chief strategist and senior advisor to President Barack Obama; and senior political commentator for CNN; and host of The Axe Files podcast.

Zeenat Rahman

Zeenat previously led the Aspen Institute’s Inclusive America Project, served at the U.S. State Department as a special advisor to Secretaries Hillary Clinton and John Kerry; and as acting director at the Center for Faith-based and Community Initiatives at USAID.

Koran Addo

Before joining the IOP, Koran worked as Director of Communications for the St. Louis Mayor’s Office and as a political and education reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other publications.

Joel Ebert

Joel joined the IOP in November 2021, after spending nearly a decade reporting on state legislatures and government in South Dakota, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Illinois. His award-winning reporting has garnered national recognition.

Jake Huff

Jake previously worked with the Speaker Series to develop content and focus of IOP events. Previously, he has expanded opportunities for students through the Jukebox Ballot magazine, the IOP Book Club, and other original projects.

Christine Hurley

Christine began at the IOP as Associate Producer then Director of the Speaker Series. Before joining the IOP, Christine was Associate Producer for “Chicago Tonight,” a nightly news magazine on PBS where she was nominated for three Emmy Awards.

Ashley Jorn

Ashley joined the IOP as a Program Coordinator, for the Pritzker Fellows and Speaker Series teams. She’s held her current position since September 2017. Prior to joining the IOP, Ashley worked in education as a teacher, tutor, and coach.

Jalen Larry

Jalen joined the IOP’s Communications Team in Spring 2021. He previously worked as a multimedia specialist for NFL Films, Gatorade Media Lab, and Nordstrom, specializing in photography, videography, and graphic design.

Katrina Mertens

Katrina joined the IOP in the fall of 2012. Prior to joining the IOP, Katrina worked at the Illinois State Board of Education, Before that, Katrina worked in the narcotics unit of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office.

Purvi Patel

Purvi joined the IOP in February 2019. She previously worked as an administrator in diversity and student life at Washington University in St. Louis, Loyola University Maryland, and Oberlin College.

Alicia Sams

Alicia has 20-plus years of experience producing and directing award-winning documentaries and films, including chronicling the presidential campaign of then-Senator Barack Obama for HBO, resulting in the Emmy Award-winning film “By the People: The Election of Barack Obama.”

Mark Schauerte

Before joining the IOP, Mark served as chief of staff to Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-IL. Mark is an attorney and practiced law in Chicago in addition to working as an award-winning journalist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Chicago Lawyer.

Allyson Siegal

Allyson has served as the Chief of Staff to IOP Director David Axelrod since June 2017. She also co-produces “The Axe Files” and “Hacks on Tap” podcasts. Prior to joining the IOP, Allyson worked on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s reelection campaign.

Headshot of Matilda Thornton Clark

Matilda Thornton Clark

Before joining the IOP, Matilda worked as an organizer and organizing director with student public research interest groups, running campaigns to turn out the youth vote in elections.

Careers at The IOP

In all job openings, we seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join a vibrant, mission-driven organization. The IOP encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and ideas to engage with students, stakeholders, and the broader community.

Current Openings

Director, Speaker Series

The Director of Speakers Series is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction and quarterly planning of enriching and engaging content for the Institute of Politics’ robust Speakers Series. This series sponsors 100+ public programs each year, bringing to campus over 200 leaders from the political, policy, foreign affairs, journalism, activism, and nonprofit sectors. Please review the full job description here. Internal candidates can apply on Workday, number JR13889

Content & Digital Communications Specialist

The Content & Digital Communications Specialist plays a crucial role in publicizing Institute of Politics programming through social media, digital outreach, and community engagement. Please review the full description here. Internal applicants can apply through Workday, number JR 13718

Program Coordinator, Career Development

The Program Coordinator reports to the Director of Career Development and is responsible for assisting with the management of the IOP’s student internship programs, including paid, substantive opportunities around the world for more than 300 undergraduate and graduate students each summer and during the academic year. Please review the full job description here. Internal applicants can apply through Workday, number JR13960

Contact Form

Have Questions?

Newsletter Form

Stay Informed

Our emails are the best way to keep up-to-date on all of our events and programming.