Harvard University’s Institute of Politics (IOP) at the Harvard Kennedy School has announced its visiting fellows for spring 2008. The three fellows are Elizabeth Edwards, author and political advocate; Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former president of the Republic of Latvia; and Andrew White, president and CEO of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.
Edwards’ fellowship began April 8 (it ends today, April 10). As part of the fellowship, she delivered a public address at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on April 9. Vike-Freiberga’s fellowship will begin the week of April 14 and continue through the end of May, while White’s fellowship will occur the week of April 21.
Visiting fellows maximize their time at the institute by interacting with students, faculty, and Harvard research center staff. They traditionally meet with student groups; lead discussion groups on topical issues and share their experiences in public and political service; and participate in public policy classes with students and Kennedy School faculty.
“This spring’s group of IOP Visiting Fellows is extraordinary for the breadth of public service embodied,” said IOP Director Jim Leach. “Elizabeth Edwards stands as one of the foremost women in American politics; Vaira Vike-Freiberga as one of ‘new’ Europe’s most distinguished former heads of state; and Canon Andrew White has served as the representative of the Church of England on issues related to Israeli-Palestinian disputes, and as a mediator in Baghdad on religious reconciliation approaches.”
An author, political advocate, and wife of former U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, Elizabeth Edwards has served as an accomplished attorney and as a tireless supporter of children and families, strengthening communities, and supporting many other important causes.
As president of the Republic of Latvia from 1999 to 2007, Vike-Freiberga was the first woman to hold the post and played a leading role in achieving Latvia’s membership in NATO and the European Union.
White is the president and CEO of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, vicar of St. Georges Church Baghdad, and Anglican/Episcopal chaplain of the International Zone Baghdad.
Edwards, Vike-Freiberga, and White will join IOP spring resident fellows, who include Connie Morella, U.S. ambassador, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2003-07) and U.S. representative (1987-2003; R-Md.); Bart Peterson, mayor, city of Indianapolis (1999-2007); Lois Romano, political reporter/national politics, The Washington Post; Sile de Valera, member, Irish National Parliament (1977-81; 1987-2007) and member, European Parliament (1979-84); David Yepsen, political columnist, The Des Moines Register; David Zwick, founder and president, Clean Water Action (1972-2007).
The fellows program is central to the institute’s dual commitment to encourage student interest in public life and to increase interaction between the academic and political communities.