Weekly discussion groups are one of the cornerstones of the Fellows Program. Over the course of eight weeks, each Fellow will lead a weekly 90-minute discussion with students on a current political topic. No required readings. No papers. Just lively discussions open to the entire university community.

The Fellows bring their unique perspective. All we ask is that you bring yours!

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Terry McAuliffe (L’84) Anchor

Terry McAuliffe (L’84)

Mondays, 2 pm – 3:30 pm

Topic: The Secret Recipe to Successful State Government

Terry McAuliffe served as the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. Prior to his tenure as Governor of Virginia, McAuliffe was appointed by President Bill Clinton as Ambassador to the Taejon Expo in 1993, co-chaired President Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign and inauguration, and served as chairman of the 2000 Democratic National Convention, and as chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential campaign. McAuliffe was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 until 2005, rebuilding the Party and establishing the first ever nationwide voter file.

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Karoun Demirjian Anchor

Karoun Demirjian

Mondays, 4 pm – 5:30 pm

Topic: National Security Coverage in a Politicized World

Karoun Demirjian is a Pentagon correspondent for The Washington Post. An award-winning journalist and member of the Post’s national security team, Karoun previously worked at the Post’s Moscow bureau,in the Middle East working for the Associated Press, and over a decade covering Congress. She was a member of the Washington Post teams that won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service and the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, and individually won or came in as runner up for the David Lynch Memorial Reporting Award for three years running as a Washington Correspondent for the Las Vegas Sun.

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Katie Harbath Anchor

Katie Harbath

Tuesdays, 4 pm – 5:30 pm

(On Tuesday, Oct. 11, this discussion group will meet from 3:00-4:30 pm)

Topic: Public Policy Solutions for the Internet’s Role in Democracy

Katie Harbath is a global leader at the intersection of elections, democracy, and technology. As the chief executive of Anchor Change, she helps clients think through tech policy issues. She is the director of technology and democracy for the International Republican Institute and is also a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Integrity Institute and a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council. Previously, Katie spent ten years at Facebook. As a director of public policy, she built and led global teams that managed elections and helped government and political figures use the social network to connect with their constituents.

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Xochitl Hinojosa Anchor

Xochitl Hinojosa

Wednesdays, 2 pm – 3:30 pm

Topic: Everything You Need to Know About the Midterm Elections

Xochitl Hinojosa is a Managing Director in Bully Pulpit Interactive’s (BPI) Washington, D.C., office. Xochitl most recently served as the Senior Advisor and Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), where she worked to rebuild the party, led the communications strategy around the 2020 Democratic presidential nominating process, and was a spokesperson for the party during the General Election. Hinojosa has more than a decade of communications experience in key campaign and Obama administration roles, including serving as a spokesperson for the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor.

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Alex Lundry (MPP’04) Anchor

Alex Lundry (MPP’04)

Wednesdays, 4 pm – 5:30 pm

Topic: Data in a Digitizing Democracy

Alex Lundry is co-founder of Tunnl, an audience analytics firm. Alex has worked as a campaign data scientist, pollster, microtargeter, data-miner and data- visualizer for presidential candidates, national organizations and Fortune 50 companies. He ran the analytics efforts for both Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential bid and Jeb Bush’s 2016 primary campaign. He is one of the country’s leading experts on electoral targeting, voter analytics, and political data-mining.

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Mary Elizabeth Taylor Anchor

Mary Elizabeth Taylor

Thursdays, 4 pm – 5:30 pm

Topic: Politics of Executive Leadership

Mary Elizabeth Taylor is the Vice President, Head of External Affairs at Robinhood Markets. Bringing unrivaled experience from the highest levels of public service, tech and international relations, she spent a decade navigating the senior-most levels of the U.S. federal government and earning an esteemed reputation for building bipartisan consensus in challenging political environments. In 2018, Taylor was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the 32nd Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, becoming the first African American and youngest person to ever hold the position. She served as the State Department’s lead interlocutor with Congress, overseeing a team of 60 department professionals facilitating dialogue and coordination with Congress.

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