(Cambridge, Mass)- When Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson last roamed the halls of Harvard’s famed Kennedy School of Government, he was a student at America’s oldest university. Now, he returns to the Cambridge, Massachusetts campus and joins national leaders such as Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), Governor Bill Richardson (D-New Mexico), and Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) in advising the renowned Harvard Institute of Politics (IOP) as a member of the IOP Senior Advisory Committee.
“It is an honor to serve my alma mater and to work with such distinguished Americans,” stated Secretary Grayson. “I look forward to working with these individuals to further enhance the incredibly important work that the IOP conducts.”
Founded in 1966 with an endowment from the Kennedy Library Corporation, the IOP connects students with academics, politicians, activists, and policymakers on a non-partisan basis to stimulate and nurture their interest in politics, public service, and leadership. The Institute also strives to promote greater understanding and cooperation between the academic world and the world of politics and public affairs. The IOP does not offer formal courses or degree-granting programs; instead, it provides avenues for practical experience and encourages students to examine critically and think creatively about politics and public issues.
Grayson was a member of the IOP Student Advisory Committee while attending Harvard in the early 1990’s.
Commenting on his student involvement, Grayson stated, “I would not be Kentucky’s Secretary of State if it weren’t for the IOP. After four years of study groups, forums and other IOP events, I felt a calling to return home to try to make a difference. The Institute gave me the tools and confidence to answer this call. For guidance during my campaign, I even used some of my old notes from a study group about campaign management!”
During his tenure, he served as the Student Advisory Committee’s Vice-Chair as well as chair of the Communications and Study Groups Committees.
“Trey’s commitment to fostering political and civic engagement by young people makes him a strong addition to the Institute’s Senior Advisory Committee,” said Cathy McLaughlin, Institute Executive Director. “As a Harvard student, Trey brought tremendous enthusiasm and dedication to the Institute’s programs, and we are very excited to have him dedicate these energies again to support our mission - engaging more youth in politics.”
Secretary Grayson expressed particular excitement about the IOP’s focus on student involvement in civic processes. In 2003, the Institute launched the National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement, working collaboratively with other schools and organizations across the country to engage young people. It also conducts research and surveys into the political views of America’s young voters.
Grayson recently hosted the Kentucky Summit on Civic Literacy to discuss the state of civic literacy among Kentucky’s youth. The Civics Summit represents the beginning of a multi-year effort that will determine a strategy for enhancing long-term civic engagement and civic literacy within the Commonwealth and will recommend a plan for improving civic engagement and literacy. Grayson’s office will present a report to the Kentucky General Assembly before the start of the 2005 session that details the results of the Summit and will recommend further action.
With his appointment, Grayson will follow in the footsteps of another Kentucky elected official who helped to guide the Institute during its earliest stages. The late Senator John Sherman Cooper, from Somerset Kentucky, was an original member of the Senior Advisory Committee when the IOP was formed in 1966.
For additional information about the Institute of Politics, please visit: www.iop.harvard.edu.
For additional information about Secretary of State Trey Grayson, please visit: www.kysos.com.
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