Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service’s class of fellows for the fall semester includes journalists, politicians and political scientists with varied professional experiences and political viewpoints, including Erin Conaton (SFS ’92), the former Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and Under Secretary of the Air Force.
In addition to Conaton, the class includes Republican pollster Ed Goeas, journalist for BBC news Suzanne Kianpour, digital strategist Tim Lim and former Chief of Staff to Mike Pence, Josh Pitcock.
Every semester, five fellows are chosen by GU Politics to lead discussion groups and office hours for students. Past fellows include former Chief of Staff to Nancy Pelosi, Nadeam Elshami and former White House Communications Director and Senior Advisor to President Obama, Jen Psaki.
Jennie Fay, the director of fellows and career programming at the Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Policy, said that this semester’s five fellows represent a wide range of political professions and ideologies, which she hopes will spark conversation among students.
“It’s no secret we are witnessing an incredibly divided- and sometimes troubling- time in American politics,” Fay wrote in an email to The Hoya. “Now more than ever, it’s critical we engage those with differing opinions, backgrounds and perspectives to better understand the world around us.”
Conaton is now a visiting professor at the U.S. Army War College. Before she began serving as Under Secretary in the Air Force and in the Department of Defense, Conaton worked as a staff member of the House Armed Services Committee for nine years.
Goeas, the President and CEO of the Tarrance Group, a Republican survey research group, consults on a range of political issues, including health care and immigration. Goeas also partnered with Democratic pollster Celinda Lake to create a national political research program, the George Washington University Battleground Poll. Goeas also served as the national political director of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Kianpour, an Emmy nominated news reporter, covers foreign policy and national security issues for BBC News. With a focus on the Middle East, Kianpour has covered topics such as the Iran nuclear deal, and she reported on the 2016 presidential campaign in the United States.
Lim focuses on political strategy, organizational development and fundraising through his consulting business, Lim Consulting. In 2012, he founded Precision Network, now a multi-million dollar online advertising platform, and Blue Digital Exchange, which works to increase investment in digital communications. Lim works on fundraising campaigns for many House and Senate candidates, and in 2016, he served on the National Finance Committee of the Hillary for America Campaign.
Pitock currently works as the Vice President for Government Affairs for Oracle Corporation in D.C., where he manages lobbying and strategy. He advised and worked with Vice President Mike Pence for eight years from 2005 to 2017, when he also contributed to President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Before coming to D.C., Pitock practiced corporate law in Atlanta.
Beginning the week of September 24, the fellows will hold weekly office hours and non-credit discussion sessions about current issues in their areas of expertise. Each fellow will also take on a small group of students to assist them with research for discussion groups, promoting their events and connecting them with the rest of the Georgetown community.
Correction: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Fay’s last name.