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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GU Politics Advisory Board Gains Five New Members

The Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service (GU Politics) announced the addition of five new members to its advisory board in a Feb. 14 press release. 

Cristόbal Alex, Mike Dubke, Katie Harbath, Katie Walsh Shields and Patti Solis Doyle will join 13 other board members, including former and current public servants, political consultants and figureheads of government and media. In their roles, the new board members — all of whom, except Solis Doyle, have previously served as GU Politics fellows, Washington, D.C. experts that hold weekly discussion groups with students — will encourage students to make a difference in politics through public service and engagement. 

Solis Doyle, a partner at the Brunswick Group, a firm that advises clients on critical issues in business and politics, said she wants to use her new role to push young people toward political advocacy after she first witnessed political involvement while watching her brother work as a community organizer in Chicago.

GU Politics | GU Politics will have five new members of their advisory board, including Cristόbal Alex, Patti Solis Doyle, Mike Dubke, Katie Harbath and Katie Walsh Shields, join the 13 other members who include four previous Fellows, according to a Feb. 14 press release.

“I saw what my brother did in terms of, honestly, just hitting the pavement and organizing our community and making sure that their voices were heard for these basic needs, and he really inspired me to get involved not just at the community level but at a bigger scale,” Solis Doyle told The Hoya. “I got involved in the local mayor’s race, and I got involved with a presidential race, I got involved in Senate races.” 

“I think advocating for your own community is really important, because not a lot of people are going to raise their hand to advocate for you,” Solis Doyle added.

Alex, a Fall 2023 GU Politics fellow, was a former deputy White House cabinet secretary to the Biden administration and senior adviser to the Biden-Harris 2020 campaign. He is a current partner at Tusk Strategies, a public strategy firm, and head of its D.C. office. 

Alex said that working with students every week as a fellow offered him perspectives that he wants to bring into his work every day. 

“It was refreshing to me, almost like recharging my batteries,” Alex told The Hoya. “And I was blown away by the discussions. The students brought insightful questions and comments and even though we were dealing with the most serious issues of the day, we had a ton of laughs.”

Solis Doyle, who has organized discussions about the 2024 election at GU Politics featuring Brunswick Group employees, said that she is looking forward to working with her fellow board members, many of whom she has worked with in the past, and engaging with more students.

“Everyone that I’ve talked to thus far, in terms of the students at Georgetown and other campuses, when I go and speak, they’re just so driven and motivated and inspired by what’s around them, and I’m just in awe, honestly, so I hope I get more exposure,” Solis Doyle said.

Anna Holk (CAS ’27), a regular participant in GU Politics discussions, said she believes the opportunity for fellows to serve on the board helps students engage further with major political figures.

“Being able to attend discussion groups, talks, and events with influential figures has been one of the best parts of being at Georgetown,” Holk wrote to The Hoya. “Hearing from them about the current state of politics and how they got to where they are has been immensely helpful for me thinking about my future and how I can make a difference.”

Besides Alex and Solis Doyle, the other new board members bring a range of political experience. Dubke served as White House communications director, Harbath is Facebook’s former director of public policy and Walsh Shields is a political strategist and former White House Principal Deputy Chief of Staff. 

Alex said he hopes to offer more students access to the opportunities and people that command the District and the political field they wish to enter.

“There are the kinds of folks who are very successful in this town, who might climb up the ladder but you know, they kick the ladder down behind them,” Alex said. “Then there are those who climb up the ladder and then reach back and pick up the next person coming up, and that’s the sort of focus that I want to bring to this work.”

Alex said he believes GU Politics and the advisory board create partnerships between leaders and students that strengthen democracy.

“When we get away from the Capitol and move over to the Hilltop, it’s a different environment where we can hopefully bridge the gaps and work to make sure that we don’t lose our democracy,” Alex said. “We all do that in different ways. I think there’s an opportunity there on the Hilltop to do that.”

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