The HBS Leadership in Politics Club was successfully launched at an inaugural meeting attended by some 30 January cohort students last Wednesday. Defying the general trend of lagging energy levels at the end of the second term, the meeting inspired lively brainstorming of what the new club should achieve in its first year.
Co-founders Mark Cicirelli, Richard Linder and the author, all NH, outlined the vision of the club. They described how the club will raise awareness that HBS graduates often pursue careers in politics. The club will educate members about various paths to a political career, as well as the business and process of conducting politics. It will also serve to network politically interested members with each other and with HBS graduates already engaged in careers in the public sector. Importantly, the Leadership in Politics club will be non-partisan and international in its scope. It will also be a social and creative learning forum for people not only interested in running for elected office but also purely interested in the world of local and international politics.
The structure of the club will encourage individual members to organize interest specific committees that will organize events such as speaker series, discussion panels and topic dinners. The inaugural meeting generated interest in such committees as US congress and senate; world organizations (UN, World Bank); social NGOs; emerging economy politics; and campaign management.
Future U.S. president Jeff Wald, NI, acknowledged the emerging trend of a closer relationship between business and politics. “Some of the world’s most renowned politicians came out of this school-it’s amazing that this club has not been set up before,” he said.
If the interest sparked at this first official meeting is anything to go by, the year ahead promises to be an exciting one for the club.