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CEG Announces Inaugural Cohort of Senior Practitioner Fellows

On March 1, 2021, the University of Chicago Center for Effective Government (CEG), based at the the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, welcomed its first cohort of four Senior Practitioner Fellows—Liza Goitein, Jennifer Horn, Natalie Y. Moore, and Sonal Shah (AB’90)—who will advance the work of reform as part of the Center’s newly-launched annual fellowship program.

The Senior Practitioner Fellowship program brings together a diverse set of leaders—elected leaders, former government officials, policymakers, advocates, nonprofit leaders, and journalists—for in-depth analyses and stewardship of institutional reforms. Each Fellow leverages the expertise from her field and brings passion for a particular area of government effectiveness to a community of students, faculty, and practitioners with similar passions and the resources to effect change. Fellows receive modest remuneration for their service. Their work throughout the year will be organized around a unifying theme that draws on each Fellow’s expertise and interests.

“The Senior Practitioner Fellowship is essential to our work of making government more effective,” said William Howell, director of the Center for Effective Government, Sydney Stein Professor of American Politics at the Harris School, and Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Chicago. “By engaging practitioners with deep knowledge of—and intimate experience navigating—our political and civic institutions, we can all more thoughtfully explore the best ways to fix them. These four Fellows are eminently qualified to undertake the task of examining our institutions alongside our students, faculty, and partners. We’re thrilled to welcome them to the team this year.”

“I’m excited and proud to join the inaugural cohort of Senior Practitioner Fellows at the University of Chicago’s Center for Effective Government,” said Liza Goitein, a nationally-recognized expert on presidential emergency powers, government surveillance, and national security secrecy. “I look forward to working with the Center’s talented staff and students to further our shared goal of strengthening the institutions of democracy.” Goitein co-directs the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program at NYU Law School. She has previously served as counsel to Senator Russ Feingold and as a trial attorney in the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. Goitein’s work with CEG will focus on separation of powers on national security issues at the federal level.

Jennifer Horn, an experienced communications strategist, said, “Democracy is in crisis. This fellowship affords me the chance to work alongside experts at the Center and the next generation of leaders at UChicago to do everything in our power to ensure the survival of our democratic institutions and norms. I’m eager to get started, and thankful for the opportunity.” Horn is a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors, former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party, and the Republican nominee in New Hampshire’s second congressional district. She was a co-founder of The Lincoln Project and a director at Defending Democracy Together, an organization committed to defending democratic norms and institutions. Prior to her career in politics, she was a talk show radio host and journalist. During the fellowship, Horn will explore the health, ethics, and future of political parties as institutions of democracy.

"Public policy—and the potential for reform—informs and inspires my journalism,” said reporter and author Natalie Y. Moore. “I am thrilled to be affiliated with a premiere public policy school that will bolster my reporting. And, in turn, I hope to help students pull back the veil on how journalism works." Moore’s enterprise reporting for WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR affiliate, has tackled race, housing, economic development, food injustice, and violence and garnered national attention. She is also the author of the award-winning book, The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation—the Harris School 2018 Common Read—and co-author of two other works on American gangs and black masculinity in the hip hop generation. Moore will consider both the structural impediments for reform on local policy issues, and the evolving role of journalism and media in democracy during her fellowship year.

“I’m thrilled to be a Senior Practitioner Fellow with the Center for Effective Government and for the chance to work alongside the UChicago community and my peer Fellows this year,” said Sonal Shah, an economist and professor at Georgetown University. “Solving the public policy problems of our time requires us to think creatively about how our institutions work, and what stands in the way of finding ways to deliver for people. It’s great to join a team committed to that work.” At Georgetown, Shah served as founding executive director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation. She has worked in both the private and public sector, leading innovation and development projects at Google and Goldman Sachs prior to serving as Deputy Assistant to President Barack Obama and founding the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. Most recently, she was national policy director for then-Mayor Pete Buttigeig’s presidential campaign. During the fellowship, Shah will examine fault lines between national and state policy-making and innovative approaches to strengthening connection and collaboration across borders and levels of government. Shah is a graduate of the University of Chicago (AB’90).

Center for Effective Government Executive Director Sadia Sindhu said of the incoming cohort, “We are so honored to bring together this remarkable group of women to advance meaningful reforms to our government and our democracy. Liza, Jennifer, Natalie, and Sonal bring deep, real-world experience from their fields—diverse perspectives essential to effecting change, and from which the entire CEG and Harris community will benefit.”

During the one-year fellowship, Fellows will lead and take part in robust programming through the Center, including direct student interaction, convenings of key players in the reform space, and public engagement through social media, print, and online publications. The program—made possible in 2021 with generous support from Democracy Fund—represents a cornerstone initiative for the Center, which was founded in November 2019 through the Harris School of Public Policy with a mission to strengthen democracy and improve the capability of government to solve public problems.

Fellow programming will begin in the coming weeks, beginning with a virtual introductory event, “Meet The Fellows: A Conversation with the 2021 CEG Senior Practitioner Fellows,” featuring a conversation with the inaugural cohort and exploration of the topics they plan to pursue with CEG. The event, on Wednesday, March 10th at 6:00 pm CT, is free and open to the public with RSVP here.

Additional information on the Senior Practitioner Fellowship program and complete biographies of the 2021 Fellows are available on the Center’s website here.


About the Center for Effective Government

The University of Chicago Center for Effective Government was founded in 2019 to help solve the problems of government ineffectiveness with a multi-faceted theory of action. The Center organizes its work and activities, and builds bridges between its stakeholders—scholars, students, practitioners, leaders, journalists, and advocates—around three key areas: ideas, education, and engagement. Through robust, innovative programming—including its Senior Practitioner Fellowship, Civic Leadership Academy, Rethinking our Democracy series, and ‘Not Another Politics Podcast’—the Center works to strengthen institutions of democracy and improve government’s capacity to solve public problems.

About the Harris School of Public Policy

For more than three decades, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy has been steadfastly committed to advancing policy based on evidence, not ideology. Guided by this exacting perspective, our exceptional community of scholars, students, and nearly 4,000 alumni take on the world’s most important problems using the latest tools of social science. As the second-largest professional school at the University of Chicago, Harris Public Policy offers a full range of degree and executive education programs to empower a new generation of data-driven leaders to create a real social impact throughout our global society. This is Harris Public Policy: Social Impact, Down to a Science.