Former Iowa Congressman James Leach was named interim director of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics on Monday, replacing Jeanne Shaheen who stepped down to run for a U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire.
Leach, a 15-term Republican lawmaker, will take a leave for the academic year from his position as visiting professor of public and international affairs at Princeton University while Harvard conducts a search for a permanent director.
“The Institute of Politics is an engaging and dynamic place, and I am eager to begin working closely with students and staff, faculty, and fellows to energize young people to embrace the challenges and opportunities of politics and public service,” Leach said in a statement.
While in Congress, Leach served as chairman of the House Banking and Financial Services Committee, and was co-author of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that reformed the financial services industry. Leach left Congress after his defeat last November to Democrat Dave Loebsack.
“Jim Leach developed the reputation in Washington as a hardworking, fair and respected lawmaker who championed a range of worthy causes from international debt relief to environmental protection to political campaign reform,” said David Ellwood, dean of the Kennedy School of Government, which oversee the institute.
Shaheen, a former three-term governor of New Hampshire, had served as director of the institute since 2005.
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