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Harvard names former congressman to lead Institute of Politics

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.


–Associated Press

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