Illinois Board of Education attorney Darren Reisberg will serve as executive director of the Univerity’s new Institute of Politics (IOP), scheduled to open officially this coming January, Director David Axelrod (A.B. ’76) announced today.
Unveiled earlier this year, the IOP will connect students to internships, workshops, and speakers related to careers in politics. Reisberg will officially begin serving as executive director on June 4, and will hire others for the IOP, while Axelrod continues to work as communications director for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.
Before working for the Board, Reisberg received his B.A. from Duke University and law degree from Yale. He then moved to Chicago to work for the law firm Sidley Austin.
Axelrod said that Reisberg’s public service and policy experience should serve the Institute well.
“I’m absolutely convinced he’s going to be sensational,” Axelrod said. “He’s had a good exposure to public policy but more than that what’s important to me is that he made a choice to serve and that’s of course something that we want to encourage in young people.”
Reisberg will oversee the institute as it prepares to open at 5707 South Woodlawn Avenue, where renovations are set to begin shortly. The building will provide both workspace and meeting space for the IOP.
“I think that [the building] will be very hospitable for students and very open and very exciting,” Axelrod said. “Hopefully it will be a place that students think of as their own and come and work and meet and plot and scheme and do good things.”
This announcement comes on the day of the IOP’s second panel event, which is titled “Campaign 2012: A Halftime Update,” moderated by “Meet the Press” host David Gregory. It features panelists Jennifer Granholm, television host and former governor of Michigan; Steve Schmidt, MSNBC commentator and senior strategist for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign; John Heilemann, national affairs editor for New York Magazine; and Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist for The Washington Post.
The event will be held at International House at 5 p.m. and doors will open at 4:15 p.m. for UChicago ID holders and invited guests.