Alum Tom Manatos Featured in Today's Washington Post


Tom Manatos, (right), at the Alumni Advisory Board receptionA great article featuring super networker Tom Manatos, an alum of the MA in Government Program (2011) and member of the Center's Alumni Advisory Board in today's Washington Post here.





Congratulations to Alumni Brian Feldman and Marc Korman for Winning Maryland State Elections

Brian Feldman, State Senator, Maryland General AssemblyMarc Korman, Delegate, District 16, Maryland General AssemblyNovember 4 was a good night for two of JHU's alumni running for Maryland state offices.  Congratulations to Brian J. Feldman (MA Government 2000) and to Marc Korman (MA Government 2007).  Brian was re-elected as Senator to the Maryland General Assembly (District 15).  Marc won his first bid to serve as Delegate to the Maryland General Assembly (District 16).  We look forward to following their many accomplishments!


Peter Wehner Shares Analysis of Midterm Elections and Larger Issues with Liberalism and Conservatism

Pete WehnerLast night, Pete Wehner, a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, offered a fresh and timely analysis of the results of the midterm elections.  He said it was fair to call Tuesday night's election a "wave election" and that the Republican Party is the governing party in America today.  Along with the Senate shifting to the Republicans, Pete pointed out that the 14  gains in the House to Republicans will make the new Congress contain the largest number of Republicans since the 1940s.  That, along with thirty-one now Republican Governors in the States, all demonstrate a repudiation of the Democratic Party and the Obama era.  Pete observed that Obama may be the greatest wrecking ball to the Democratic Party since Ronald Reagan, as the party lost fourteen Senate Seats and nine governorships under his watch.  

How did this happen?  Pete offered several explanations rooted in the political environment itself -- that is, how Republicans were successful in nationalizing the elections despite Democrats' attempt to localize it as well as a few rare political gaffes and slips, this time, contained among Democratic candidates.  He also took a deeper look at problems within both liberalism and conservatism to offer insight into what happened Tuesday night  as well as to look beyond the election to the future of both parties.  For liberalism, the crisis seems to rest largely in the lack of belief Americans now have for an activist government agenda, given the mishandling of the Affordable Care Act, the recession, the rise of ISIS in the Middle East,  the rise of China and the growing saber rattling of  Russia.   Conservatives have areas that they will need to address as well, Pete argued, such as guarding against anti-government rhetoric and overcoming their resistance to diversity and focusing more on those left behind in the shadows of society.   Pete's thoughtful analysis was followed up by a lively question and answer session.


Former DLC Founder and President Clinton Advisor Al From Addresses Symposia 

Al From, the Founder of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and a close advisor to President Bill Clinton shared his experience helping to reinvent the Democratic Party after suffering huge losses in three consecutive presidential elections in the 1980s.  The Democratic Party (and progressive government) had grown out of touch and lacked a successful governing philosophy.  The DLC, under From's leadership, became an idea movement -- not simply a strategy -- to find an agenda that would resonate with voters.  Mr. From recounted how the DLC in its early years met opposition from Democratic Party leadership, but forged ahead, challenging party orthodoxy and using the conflict it created within the party to actually expand it.  He shared interesting and funny anecdotes about traveling around the country in the early 1990s with a then little known governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, who Mr. From told early on that he could help make president.  Working together, Mr. From and President Clinton engaged in a four-prong strategy of what he called first, reality therapy -- facing the truth of the problem with the Party.  Second, they issued a declaration of ideas -- opportunity, responsibility, community, private sector growth, and a robust foreign policy -- that resonated with the American people and redressed areas where the party had failed.  Third, they found policy initiatives to go with the ideas, such as Americorps, welfare reform, workfare, community policing, charter schools, and reinventing government initiatives.  Finally, Clinton took these ideas and traveled the country testing them out.  

Mr. From applied some of these same strategies and insights to the modern day Democratic and Republican Parties, and what principally ails our politics today, which is so much partisanship.  Mr. From stressed how the health of our democracy depends on having two competitive parties, and even conflicts within the two parties.  For example, he noted that not one Republican voted for Obamacare, leaving the healthcare reform without buy-in from Republicans, who thus will have no interest in making it workable long after Obama is out of office.  In addition, both parties, he observed, have become highly ideological parties, which does not work well in the American system of democracy.  It would be better to have a place for conservative and liberals in both parties, to create balance and compromise and greater openness to workable solutions.  (He used the example of Republican Jack Kemp, whose ideas on empowerment zones had resonance with both parties). His fascinating talk was followed up by some great questions and further discussion.   For those interested in learning more about Mr. From's work, his book, The New Democrats and the Return to Power, is available here on  


Career Networking with Alumni Advisory Board

Last night, the JHU Alumni Advisory Board met and mingled with current students and other alums in a career networking event at the JHU Center for Advanced Governmental Studies.  Alumni Board Member David Black (r) chats with current student, Doug Andres. The JHU Alumni Advisory Board was launched this year to help students and alumni advance their careers and professional aspirations.  The Center degree programs have graduated an impressive number of alumni who are leaders in a variety of fields in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Students and alumni may reach out to the alumni board by emailing .  To learn more about the Board members please go to our website.

Earlier in the evening, Board Members met with JHU faculty.  Alumni Board Members were very enthusiastic and eager to help students and alum at the Center.  We look forward to more networking events in the future.  Here, Alumni Board Members are pictured in JHU spirit scarves, designed by James Miervaldis, MA in Government 2010.  Front: Ivette Rivera, Sarah Lovenheim Goldfarb,Paul Burden, Jonathan Powers, Tom Manatos. Back row: Marc Korman, Rachel Mack, Scott Fisher, Eric Christopher, David Black, and Matt LasloBoard Member Jonathan Powers