The USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future (CPF) and its Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics invite prominent political professionals to become CPF Fellows and lead study groups for USC students in Los Angeles. They hold office hours, host lunchtime discussions, bring in guest speakers, and participate in high-profile events and conferences throughout the year. These resident Fellows expose students to a wide array of perspectives, broadening and challenging their understanding of government while strengthening civil dialogue on campus and within the community.

Study groups are the cornerstone of the CPF Fellows Program. These in-depth seminars focus on the ins and outs of practical politics, and are coordinated in partnership with the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics to include immersive experiences beyond political theory and academic journals. Each study group runs once a week for 4-10 weeks and is jam-packed with VIP guest lecturers, office hours, unprecedented career and internship opportunities, and access to Center Fellows in and out of the classroom. Students learn from top professionals, receive invaluable mentorship, and even become friends with CPF Fellows over the course of the experience. Max 15 students per study group. All USC students are eligible to apply. Click here to sign up for a CPF Fellows study group.


Meet Our Current Fellows  The Fellowships are offered by invitation only. Potential Fellows are invited to apply based on a number of factors, including their current national stature, commitment to the CPF mission, ability to attract students to their study group, prior teaching experience, recommendations from former Fellows, advice from our CPF Board of Councilors, and ability to provide USC students with an exciting study group on practical politics. The Fellows roster is normally booked for the next 2-3 semesters.

Graphic highlighting the Spring 2024 CPF Fellows
Graphic highlighting the Spring 2024 CPF Fellows


Pizza and Politics Series – Join CPF Fellows for FREE pizza and small group conversations. Fellows go deep on current events, their careers, and whatever is on your mind. Moderated by CPF Fellows Manager Kayla Koerting. These lunch events are for USC students, faculty, and staff only. Pizza and Politics are held on select Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. PT in SOS B15. See you January 31, February 14, February 28, March 27, April 10, and April 24.

Questions? Contact CPF’s Fellows Program Manager, Kayla Koerting.

CPF Pizza and Politics event with CPF Fellows Noelia Rodriguez (former Press Secretary for First Lady Laura Bush), Jessica Lall (former CEO of Central City Association), and Ira Reiner (former LA District Attorney).
CPF Pizza and Politics event with CPF Fellows Noelia Rodriguez (former Press Secretary for First Lady Laura Bush), Jessica Lall (former CEO of Central City Association), and Ira Reiner (former LA District Attorney).

Fellows Program: Hear From the Students

“As someone deeply interested in both journalism and politics, the Fellows Program has been a valuable and unique opportunity for me as a USC student. I was able to engage with, and learn from, renowned guest speakers who joined our class each week to discuss the Democratic debates and the future of both parties. I can’t express enough how incredible it was to have access to these leaders in the media and politics and to have candid, open conversations. Adam Nagourney was a great Fellow who actively encouraged our participation in the class and created an environment where students and guest speakers felt safe to discuss, debate, and question current events in real time.”

Chandra Ingram, Journalism and International Relations and Global Economy

“Having the opportunity to be a part of the Center for Political Future’s Fellows Program was the highlight of my first semester at USC. My experience centered around taking a ten week course on the role of interest group politics in our federal government taught by Ron Christie, the former advisor to President George W. Bush. Throughout the ten weeks, our class got a behind-the-scenes look at the orthodox and unorthodox mechanisms of lawmaking in the lobbying process, legislative branch and executive office. With over thirty years of experience, Professor Christie’s was able to bring the subject matter and readings to life. I am extremely thankful for the Center for Political Future for providing me with this experience and I hope to continue to use it as a resource as I progress in my academic career.”

Adam Jackman, Political Science

“While the American people continue to grow closer to online identities and virtual networks, it is strange that many have come to distrust journalists who, for decades, have packaged hard-hitting truths into “byte” sizes for the public. Through quite serious but feel-good storytelling, Ann Klenk revealed that what lies behind TV screens is the same as what lies behind your front door. With her rolodex of industry pioneers, she taught meaningful journalism through the eyes of people who are skeptics. Going into this class, there was so little I understood about the political world. And while I still do not know everything, this class taught to never be satisfied until I do.”

Julianna Montano, Philosophy, Politics and Law