Current Position: Associate Director, Maimonides Scholars Program
Past: Researcher to Bret Stephens at The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, Tikvah Fellow
Education: St. John’s College Annapolis
Prolific freelancer Kate Havard has had bylines in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Weekly Standard. A graduate of St. John’s College, Annapolis, Kate was part of the inaugural 2010 class of Hertog Political Studies, which she credits for helping her get her start in Washington, DC. In this spotlight, Kate talks about her summer with Hertog, as well her future career plans. She now directs the Maimonides Scholars Program at the Tikvah Fund.
HOW DID YOU FIRST HEAR ABOUT POLITICAL STUDIES?
I was a sophomore at St. John’s College when I first heard about Hertog. My freshman Greek professor, Adam Schulman, nominated me for the Hertog Political Studies Program. I went into it being interested in the classics; I didn’t have any political background before that.
What drew me to the Program was the Machiavelli, the Aristotle, and the Great Books angle. That’s what I had already been studying at St. John’s and what I was most attracted to. And, of course, the chance to study with [Professors Amy and Leon] Kass was really exciting for me. So that was my pull, and all the political stuff was new to me.
WHAT STICKS OUT IN YOUR MEMORY ABOUT YOUR EDUCATION EXPERIENCE WITH POLITICAL STUDIES?
Something I will never forget from Political Studies is the week we were reading Machiavelli. Henry Kissinger was coming to lecture, and I got to give an introduction about Machiavelli and Henry Kissinger in front of Henry Kissinger. That was amazing to me, and is something I will never forget. That class was one of my favorites I’ve ever been in.
At Hertog, the intellectual experience with your peers is also impressive. I met my best friend at Hertog; she was one of my roommates at Political Studies. I’m also close with a good number of other alumni from the 2010 class.
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH.
My time at The Weekly Standard was rooted in Hertog. I met the editor, Bill Kristol, at a Political Studies lecture on Tocqueville that he gave. The Political Studies scholars were given copies of The Weekly Standard, and that was my first time seeing it.
After reading The Weekly Standard, I knew that I wanted to work there. Meeting him through Hertog gave me the opportunity to ask for an internship. I don’t think I would’ve been able to do that without Hertog. This was my first exposure to that world, and I kind of ended up in journalism as an accident after the fact of wanting to work for Bill Kristol.
OVERALL, WHAT IS YOUR IMPRESSION OF POLITICAL STUDIES?
Hertog gave me a lot of great connections that I’m so glad to have had, especially in terms of friends, teachers, and mentors. After The Weekly Standard, I got a fellowship with the Tikvah Fund. That fellowship put me at The Wall Street Journal working for Bret Stephens, which was a wonderful experience. I helped work on a book he was writing that’s just about to come out.
DO YOU THINK POLITICAL STUDIES IS BENEFICIAL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE INTERESTED IN PUBLIC POLICY?
I think because you have direct engagement with this high caliber of teachers, and just by virtue of being immersed in the DC world from the very beginning, Hertog is a great place to go if you’re interested in public policy.
Especially if you’re politically interested, but you’re not exactly sure what aspect of politics you want to get into. Whether it’s political journalism, think tanks, Hill work, or diplomacy, at Hertog you get a chance to preview all the different political lives at once. That’s something you really can’t beat, particularly if you go in like I did with a purely academic background.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?
I’d still like to be involved in politics and still writing in whatever capacity I can make a living at.