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Alice Stewart, CNN political commentator and Harvard Institute of Politics board member, dies at 58 | News

Alice Stewart, CNN political commentator and Harvard Institute of Politics board member, dies at 58 |  News

Alice Stewart, a Republican political consultant and CNN commentator best known at Harvard for her dedication to undergraduates as a member of the Institute of Politics’ senior advisory committee, died early Saturday morning. She was 58 years old.

Law enforcement said Stewart’s body was found outside in Virginia’s Bellevue neighborhood and they believe a medical emergency caused his death, according to CNN.

Stewart, who was an Emmy Award-winning journalist, joined the IOP SAC in 2021, after serving as an IOP resident for two semesters.

Stewart was born March 11, 1966, in Atlanta and graduated from the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia.

Harvard Kennedy School Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf, IOP Director Setti D. Warren and IOP SAC President Michael Nutter wrote in a joint statement that Stewart was “a loyal supporter and a wonderful guiding influence “.

“As a committee member, she was always engaged and enthusiastic, and she always provided valuable advice to strengthen the IOP in serving Harvard College students interested in politics and public service,” they wrote .

IOP President Pratyush Mallick ’25 said in an interview that Stewart’s death was “incredibly sad” and praised his long-standing commitment to the IOP and its student members.

“Above all, she was incredibly welcoming and willing to help students at any time,” Mallick said. “His loss is incredibly saddening.”

Stewart began her career as a local reporter in Georgia, before becoming communications director for the Republican presidential campaigns of former Arkansas Governor Mike D. Huckabee, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), former Senator Rick J. Santorum and former Representative. . Michele M. Bachmann.

Mallick said Stewart helped invite many GOP members to IOP events and said the organization had hoped she could help introduce more Republican voices into IOP programming at the future.

“She was a great asset to us in ensuring that Republican members of Congress were aware and willing to participate in the type of programs and events we were hosting,” Mallick said.

IOP Treasurer Saba Mehrzad ’25 recalled how Stewart worked hard not to let her obligations as a CNN commentator distract her attention from IOP students.

When Stewart once received a request to do a TV hit at a conference scheduled with the IOP Women’s Initiative and Leadership Group, she did not cancel the event. Instead, Mehrzad said, Stewart gave advice to students who registered for the event, before allowing them to watch her as she recorded a live segment on CNN.

“I just remember, first of all, how cool it was to watch someone go on live TV from the same room,” Mehrzad said. “That’s the biggest thing that still strikes me: her desire to integrate the IOP and integrate the students as much as she can.”

Several former IOP leaders praised Stewart’s continued mentorship, even after their involvement with the IOP ended.

Victor E. Flores ’23-’25 and Nadia R. Douglas ’23-’24, who previously served as co-chairs of the IOP’s 2021 Fellowship and Study Group program, wrote in a joint statement that “his influence and dedication” shaped their own path at Harvard.

“Even though we differed politically, his willingness to engage in difficult conversations inspired us and our liaison colleagues to continue our advocacy across political lines,” the two men wrote.

Several current and former IOP students described Stewart as someone who quickly became a personal mentor.

IOP Vice President Ethan C. Kelly ’25 said Stewart was “someone I looked to for advice and guidance.”

“I’m in a state of shock and also sadness,” Kelly said.

Carine M. Hajjar ’21, who served as IOP director while Stewart was a member, said their relationship lasted after she graduated from Harvard.

“She was always there to respond to a text, or to give me advice on a job idea or any other type of perspective, and she really encouraged me,” Hajjar said.

“She was one of my biggest mentors,” Hajjar said.

—Editor William C. Mao can be reached at Follow him on @williamcmao.

—Editor Dhruv T. Patel can be reached at Follow him on @dhruvtkpatel.

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