Clay Pell: Running for Office 101

Thursday, March 16th, 2017 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm (ET)


Location: Wilson 305

Have political campaigns fascinated you or completely turned you off?  Are you curious how political campaigns really work on the inside, whether at the presidential, state or local level?  Are you interested in changing the political system?  Have you ever considered running for office but don’t know where to begin?  What does an ethical political process look like and would be your ethical redlines in a campaign?
Join this discussion on the nuts and bolts of campaigns and the political process with Clay Pell, former candidate for Governor of Rhode Island.  Clay will reference his experience as a candidate himself, on the Hillary Clinton campaign, and as a policymaker in the Obama Administration to lead this wide-ranging discussion on political campaigns and how you can make a difference – whether as a voter, observer, activist, or candidate yourself.  
In addition to this session, Clay will also be having regular office hours this spring at the Swearer Center.  You may contact Clay directly at to make an appointment or find the most up to date schedule!

Brief Bio


Clay Pell will be a practitioner in residence at the Swearer Center this spring with a focus on helping students engage in politics, law, and national security.  Clay's widespread experience in politics and public policy includes his own campaign for Governor of Rhode Island in 2014 and Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, as well as service in both foreign and domestic policy roles in the Obama Administration.  Clay served as Director for Strategic Planning on the White House National Security Staff and Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education at the U.S. Department of Education, where he led the U.S. government’s world language and international education programs. Clay graduated first in his class from the Coast Guard Direct Commission Officer School, earned his J.D. from Georgetown University, and graduated from Harvard University with high honors in Social Studies and a citation in Modern Standard Arabic. In addition, Clay is a practicing attorney, a member of multiple non-profit boards in the Rhode Island community and beyond, and continues to serve as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves.  


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