Fellows Program

This program provides an invaluable chance for students to learn from some of the most notable political practitioners, academics, and journalists in an informal setting.

Political practitioners immerse themselves in the Carolina community, drawing on the University’s intellectual resources while interacting with students and leading a not-for-credit study group.

The Institute is hosting two Visiting Fellows – President Margaret Spellings and Attorney General Josh Stein – for the Fall 2018 semester.


Fellows independently lead non-credit seminars on timely and relevant issues of national import. These weekly 75-minute discussions, on mutually agreed upon topics, take place on campus and are open to all UNC students. Seminars are built to best leverage the expertise of Fellows and vary from lectures and informal discussion groups to panel discussions and guest lectures.

Fellows Ambassadors

Each Fellow will be assigned a team of student ambassadors. Through the IOP’s Fellows Ambassador program, students apply to serve as assistants to Fellows, organizing and promoting their seminars and events; helping prepare research for seminars; being a liaison between Fellows and the University community; and helping to orient them to UNC’s campus, the Chapel Hill community, and the Triangle region more broadly. Fellows Ambassadors will be introduced to Fellows upon arrival on campus.

About President Margret Spellings

Margaret Spellings is the incumbent President of the University of North Carolina System, a position she has held since March of 2016. As President, she is responsible for the operation of all 17 publicly operated institutions of higher learning in the State of North Carolina. Having served in a variety of public-service roles for the past three decades, she brings a wealth of experience in a variety of policy areas to the Institute of Politics and to the UNC community.

Prior to her appointment with the UNC System, she served as the United States Secretary of Education to President George W. Bush for his second term, from 2005 to 2009. As Secretary, she oversaw the creation of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education and the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. Prior to this she also served as Chief Domestic Policy Advisor, also to President George W. Bush, from 2001 to 2005. She has also served in a variety of philanthropic and civic leadership roles both prior to and after her federal service with the Bush Administration.

Originally a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, her family moved to Houston, Texas when she was in the third grade, where she would later graduate from the University of Houston. She began her career in public service shortly thereafter with a number of positions in education with the state of Texas, a policy speciality which she is proud to continue through to the present

About Attorney General Josh Stein

Since January of 2017, Josh Stein has served as the Attorney General of North Carolina. As Attorney General, he is head of the North Carolina Department of Justice and effectively acts as the State’s lawyer before state and federal courts. With a mix of legislative and law enforcement experience, over the past 20 years, he is well-equipped to speak on the wide array of issues facing North Carolina today.

Prior to being elected Attorney general in November of 2016, Stein served four terms in the North Carolina State Senate, where he took up the causes of public education, clean energy, and public safety. A portion of this time was also spent as Minority Whip in the State Senate.

Immediately before his time as a Senator, Stein worked from 2001 to 2009 as Senior Deputy Attorney General for the State of North Carolina. His efforts during this time were strongly focused on consumer protections, ensuring fair business practices in all industries and in every corner of the State.

A native of Washington, DC, Stein moved to North Carolina where he graduated from Chapel Hill High School before attending Dartmouth College. He also holds degrees in public policy and law from Harvard University.