Key Trump Impeachment Witness to Join HKS Hauser Leaders Program


Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander S. Vindman, a key witness in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, has been appointed to the Hauser Leaders Program at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership, the school announced Tuesday.

Three other prominent political figures were also tapped for the program, including former Afghanistan Minister of Women’s Affairs Sima Samar, former U.S. Representative Jane M. Harman (D-Calif.), and Regis Pecos, the former governor of Cochití Pueblo. Over the semester, the four leaders will advise students, deliver guest lectures, and conduct research alongside HKS faculty.

“Some of our priorities through the program are bringing in leaders who are doing things that we hope that our graduates and alumni are doing when they go out into the world,” said Anastasia Trainque, assistant director for special programs at the Center for Public Leadership.

Incoming leaders said they look forward to sharing their expertise and collaborating with HKS students and faculty on pressing public issues.


Samar said she hopes to share her experiences and knowledge with “the future leaders of this planet” during her time at HKS.

An advocate for women’s rights in Afghanistan, Samar faced threats from her conservative colleagues who wished to silence her during her six-month tenure as Minister of Women’s Affairs. Samar was eventually forced to leave her post in 2003.

Using Afghanistan as a case study, Samar plans to lead several events on how reproductive rights are influenced by factors such as child marriage and religious extremism, according to Trainque.

“I think that it’s really important to pass the knowledge and that information and the truth to the younger generation everywhere,” Samar said. “The world is connected.”

“If in one corner there’s an injustice, it’s injustice everywhere,” she added.

Harman, who led a panel on the Electoral Count Act amendments last fall as a Hauser leader, said she is “delighted” to return for another semester.

“There is an environment at the Kennedy School where people in both parties can talk civilly to each other and can realize something that I think has always been true — which is that coming together to solve hard problems is the only way they really get solved,” she said.

“The Kennedy School functions a lot better than the U.S. Congress does at the moment,” Harman added.

—Staff writer Thomas J. Mete can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @thomasjmete.

—Staff writer Asher J. Montgomery can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @asherjmont.