Midterm Election Wrap feat. Robbie Lauf, Karim Farishta, and Blake Alexander

The new KSR podcast team takes on the 2018 midterm elections, covering key conservative and liberal sentiments from before, during, and after Election Tuesday.

This episode is jam-packed with interviews covering everything from candidate-camp expectations, to historic voter turnout, election monitoring, and hot-takes from election night in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.

The Kennedy School Review’s Podcast explores the vast range of talents and experiences that HKS students and faculty bring to our community. We highlight student voices and bring students and faculty together to discuss the work they do. Subscribe on iTunes to make sure you never miss an episode.

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Prior to attending the Kennedy School, Robert served as policy advisor to Governor Burgum of North Dakota. Before his time in the governor’s office, Robert worked as political director on Governor Burgum’s successful campaign in 2016. Robert graduated with honors from North Dakota State University, where he was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, served as student body president, and co-founded Great Rides Bike Share, North Dakota’s first community bike share program.



Karim Farishta, originally from Sugar Land, TX, is a first year MPP student interested in boosting civic engagement. He previously worked at the Obama White House, served as a Fulbright researcher on urban development and peacebuilding in Sri Lanka, and most recently was campaign manager for Kulkarni for Congress in TX’s 22nd Congressional District. 


Blake Alexander’s background is in chemical engineering, procurement, oil and gas, and management consulting. He is interested in AI, Automation and the Future of Work as well as cybersecurity and International Affairs.



Prachi Naik is a former educator and Fulbright Scholar passionate about social justice and equity. She is completing an MPP/MBA dual degree at Harvard Kennedy School (’20) and University of Chicago Booth School of Business (’22) and plans to further her work in public education as an aspiring social entrepreneur.



Phoenix McLaughlin is a first-year Master in Public Policy student at the Harvard Kennedy School interested in the development of rural areas. He worked in civil society grantmaking at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C. before volunteering in India with the Central Tibetan Administration and Students for a Free Tibet for the year prior to joining HKS. He graduated from Colorado College and originally hails from Maine.


Hugh Verrier is a first-year joint degree student, pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree at Harvard Kennedy School and a JD at Harvard Law School. Prior to this, Hugh spent several years as a staffer on various political campaigns across the country. Hugh received his undergraduate degree at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, and has a Master of Philosophy degree from the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge.


Jake Moore is a Politico-Military Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School and an accomplished military servant-leader with 15 years of distinguished service. He has substantial overseas, multi-national, and interagency operational experience focused in Asia and the Pacific.



Edited by Deepra Yusuf

Photo credit: Element5 Digital on UnSplash