Alice Stewart, CNN Political Commentator and Harvard Institute of Politics Board Member, died at the age of 58

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Alice Stewart, a Republican political adviser and CNN commentator who was best known at Harvard for her dedication to undergraduate students as a member of the Institute of Politics Senior Advisory Committee, died early Saturday morning.
Stewart, who was an Emmy Award winning journalist, joined the IOP’s SAC in 2021, after previously serving as an IOP resident fellow for two semesters.
Stewart was born on March 11, 1966, in Atlanta and graduated from the University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism.
IOP President Pratyush Mallick ’25 said in an interview that Stewart’s death was “incredibly saddening” and praised her longtime commitment for the IOP and its student members.
“Above all, she was incredibly welcoming and ready to help students at any kind of moment’s notice,” Mallick said.
IOP Treasurer Saba Mehrzad ’25 recalled how Stewart worked hard to not let her obligations as an commentator for CNN divert her attention from IOP students.
Instead, Mehrzad said, Stewart gave advice to students who signed up for the event, before she allowed them to watch on as she taped for a live segment on CNN.
Several current and former IOP students described Stewart as someone who quickly became a personal mentor.

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Alice Stewart passed away early on Saturday morning. She was a Republican political adviser and CNN commentator who was well-known at Harvard for her commitment to undergraduate students while serving on the Institute of Politics Senior Advisory Committee. Her age was 58.

Stewart’s body was discovered outside in the Bellevue neighborhood of Virginia, and law enforcement officials told CNN that they thought a medical emergency had killed her.

After working as an IOP resident fellow for two semesters, Stewart, a journalist who won an Emmy, joined the IOP’s SAC in 2021.

Stewart attended the University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism before graduating on March 11, 1966, from his birthplace of Atlanta.

Harvard Kennedy School Dean Douglas W. “A faithful supporter and a wonderful guiding influence,” according to a joint statement from Elmendorf, IOP Director Setti D. Warren, and IOP SAC Chair Michael Nutter, was Stewart. “.

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

In an interview, IOP President Pratyush Mallick ’25 described Stewart’s passing as “incredibly saddening” and highlighted her devoted service to the IOP and its student participants.

Above everything, according to Mallick, “she was incredibly welcoming and ready to help students at any kind of moment.”. “I am deeply saddened by her loss. “.

Stewart began her journalism career as a local reporter in Georgia. She then worked as the Republican presidential campaigns’ communications director for Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), former Senator Rick J. Santorum and the late Rep. Michele Bachmann Mdot.

In addition, Mallick stated that the organization had hoped Stewart could help bring more Republican voices to the IOP’s programming in the future. Stewart was instrumental in getting many GOP members invited to IOP events.

Mallick stated, “She was a huge asset for us in ensuring that Republican members of Congress were aware of and willing to attend the kinds of programming and events that we did.”.

Stewart put a lot of effort into making sure that her responsibilities as a CNN commentator did not take her focus away from IOP students, as noted by IOP Treasurer Saba Mehrzad ’25.

Stewart once declined to postpone a scheduled discussion with the IOP’s Women’s Initiative and Leadership Group in response to a request to perform a TV hit. Instead, Stewart gave guidance to students who registered for the event, according to Mehrzad, and then she let them observe while she recorded a live CNN segment.

“It was really amazing to watch someone on TV in real time from the same room,” Mehrzad remarked. The thing that stands out the most to me, though, is how eager she was to include the IOP and the students as much as possible. “.

Several former leaders of the IOP praised Stewart’s continual mentorship, even after their involvement with the IOP had concluded.

Victor M. Together, Flores ’23-’25 and Nadia R. Douglas ’23-’24, who co-chaired the 2021 Study Group Program and IOP Fellows, wrote in a statement that “her influence and dedication” shaped their own paths at Harvard.

The two wrote, “Even though our political views were different, her courage to have tough talks encouraged us and our fellow liaisons to carry on our cross-party advocacy.”.

Stewart quickly developed into a personal mentor, according to a number of current and former IOP students.

Ethan C., Vice President of IOP. Kelly, a 25-year-old, described Stewart as “someone I’ve looked to for guidance and advice.”. “.

Kelly remarked, “I’m just sad, and I’m in shock.”.

Carine M. Hajjar ’21, who held leadership positions in IOP during Stewart’s fellowship, stated that their bond persisted even after she graduated from Harvard.

“She has been genuinely supporting me and always available to answer questions, offer advice on job ideas, or discuss any other kind of prospect,” Hajjar stated.

Hajjar remarked, “She’s been one of my greatest mentors.”.

–Writer for staff William C. Willie Mao can be contacted at william.mao@thecrimson.com. Observe him on X at @williamcmao.

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