Dear Delegates, 

Welcome to Harvard Model Congress, and welcome to Senate Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence!

The Senate is one of the most powerful and prestigious institutions in U.S. politics, and you should be proud to serve as one of its members. The Senate takes on issues across the policy spectrum, such as the two topics for this year—in our committee we will discuss US-Turkey Relations and Social Media Encryption. Both issues are dynamic and will require both preparation beforehand and thinking on your feet while in committee.

In addition to these policy topics, you’ll also gain a greater understanding of the American political landscape. All delegates are assigned an actual U.S. Senator to portray, and I encourage you invest enough time in research so you can accurately convey their positions. Some of the best HMC moments occur when we perfectly mirror debates going on in the halls of Congress. My goal throughout this entire process is for all of you to walk away with great leadership experience and new respect for a career in public service.

My name is Andrew O’Donohue, and I’m excited and honored to serve as the chair of this committee. I am currently a junior at Harvard studying political science, with a focus on challenges to democratic institutions in developing countries. In my free time, I enjoy watching political comedy shows (especially The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight!) and listening to music from different parts of the world. During summer of 2016, I worked as an intern for the US Department of State in Istanbul, Turkey, so I could not be more enthusiastic to see how you as delegates will engage and offer creative solutions on an issue I am passionate about. Living through a military coup attempt and its aftermath this summer has reminded me how important it is for young people like us to discuss and stand up for democratic values, and I cannot wait to get to know every one of you in committee this January.  

Feel free to reach out at any time if you have a question or just want to introduce yourself. I can’t wait for HMC Middle East 2017, and I look forward to meeting all of you soon!

All the best,

Andrew O’Donohue