Harvard’s Dean Rescinds Chelsea Manning’s Fellowship, Calling It A ‘Mistake’ After Backlash


Shortly after Harvard’s Kennedy School announced that Chelsea Manning would be one of its visiting fellows in the school’s Institute for Politics for the 2017-18 academic year, former deputy director of the CIA Michael Morell resigned as a fellow in a different department at the school. After receiving criticism from Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director, Harvard rescinded its invitation to Manning.

In a statement released Friday, Douglas W. Elmendorf, the dean of the Kennedy School, said, “I now think that designating Chelsea Manning as a Visiting Fellow was a mistake, for which I accept responsibility.”

However, Elmendorf says that the school will still try to get Manning on campus to speak:

Elmendorf decided to withdraw the invitation after realizing that “many people view a Visiting Fellow title as an honorific,” though the school had not intended to “honor [Manning] in any way or to endorse any of her words or deeds.”

She is still welcome to spend a day at the Kennedy School and speak at the school’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, the dean said.

“I apologize to her and to the many concerned people from whom I have heard today for not recognizing upfront the full implications of our original invitation,” Elmendorf added.

The offer to Manning was withdrawn shortly after CIA Director Pompeo wrote a scathing letter calling Harvard’s decision “shameful” and announcing his decision to back out of a speaking event at Harvard.

Responding to the loss of her fellowship spot on Twitter, Manning was succinct:

“This is what a military/police/intel state looks like. The CIA determines what is and is not taught at Harvard,” she wrote.

(Via Washington Post)