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Midterms 2018: What's at Stake?

October 6, 2018

Midterms 2018: What's at Stake?

On October 6th, 2018 we heard from Fords who are working hard to shape their version of a more perfect union. Alumni representing a broad range of political perspectives, as well as roles within politics, gathered to discuss and debate the state of democracy in America on the eve of the midterm elections. Esteemed Fords such as Juan Williams '76, Adem Bunkeddeko '09, Alex Isenstadt '07, and Molly Sheehan '07 showcased that democracy is strongest when many voices are participating. The panel was moderated by Associate Professor Zachary Oberfield. This conversation was sponsored by the Multicultural Alumni Action Group (MAAG), as well as the student organization HaverfordVotes.

Watch the full video of the discussion above.


Adem Bunkeddeko ’09 launched a campaign in Fall 2017 to represent Central Brooklyn’s Ninth Congressional district. He has experience as a grassroots organizer, creating a support network for educational and social outcomes of low-income families in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and managing public-private partnerships to revitalize under-served communities throughout Brooklyn. He is currently the Strategy & Innovation Officer at Local Initiatives Support Corporation in New York. Adem earned an MBA from Harvard.

Molly Sheehan ’07 was a candidate for US Congress for the fifth district, which includes South Philly and the southwestern suburbs. After graduating from Haverford she worked in Uganda and earned the Clarence and Lily Pickett Award for Quaker Leadership. She then earned her PhD in biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania. She now works to produce new technologies and advance cancer research at UPenn.

Juan Williams ’76 is a former White House correspondent at the Washington Post, where he worked for over 21 years. He has also been a senior correspondent and talk show host at NPR and currently serves as a political analyst for Fox News and co-host of the daily news round table show The Five. Juan is the author of numerous bestselling and critically acclaimed books. His most recently publication was released in September 2018, titled “What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?: Trump's War on Civil Rights.” He has been awarded an Emmy for a documentary film series and is a former member of the Haverford Board of Managers.

Alex Isenstadt ’07 is a national political reporter at POLITICO, where he has worked since 2008. He was a lead reporter on the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and is currently covering the 2018 midterm elections. At Haverford, he was a political science major.


Zach Oberfield is a Political Science professor at Haverford who specializes in American politics, public policy, bureaucracy, the presidency, and Congress. He received his B.A. in Political Science from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a published author with focus on schools, organizational change, leadership, and street-level bureaucracy.