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Annise Parker On Harvard Fellowship: Time To Decompress

The former Houston mayor will lead a study group about the difficulties of governing.

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Parker portrait
City of Houston
Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker

Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker starts her resident fellowship at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government on Monday.

For three months, she will teach a seminar with undergraduate students. The topic is up to her.

"I've created a lesson plan around why it's so hard to get anything done in government," Parker said. "My thesis being that it's really an impossible job, but it's necessary, so we make it work."

The workload isn't very big. Parker said it will just be one 90-minute class plus four hours in the office per week.

She said the idea is to get away from Houston for a while after six years as mayor and a total of 18 as an elected official.

"It's time to think, to write, to research, to decompress," she said. "It's really pitched to folks in public office or public policy, who have left those offices, as a transition time."

She also said it will keep her from obsessing over how her successor, Sylvester Turner, does things differently from what she would do.

After the semester, Parker said, she will come back to Houston but she has no definite plans for her future.

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