“Off the Record” is the Yale Politics Initiative’s master class series on political practice. Guests come to campus to teach one-time, application-only classes capped at twenty students. The classes focus on case studies in the guests’ areas of expertise, and are designed to leave participants with new skills and a deeper understanding of the guests’ work.

To apply for master classes with our upcoming guests, fill out the forms below. Our master classes are comprised of students with a wide range of academic and extracurricular interests. We are primarily looking for students who have creative, specific, well-informed questions for our guests.


Richard Trumka

President of the AFL-CIO. Works to ensure that all workers to have the power to determine their wages and working conditions.

Date: Apr. 17, 4:00-6:30pm (Apply by Apr. 13)

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Alyssa Mastromonaco

White House Deputy Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama. Youngest woman to hold the position. Senior adviser and spokesperson for NARAL.

Date: Nov. 20 (Apply by Nov. 14)

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Robby Mook

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Campaign Manager. President of House Majority PAC, former Director of DCCC.

Date: TBA

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“A new series of student-sponsored master classes is bringing top-level political operatives to campus, not to talk about their ideologies or partisan points of view, but to reveal the secrets of their winning strategies — completely off the record.”

- YaleNews



Amanda Litman

Founder of Run for Something, a PAC that helps recruit and support young, diverse progressives running for down-ballot office.


Joel Benenson

Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist and Barack Obama’s lead pollster. Only Democratic pollster to win 3 presidential campaigns.


Mark McKinnon

George W. Bush’s and John McCain’s chief media advisor. Reform advocate and media columnist. Co-host of SHOWTIME’s The Circus.


Marjorie Dannenfelser

“Trump’s pro-life whisperer” and President of Susan B. Anthony List. POLITICO Magazine’s Top 50 Influencers in 2018.


DeRay Mckesson

Black Lives Matter activist, community organizer, podcast host, and author. Fortune Magazine’s 50 World’s Greatest Leaders in 2015.


David Simas

CEO of the Obama Foundation and White House Director of Political Strategy and Outreach for President Barack Obama.


Dana Loesch

NRA Spokesperson. Conservative political activist, commentator, talk radio host, and author. Former Breitbart writer and editor.


Cecile Richards

Former President of Planned Parenthood. American pro-choice activist, TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2012.


Neera Tanden

President of the Center for American Progress. Policy Director for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008.


Jeff Roe

Ted Cruz’s Chief Strategist. Helped elect 52 congressmen, 8 senators, and 6 governors nationwide. Founder of Axiom Strategies.


Tony Podesta

Washington Superlobbyist. “King of K Street.” “The Lobbyist.” “One of Washington’s biggest players.”


Frank Luntz

Top Republican Strategist and Pollster. Coined “climate change,” “death tax” and “government takeover” of healthcare.


Patti Solis Doyle

Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Campaign Manager. Nationally recognized political organizer and strategist.