Former Mayor Parker to teach at Rice University

- Former Mayor, Annise Parker, will join Rice University as a Leadership Institute Fellow this fall. Monday, she picked up her badge from the school.

After 18 years in public service, Parker said she is excited to help shape the Doerr Institute of Leaders Program at Rice University.

“To be able to watch it grow, and help establish the fundamental programs within Doerr is a great opportunity,” said Parker.

Parker, a 1978 Rice alum, said she will begin teaching this fall. As a professor, her main focus within the social sciences field will be on leadership skills.

“I’d love to be able to talk to the students about the difficulties of governing, the challenges, the frustrations, but also the joys of governing.”

Parker just returned from a three-month teaching assignment as a Fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics. Her seminar was titled “Is Governing Possible?”

“We know that leadership skills can be taught,” she said. “But what really makes the difference is practice.”
In the meantime, Parker said she’s still unpacking from her 18 years in public service.  But even with her new job, and transition from Harvard, she is finally getting around to some of her hobbies that she’s always loved.
“I love to garden,” said Parker. “And I used to be a cactus hobbyist, I’ve been an orchid hobbyist.”

Parker says there may or may not still be future for her in politics, but one thing is for certain.

“I tend this to be my home for the rest of my life.” 

Parker said she is still working on the syllabus for her class this fall, and also has a lengthy public speaking schedule that will take up quite a bit of her time.

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