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Edward M. Kennedy Institute Announces Emily Rapp as new Director of Democracy Programs

Rapp brings wide range of public policy and government relations experience to growing Kennedy Institute team

January 31, 2024 (Boston, Mass.) – The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate announced today the appointment of Emily Rapp as Director of Democracy Programs. Rapp brings extensive public policy and government relations experience, which will advance the Kennedy Institute’s work convening national leaders in constructive dialogue toward a more productive Senate.

“We are so pleased to have Emily Rapp join us at the start of this crucial election year, where the importance of keeping our democracy and civic life vibrant will be central to our work,” said Adam G. Hinds, CEO of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute. “As we expand our work to strengthen American democracy, Emily’s varied experience across think tanks, private sector, and the federal government make her an invaluable addition to our team.”

In her new role, Rapp will lead the strategic development and execution of Kennedy Institute democracy programs and initiatives, including convenings of high-level policymakers and various public-facing panels with national leaders.

“I am honored to lead the Kennedy Institute’s work promoting productive policy deliberation in the U.S. Senate and protecting our democratic processes across the American political landscape,” said Rapp. “During this pivotal election year, the Kennedy Institute will continue to play a key role convening thought leaders, policymakers, and educating the public about the unique role of the Senate in debating our nation’s challenges and finding areas of common ground.”

Rapp most recently served as the Director of Government Relations for Biosecurity at Ginkgo Bioworks, where she designed strategic outreach initiatives to increase awareness of the company’s biosecurity offerings before state and federal policymakers. Prior to her time at Ginkgo, Rapp served as Vice President, Outreach and Design for the JPMorgan Chase Institute and Policy Center and as the Outreach and Marketing Specialist for the Region 1 Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration during the beginning of the pandemic.

Rapp held various government relations and research positions at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., most recently serving as the Director of Government Relations for Domestic Policy. Rapp holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelors from Kenyon College in Philosophy.


About the Edward M. Kennedy Institute
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic life of their communities. Learn more via