Harvard University on Friday withdrew an invitation to Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier found guilty in 2013 of leaking classified information, to serve as a visiting fellow.
The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard initially announced Wednesday that Manning would be a visiting fellow this fall, but disinvited her following criticism of the selection, Douglas Elmendorf, dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School, said in a statement Friday.
“I now think that designating Chelsea Manning as a Visiting Fellow was a mistake, for which I accept responsibility,” Elmendorf said. “Therefore, we are withdrawing the invitation to her to serve as a Visiting Fellow … while maintaining the invitation for her to spend a day at the Kennedy School and speak in the Forum.”
The statement from Elmendorf comes after CIA Director Michael Pompeo withdrew his own invitation to speak at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum in light of Manning’s invitation to be a visiting fellow.
Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell also resigned from his position as a senior fellow at Harvard in response to Manning’s selection as a visiting fellow.
Manning responded to Harvard’s announcement on Twitter, writing she was “honored” to be the first transgender woman disinvited to be a Harvard visiting fellow. “They chill marginalized voices under @cia pressure,” she said.
Former acting CIA director resigns from Harvard after Chelsea Manning selected as visiting fellow
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.