Carmel High School graduate, neurologist aims to make an impact through prestigious White House Fellow program


Dr. Harrison Hines recognizes how special this opportunity is for him.

The 2008 Carmel High School graduate was selected from thousands of applicants to be one of 15 people elected as a 2022-23 White House House Fellow.

“Envisioned by John Gardner and enacted by a 1964 executive order by President (Lyndon) Johnson, the White House Fellows program offers emerging leaders with a dedication to service an opportunity to work at the highest levels of the federal government,” Hines said. “As a neurologist with a passion for advocacy and policy development, this program is an unparalleled gift. I view my selection as a White House Fellow as a blessing meant for me to give back to my community and to our country, both of which have invested so much in me.”

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Hines attended Duke University as a Robertson Scholar, majoring in chemistry and religion. He received his medical degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree in theological studies from Duke Divinity School.

Hines’ fellowship started in late August and will conclude in August 2023. He was placed on the Domestic Policy Council.

“Getting to know the class of fellows I serve alongside has been one of the most meaningful early components of the program,” Hines said. “I am inspired and humbled by them,  their energy, the hurdles they have overcome, their desire to give back and their persistent faith in the power of government to positively impact the lives of individuals. They energize me to make the most of every aspect of this year as a fellow.”

Hines said his medical and theological training help frame how he thinks about health and social ethics.

“In that way, my background developed in me a desire for service which makes the White House Fellowship a good fit for my career trajectory,” he said. “However, every fellow is unique. Some come to service through careers in the military, business, legal work, health care and a litany of other industries. Key to being selected as a Fellow is evidence of leadership skills and a commitment to public service. Medicine and theology are simply the avenues by which those attributes have manifested in my career.”

Hines said the Domestic Policy Council drives the development and implementation of the president’s domestic policy agenda. Hines said he had some state level experience with policy development through working in the California State Assembly.

“I am eager to continue that work now at the federal level,” Hines said. “I am exploring long-term career plans post-fellowship, but I hope to continue advocacy through working directly with patients and integrating some government/public service work at some level.”

On Sept. 28, President Joe Biden hosted the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

“The conference brought together Americans from across the country to discuss how we can end hunger, increase healthy eating and increase physical activity by 2030,” Hines said. “I served on the team garnering more than $8 billion in commitments from organizations in the conference’s call to action. On the day of the conference, I had the privilege of moderating a small focus group of participants brainstorming ways to continue working toward the conference goals after the event ended. I am grateful that the conference was my first project at the Domestic Policy Council. It allowed me to dive in and contribute to a landmark event for a pressing cause.”

Hines took two years of chemistry with Deborah Haire at CHS (honors chemistry and AP chemistry) and was awed by its simplicity.

“Ms. Haire was deft,” Hines said. “She introduced us to the power of chemical bonds to structure the atomic world, then its complexities with how atoms combined to create new molecules. Finally, she empowered us by showing us that we could master the laws governing chemistry, that we could use it to hypothesize and predict. Chemistry’s order captured my intellect, and its beauty moved my spirit. Science at CHS led me to major in chemistry and religion in college which, in turn, led me to medicine.”