The former Iowa senator and congressman who is the father of Iowa’s current governor has been named interim director of a prestigious Harvard University program. Democrat John Culver was elected to congress in 1964 and he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1974. He’s been named interim director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

He’s a graduate of Harvard College and of Harvard Law. Culver met Teddy Kennedy at Harvard and the two were long-time friends. During Kennedy’s wake last year Culver told a rollicking tale of his first sailing adventure with Kennedy. Culver, who is 77 years old, has been on the board which oversees the Institute of Politics since 1975. He’ll become the program’s director on July 1st and will serve until a permanent director is named.

Culver is the second person with Iowa ties to lead the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. Former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach, a Republican, served as the institute’s interim director in the 2007/2008 academic year. Harvard University’s Institute of Politics was established in 1966 as a memorial to President John F. Kennedy. Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and former Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsen are among those who’ve been invited to teach courses at the institute.