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    Setti Warren to head Harvard public policy center

    Former Newton mayor Setti Warren.
    Barry Chin/Globe Staff/File
    Former Newton mayor Setti Warren.

    The governor’s race didn’t work out, but Setti Warren, the former Newton mayor, has landed on his feet with a nice post at Harvard.

    Warren will take over as executive director of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at a time when he says the center will be focusing on some of the most serious issues facing the media.

    “This is really an exciting time at the center,’’ he said. “I’ll be helping them to scale up and deal with the crisis in journalism and tackle a lot of issues: diminishing newsrooms, the problem of disinformation, the evolving digital platform.”


    Warren will bring to Harvard his experience serving two terms as mayor amid the tough politics of Newton.

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    “He possesses both the high-level vision and boots-on-the-ground attention to detail that will help the Shorenstein Center successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities in our stage of rapid growth,’’ said Nicco Mele, the center’s director.

    Warren’s new job comes just two months after he dropped out of the three-way Democratic race for governor, a move that caught the political world by surprise. At the time, he was considered the front-runner for the party nomination to face Governor Charlie Baker.

    But he said he pulled the plug on his campaign because he had concluded that his chances of beating Baker were “insurmountable.”

    His departure left his two rivals in the race, Patrick administration budget chief and former health care executive Jay Gonzalez and environmental and social activist Robert Massie, both hugely underfunded with little name recognition among voters.

    Frank Phillips can be reached at