The Bryce Harlow Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2018-19 Bryce Harlow Fellowship, a prestigious award including scholarship funds and mentoring. We encourage you to apply if you are working full-time, going to graduate school part-time and are interested in the field of lobbying and government advocacy. Please help spread the word! The deadline for submission is April 29, 2018. For complete information, including a link to the on-line application, please visit our website.
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Joshua Blume cites the 10-month experience in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program in Germany as the pivotal event in his life. “Although I didn’t yet know the name for it, I wanted a career in public service and policy,” Joshua said.
After graduating from Utah State University with a dual-degree in economics and international studies, Joshua interned for his hometown Senator, Orrin Hatch, and was later offered a full-time role as the Assistant to the Chief of Staff/Personal Assistant to the Senator. He left for a stint at the Department of Commerce and “boomeranged” back to the Senator’s office as a professional staff member working on international trade oversight and writing speeches for the Senate Finance Committee.
Joshua is pursuing a law degree at Georgetown University and his long-term goal is to work in international trade. He is a “boomerang” BHF Fellow as well, receiving the fellowship in 2015-16. “Navigating through the crowded world of advocacy, it would be easy to trade away your integrity in an effort to stand out,” Joshua said. “Mr. Bryce Harlow set the gold standard for me and for the whole profession – to operate with honesty and respect.”
Growing up, Bassima Alghussein traveled and lived all over the world and was exposed to different cultures, political dynamics, and viewpoints. It is no surprise that after graduating from Mount Holyoke College she would later pursue a career in foreign affairs and policy. “I wanted to work within foreign affairs and knew to achieve that I would have to go to the epicenter — Washington, D.C.,” Bassima said.
Bassima began her career on Capitol Hill working for hometown Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (HI). Ensuing roles included managing congressional relations for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and serving as a Legislative Affairs Advisor in the Obama administration, where she completed the prestigious White House Management Leadership Training Program.
Currently, Bassima is President of Alghussein Global Strategies, where her unique knowledge and relationships help advance clients’ project and policy goals. She is pursuing a master’s degree in Security Studies at Georgetown University and was recently published in Foreign Affairs. Bassima believes in the importance of hard work conducted with integrity and considers Mr. Harlow a role model. “Mr. Harlow’s stellar reputation is an example of history’s reward for being honest and kind,” Bassima said.
Maine native Dennis Sills credits his parent’s local activism with the start of his own passion for public service. It led him to various political and advocacy related internships, including one in the office of Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. After graduating from Duke University, Dennis came to Washington D.C. and secured a position with Congressman G. K. Butterfield as his Staff Assistant. He is now a Senior Legislative Assistant where he works on a portfolio including health, energy, environment, and natural resources.
Dennis is pursuing a Masters of Business Administration from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, and points to Bryce Harlow’s ability work the levers of both business and government seamlessly and with integrity as a blueprint for his career trajectory. “Bryce Harlow was ahead of his time,” Dennis said. “He was a clear and direct communicator whose message resonated with different audiences. His values of honesty and commitment to always remaining true to himself are inspiring to me.”
California native Adela Amador knew from the outset she wanted to pursue a career focusing on environmental issues. She added an interest in policy-making during internships for Rep. Dennis Cardoza and Rep. Lois Capps in their district offices. “It became clear I had to be in D.C. to get involved in issues I care about.” Adela stated.
Immediately after graduation, Adela worked on a congressional campaign and was then recruited to be a Staff Assistant in Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office. Adela has since risen through the ranks and now serves as Leader Pelosi’s Policy Advisor on the environmental, small business, and tribes portfolios.
Adela is enrolled at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, which she chose for its rigor and for the extensive network of experienced professionals teaching the courses. “Like Mr. Bryce Harlow, I wish to be an advocate for common sense solutions that help people,” Adela said. “I’m learning from some of the most experienced and knowledgeable policy advisors and getting practical tools to help me succeed at work.”
By the start of her junior year at the University of Tennessee, Kayla McMurry discovered a new passion outside of tennis—advocacy. After a summer internship in the office of Congressman John J. Duncan Jr. , the 26 year old knew she would find her way back to Washington, D.C. In fact, Kayla was hired and began her career as a Staff Assistant in Senator Lamar Alexander’s D.C. office immediately after graduation. She is now a Legislative Aide for the Senator. “I’ve had the unique opportunity to work for my hometown senator, learn about the issues facing the state, and the priorities of the constituents making me a better public servant to address their needs,” Kayla stated.
Kayla is pursuing a law degree at Georgetown University. “Pursuing a JD helps me better equip myself to work on behalf of Tennessee,” she said. Kayla looks to the late Bryce Harlow as an example of how to navigate today’s politics. “Mr. Harlow’s integrity transcended politics, which is what made him so effective. His legacy is my gold standard.”
When Kristin Richmond interned at “Meet the Press“ as an undergraduate at Auburn University, the Florida native learned what drove stories and how the media interacted with politics and policy—and this inspired her to pursue a career in policy and advocacy. “Before then, I was on the typical history major track and intended to go to law school,” Kristin recalled. Following graduation, Kristin worked for former Representative Robert Hurt (VA), and eventually landed her current role as an Administrative Aide in the House Committee on Appropriations for the majority.
Today, Kristin is putting into practice what she is learning in her Masters in Legislative Affairs program at George Washington University. “My work is reinforced by my studies,” Kristin said. “As I continue to grow professionally, I look to emulate Mr. Bryce Harlow’s keys to success: remaining true to oneself, honesty, and a willingness to work with others.”
The Bryce Harlow Foundation recently announced the 2017-18 class of Bryce Harlow Fellows. Join us in congratulating them and read all about it here: BHF 2017-18 Fellows Announced
Samantha Gilbert’s fascination with politics began at a young age. “During my first trip to Disney World at 8 years old, I remember crying my eyes out because the Hall of Presidents was closed,” Samantha said with a laugh. Her interest grew as she matured into adulthood. Samantha knew she officially caught the bug when she moved across the country – from New York to Montana – to work on a congressional campaign just four short days after her freshman year of college.
She’s proud to have gotten involved in public service in many forms: at nonprofits and on campaigns, from political consulting to Capitol Hill, which she believes gives her a unique perspective. Currently, the Barnard College alum is pursuing a graduate degree in public administration at the George Washington University.
Samantha was recently promoted to the position of Junior Associate at Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, a political opinion research firm. She analyzes phone bank data to gauge the public’s always-moving opinions on issues important to her clients. Armed with this skill set and her graduate degree, Samantha’s long-term goal is to advocate on behalf of vulnerable food insecure populations. “I hope to serve as admirably for the general public’s welfare as Bryce Harlow served,” Samantha said.
Meredith White never imagined she would be fundraising for a living. The Missouri native attended the University of Delaware as an English major, and switched after taking her first Political Science course. “My parents were always engaged in local politics – they voted, had yard signs, knew the mayor, and discussed politics at home, yet that class opened my eyes to politics as a career possibility,” Meredith said.
Throughout her undergraduate years she interned on political campaigns around the country, and after graduation Meredith took a fellowship in D.C., and then a full time job as Staff Assistant for Senator Claire McCaskill. During her time in McCaskill’s office, she was encouraged to pursue fundraising, and Meredith moved on to Flanagan Fulkerson & Company where she learned the ropes of candidate and political action campaign (PAC) fundraising. She later worked lobbying and fundraising for Smith Free Group, and now works as a Political Affairs Director at UBS. Meredith has hit her stride – since joining UBS the company’s PAC receipts have increased by 40%.
Meredith is pursuing an Executive MBA at Georgetown University. “Business and policy have a natural and often untapped connection. In keeping with the legacy of Mr. Bryce Harlow, getting an MBA will help me bridge the gap,” Meredith said, “I hope to live up to his standards for the lobbying profession.”