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.”
Illinois native Beth Ann Saracco credits her mother with giving her a passion for faith-based international advocacy. “Growing up, my mother instilled in me a strong sense of service,” Beth Ann said. This strengthened throughout the years, and as an undergraduate at the University of Dayton she majored in political science and international relations. After graduation, Beth worked for Tennessee Representative John Tanner then secured a position with Arizona Representative Ed Pastor as his foreign relations and appropriations Legislative Assistant.
After four years on the Hill, Beth Ann took a job at Bread for the World working on international food security issues, and today she serves as a Policy Advisor with World Vision. Her most fulfilling achievement to date was her work helping to pass the Global Food Security Act. “The Act was so personal for me. Through my work travels I’ve seen firsthand how the law impacts vulnerable communities around the world,” Beth Ann stated.
Beth Ann is pursuing an MBA from Georgetown University because she sees public and private partnerships as a tool to solving problems like poverty and hunger. She looks to Bryce Harlow’s career as a source of inspiration. “Mr. Harlow knew how to speak to different audiences, but he was also authentic, and remained true to his mission and values. I hope to bring that level of integrity to my professional and academic pursuits,” Beth Ann said.
For Erika Briceno, foreign policy was an integral part of her life from a young age. “I learned from my family that it was important to be in engaged — as a citizen of this country and of the globe,” Erika said, a sentiment that led her to start her high school’s first Model United Nations club. As an undergraduate at Southern Methodist University, Erika majored in International Relations and Political Science.
An internship with Edelman opened the path toward combining communications and foreign policy, and after working in Edelman’s DC office for a time, Erika came full circle by securing a position at the United Nations Foundation as a Communications and Digital Manager. “This position is a great opportunity to meld my long term goal with my interests in advocacy and communications,” Erika said. Now pursuing a Master’s degree in Political Management from the George Washington University, Erika sees an opportunity to continue Bryce Harlow’s legacy through her work at the United Nations Foundation. “In today’s political environment, I am committed to bridging political divides through messaging, in the spirit of Bryce Harlow and his career,” Erika said.
Jessica Brady toured the U.S. Capitol and fell in love with Washington at an early age, while accompanying her father on work trips from North Dakota. Jessica carried this interest forward as an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, serving as an intern at the Stimson Center and with U.S. Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska. The latter turned into a position on Nelson’s staff, and Jessica eventually served as a Deputy Legislative Assistant focused on foreign policy. She then worked at the State Department supporting the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
Combining her commitment to advocacy and passion for international development, Jessica currently works at Save the Children where she sees the impact of policy firsthand. “International Affairs makes up just one percent of the federal budget, and it’s clear this funding makes a huge difference in the lives of people across the world,” Jessica said. As she pursues a Master of Public Policy at George Washington University, Jessica looks to Mr. Bryce Harlow as an exemplar in the profession of advocacy. “Mr. Harlow earned the admiration of his colleagues because he was an honest broker and valuable source of information. The Fellowship and the legacy of Bryce Harlow provide me with a clear model, helping me be a better, more effective global advocate,” Jessica said.
The Bryce Harlow Foundation recently announced Senator Lamar Alexander and The Honorable Dave McCurdy as the honorees for its upcoming Annual Awards Dinner to be held on April 25th. BHF 2017 Award Winners Announced