Parker Erickson stumbled into the world of advocacy. During his junior year at the University of Utah, this football player served an internship in Senator Orrin Hatch’s Senate Finance Committee Office. At the final football game of his senior year, Parker was offered a position by former Congressman Jason Chaffetz to work in his D.C. office. Parker served as a legislative correspondent and later as a legislative assistant for the Congressman, working primarily on education and health care issues. Currently, Parker is Director of Legislative Affairs at the Charles Group, where he advocates for clients on a wide range of issues including aging, pharmaceuticals, and health care.
Parker is currently in his second year at the Georgetown University Law Center and credits the Bryce Harlow Fellowship with helping him stay in school while pursuing his career. “I’m fascinated by how the legal process interacts with policy, and I truly enjoy using this knowledge to work on behalf of my clients,” Parker said. “Learning about Mr. Bryce Harlow reinforces my commitment to serve clients in the most ethical way possible.”
Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, politics a major presence in Nick Sutter’s life. “Every one around me seemed politically active, particularly during presidential elections,” Nick recalled.
During his junior year at Miami University, Nick interned for his hometown Congressman, Steve Driehaus, in the Washington D.C. office. This was a turning point — Nick caught the “D.C. bug,” and immediately after graduation secured a position in Senator Maria Cantwell’s personal office.
After working for Senator Cantwell on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Nick now works for her on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. He likes the exposure to a wide range of issues in energy, manufacturing, tax, and transportation, and believes it also informs his first year law studies at American University. “A law degree will help me better understand the intersection of policy and law, and how it impacts business and the public,” Nick said.
Given the nature of his work, Nick is in constant communication with lobbyists. “I know first hand the value of professional government advocacy,” Nick said. “The Bryce Harlow Fellowship inspires me to continue my work in the spirit of Mr. Bryce Harlow – with respect and honesty.”
Jennifer Kelly entered the University of South Dakota intending to become a high school history teacher. Then she interned for Senator Ben Nelson in his Omaha district office, and everything changed. With a newfound love for politics and advocacy, Jenny interned on Capitol Hill every summer during college. She moved to D.C. after graduation, eventually working as a staff assistant and then legislative correspondent in the office of Senator Chuck Grassley. Jenny left for a role at Holland & Knight as a legislative assistant where she closely monitored issues like criminal justice reform, cyber-security, transportation, and housing.
Jenny is now a Manager of Government Relations at ML Strategies and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Congressional and Presidential Studies at the Catholic University of America. “This program is the perfect mix of academics and real world application,” Jenny said. She is proud to be a Bryce Harlow Fellow and feels a kinship of sorts with the late Mr. Harlow. “Bryce Harlow’s story resonates with me because neither of us thought we would end up in D.C. He left behind a legacy of high standards and ethics I hope to emulate throughout my career.”
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.
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.”