Alumnae in Office

The Oval Office program prepares students to run for office. Below is a listing of program gradautes who have gone on to win campaigns and serve in elected office.


State Representative Stefani Carter

Representative Stefani Carter, Harvard Kennedy School ’05 and Oval Office '05, serves as a member in the Texas House of Representatives from District 102. Elected in 2010, Representative Carter is the first Republican African-American woman to serve in the Texas House.

Representative Carter spent her childhood in Dallas, growing up in a large family. After graduating from high school, Representative Carter became a Longhorn attending the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Journalism. Carter then went on to graduate from Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Upon receiving her degree, Representative Carter returned to Dallas and served Collin County as an assistant district attorney.

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State Representative Marjorie Decker

Representative Majorie Decker, Harvard Kennedy School ’05 and Oval Office '05, serves as a member in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 25th Middlesex District. Prior to this election, she had served 13-years on the Cambridge City Council.

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State Representative Lori Ehrlich

Representative Lori Ehrlich, Harvard Kennedy School ’05 and Oval Office '05, has served as a State Representative of the 8th Essex District of Massachusetts since March 2008.

Representative Ehrlich was an active member of the 2005 Oval Office cohort, while she earned her Mid-Career/Master in Public Administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School. Regarding her time in the Oval Office program, Lori said, “Phenomenal. More than even my coursework, the Oval Office program was like a well-stocked tool box I reached into daily for my campaign for State Representative.”

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State Representative Michelle Fay

Representative Michelle Fay, Harvard Kennedy School ’11 and Oval Office '11, was elected to serve as a State Representative of Caledonia-3 District (St. Johnsbury) Vermont in November 2012.

She grew up on a dairy farm in Shoreham, Vermont and graduated from the University of Vermont in 1993 with a degree in Sociology. In 2000, she began as a volunteer with Umbrella, a nonprofit resource and advocacy organization serving women and families in the Northeast Kingdom, becoming the Executive Director in 2001. She has lived in St. Johnsbury with her husband since 1997 and has two daughters.


City Councilmember Hilda Zacarías

Councilmember Hilda Zacarías, Harvard Kennedy School ’06 and Oval Office ’06, has served on the City Council in Santa Maria, California from 2006-2010. She was the third woman in Santa Maria’s history to win election to the City Council.

While earning her Mid-Career/Master in Public Administration degree at the Harvard Kennedy School, Councilmember Zacarías was a dedicated and charismatic member of Cohort 2006. After graduation, she returned to her home in California to begin her campaign. Her commitment to strengthening sustainable communities echoed in her campaign slogan: “Growing Smart. Growing Strong. Growing Together.” Her local newspaper, The Santa Maria Sun, called her “the new face of politics.” Councilmember Zacarías placed a close second in a six-way race for City Council. The top two candidates won seats on the council.

Regarding her experience in Oval Office, Councilmember Zacarías said, “The support was great and it was especially wonderful to go back a year later and meet so many of the new participants! Remember that our life of service is not limited to what is fact, doing the uncomfortable brings out the BEST in each us!”

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