Oval Office Interns

2014 Oval Office Interns

Siri Uotila, MPP/MBA ‘16
Mayor of Boston, Office of Women's Advancement

Siri Uotila is interning in the Mayor of Boston’s newly formed Office of Women’s Advancement this summer. The Office works on various issues concerning women in Boston, including projects and public policy initiatives that affect women’s equal participation, economic security, family commitments, health, and safety. It also coordinates closely with the affiliated Boston Women’s Commission, whose mission is to provide advocacy and promote educational programs and opportunities for women and girls to experience a full range of life options. Siri will contribute to ongoing projects and programs at the Office of Women’s Advancement. She will also manage a new project to diagnose the status of women in Boston in terms of demographics, economic and social participation, and the challenges women face in their daily lives. The end goal is to provide informative, actionable data on the status of women in Boston that can be used as the basis for future advocacy, policies, and programs. 

Mariana Barrera, GSD ‘14
Red de Acción Política | Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mariana Barrera will spend her summer working with Red de Acción Política (RAP) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. RAP is a pluralist, non-partisan foundation intended to increase engagement and consolidation of political leaders in Argentina based on a Republican spirit, with a desire to strengthen its democratic institutions and group of common values, principles, and personal codes of conduct. Joining the Education Team, Mariana will contribute to drafting a bill proposing the creation of a National Institute for Education Quality and Equity Assessment. She will be responsible for coordinating a group composed of 5 congressmen from different political parties that will be working to define the key elements that should be taken into account in setting up the Assessment Institute, and will be drafting with them a proposed bill for its creation.

Diana Zamora, MPA/ID ‘14
Office of the Governor of Antioquia | Medellin, Columbia

Diana will be working in Antioquia, the second largest state in Colombia, where she will be sharing the results of her Second Year Policy Analysis on how to improve education outcomes in the state. During the past year, Diana has analyzed the education system of Antioquia and has identified policy options that can be used to leverage the current efforts made by the state to improve student achievement. Diana will be advising Governor Sergio Fajardo, who has been internationally recognized for his efforts to transform the city of Medellín, and who has led a citizen movement which places education at the center of government efforts (for instance, by devoting half of the state budget to it). This will be a great opportunity for Diana to better understand and learn how to leverage political willingness and diverse actors interested in positive change along with the use of evidence and data analysis to improve education quality in the Latin American context.

2013 Oval Office Interns

Elisa de Anda Madrazo, MPA ‘14
Legorreta Hernandez Organization | Yucatán, Mexico

Elisa worked the summer of 2013 in her home country, Mexico, developing a public policy program to encourage community building in the state of Yucatán. Together with the Legorreta Hernandez Foundation, a recognized NGO in the region, Elisa helped to take the first steps to develop the program by conducting policy research on the field. The objective was to help local communities develop channels of social coordination and participation that empower them to position their own agenda. After the summer, during her last year at the Kennedy School, Elisa used her experience to build a model project that could be replicated in other regions of Mexico. The opportunity to design a policy project from the bottom-up was an invaluable grass-root experience in her path to seek office.

Cindy Dinh, MPP 2016 & UC Berkley JD ‘16
Rogene Calvert for Houston City Council Campaign | Houston, TX

After participating in the Women and Public Policy Program’s From Harvard Square to the Oval Office, Cindy Dinh got her first dose of a running a local political campaign as an aide to the campaign manager for the Rogene Gee Calvert for Houston City Council, At-Large Position 3 campaign. She returned to her hometown of Houston, Texas to learn the ins-and-outs of campaign messaging and target marketing, voter records, and campaign fundraising, all while supporting a viable female candidate in an open-seat race. While in high school, Ms. Dinh worked with Ms. Calvert on the City of Houston Mayor’s Youth Council, when Ms. Calvert oversaw the program as Director of Volunteer Initiatives Program. Since then, Ms. Calvert has been her mentor, fellow board member on a local non-profit, and has supported Ms. Dinh for numerous applications including admission to the Harvard Kennedy School.

Anne Kim, SM2, Harvard School of Public Health ‘13
Office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa | Los Angeles, CA

Anne Y. Kim served as an Oval Office Fellow in the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles. This opportunity allowed her to observe the political landscape of Los Angeles and further the conversation and actions to change the leadership towards greater inclusion of women in the cadre of public leaders, especially the mayorship, from which women have been traditionally excluded. This opportunity was a step towards Anne’s goal of becoming a future woman mayor of Los Angeles and governor of California.

Lidija Levkovska, MC/MPA ‘13
Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia | Skopje, Macedonia

Lidija Levkovska spent the summer at the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, working with the Office of Member of Parliament for the elected representative for the diaspora from North and South America. Macedonia witnessed historical parliamentary elections in 2011 when for the first time it addressed the interests and needs of the diaspora and provided them an opportunity to elect diaspora representatives in the Macedonian National Assembly. During her time at the Parliament, Lidija focused on the pivotal but underutilized role of the diaspora and worked on developing strategies and policies to forge a stronger link between the constituents living abroad and their respective country of origin. Additionally, she researched national legislation, as well as engaged in inter-agency and inter-governmental strategic planning sessions in order to achieve first-hand experience of the parliamentary process at the state legislative and oversight level, and leverage the networks to address the needs of the diaspora in North America.

Michelle Monsegur, MPP ‘14
Office of Massachusetts State Representative Marjorie Decker | Boston, MA

Michelle worked for Massachusetts State Representative Marjorie Decker at the State House in Boston.  Rep. Decker is an Oval Office graduate and an HKS alumna.  She served as a member of the Cambridge City Council for 13 years and was elected as a State Representative in the fall of 2012.  She sits on the Joint Committees on Financial Services, Health Care Financing, and Housing and has a strong record working for social justice for Cambridge residents.  Michelle assisted Rep. Decker by attending hearings, researching draft legislation, preparing briefing materials, drafting press statements, and organizing events.  She delved deeply into state issues, building a network of political contacts, and helping Rep. Decker promote policies that created a stronger Commonwealth.  Michelle learned how Rep. Decker navigates the State House and engages with constituents, which helped Michelle build the skills she needs to launch her own political career in the future. 

2012 Oval Office Interns

Juliet Asante, MC/MPA ‘12
Office of MP Mathew Prempeh | Ghana

The start of Juliet Asante’s journey into the political arena was to observe, study, and interact with the political system in which she intends to run for office. Dr. Mathew Prempeh is the head of elections of the largest opposition party in Ghana, the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He is also the parliamentarian for the Manshia area in the Asante region of Ghana. She interned with his office as a way to study the electoral process and its dynamics, as well as the demands and world of a parliamentary candidate in a terrain like Ghana. She also used the time to help collect data that was used by the NPP to support their strategy for the elections. Finally, with a rich knowledge gathered from the Oval Office Program with the WPPP and other courses like ‘the making of a politician’ by Steve Jading, Juliet offered her advice on strategy for the elections to the office of Dr. Prempeh.

Cynthia Thaler, MPP ‘13
New York City Council

Cynthia interned in the Office of New York City Council Member Leroy Comrie, who represents several neighborhoods in Southeast Queens. The Councilman is the Deputy Majority Leader of the Council, President of the Queens Delegation, Chair of the Land Use Committee, and a member of several other committees. As such, Councilman Comrie has demonstrated strong leadership on the Council, and Cynthia learned from his wisdom and experience. She worked primarily in the Councilman’s Legislative Office. Cynthia learned about the legislative process in New York City by attending committee hearings and relevant meetings and events. She also had the opportunity to play a prominent role in creating the Councilman’s legislative plan of action for the year. In addition, the Director of Legislative and Budget Affairs asked Cynthia to serve as the lead on one of the policy reports the office published during the summer. This specific report detailed the “state of southeast Queens” along several different parameters including housing, economic development, and transportation. Cynthia also had an opportunity to spend approximately one day each week in the Councilman’s District Office. At the local office, she had the opportunity to participate in constituent work, including case intake and liaising with city and state agencies. She gained a holistic understanding of the work of a Council Member.

Michelle Wu, JD ‘12
Dewey Square Group, supporting DSG’s work with their client the Elizabeth Warren Campaign

Michelle worked with DSG to support their work on the U.S. Senate campaign of Wu’s former professor and Dewey Square Group client, Elizabeth Warren.  As a member of the Field Organizing team for DSG, Michelle organized voters in Boston, using the traditional tools of phone banking, voter identification, house parties, and strong GOTV efforts, as well as conducted effective outreach—and where necessary, voter education and voter registration—with considerations around translation for non-English language speakers, message tailoring, and reaching local/ethnic media outlets.  Michelle enjoyed engaging Boston communities to increase voter turnout in key wards and precincts to elect Elizabeth Warren as a U.S. Senator for Massachusetts, and also helping these communities participate and develop relationships with the existing political structures that continued on even beyond the Senate campaign.

2011 Oval Office Interns

Jeanette Acosta, MPP ’12
White House Domestic Policy Council, DC

Jeanette Acosta worked with the White House’s Domestic Policy Council in Washington, D.C. The Domestic Policy Council (DPC) coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House and offers advice to the President. The DPC also supervises the execution of domestic policy and represents the President’s priorities to Congress. Under the Immigration Policy team, Jeanette focused on developing strategies and policies to carry out President Obama’s commitment to reforming the nation’s flawed immigration system. Her team also focused on reforming the U.S. detention system and promoting immigrant integration. Alongside Senior Immigration Policy Advisor and Harvard Kennedy School alumna Felicia Escobar, Jeanette researched federal and state legislation as well as engaged in inter-agency and inter-governmental strategic planning sessions in order to achieve these objectives.

Mallika Ahluwalia, MBA/MPP ’11
Congress Party/Indian Youth Congress | India

Mallika Ahluwalia worked on a state election campaign in India, her home country. Given that campaigns and elections remain the heart of a democratic system, this experience gave her a lot of insight into the political space in India. She interned on the state elections for the largest state in India, Uttar Pradesh. Because India is a party-dominated electoral system, she was excited about witnessing and contributing to the electoral campaign strategy for a large national political party. She contributed to the analytical and communications sides of the campaign work. Mallika also worked on leadership initiatives to increase the training available to future electoral candidates.

Emma Fenelon, LLM ’11
Senator David Norris for President | Ireland

Emma Fenelon worked for Senator David Norris in his campaign for the Irish Presidency at the main Presidential Campaign office in Dublin, Ireland. She helped in the preparation for the election by working on planning, polling, communications, fundraising and canvassing. Emma participated in every aspect of a national political campaign, in both the bid for the nomination itself and on the campaign trail. As Irish presidential campaigns usually occur only once every 7 years, Emma’s internship provided a unique opportunity to gain insight on a national campaign.

Alexandra Goujon, MPA ’12
Kirsten Gillibrand Senatorial Campaign 2012 | New York City, NY

Alexandra Goujon worked as an Intern Fellow on the senatorial campaign of U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-NY) for her reelection in 2012 in the State of New York. Alexandra’s objective was to experience as much as possible of a professional, fast-paced campaign. Her diverse tasks included work within the 5 main departments of the NY office. In field, Alexandra assisted the staff with the preparation of all field activities and events the Senator attended. In finance, she supported the finance staff with fundraising activities and donor communication. Alexandra worked with the research department and the media department by watching media coverage of the Senator, drafting letters to be read at events, drafting scripts for videos for the Senator's recording, and helping create packages for Democratic booths across the state. She also aided the political department by assisting with some local races that the Senator supported as well as tracking and watching all city-wide and state-wide political events. Apart from these very diverse responsibilities based on the day-to-day needs of the Senator and the campaign, Alexandra was in charge of a longer-term project which materialized into a report that was given to the campaign and presented to the Senator.

September Hargrove, MPP/UP '11
Office of the Mayor of New Orleans | New Orleans, LA

September Hargrove interned with the New Orleans Mayor’s Office. She worked directly with Aimee Quirk, Advisor to the Mayor on Economic Development, and Norman Roussell, Director of Supplier Diversity, implementing the recommendations from her Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE) to increase the number of women- and minority-owned business awarded city contracts. Specifically, September assisted in the development of policies and procedures to build the capacity of the Office of Supplier Diversity and coordinate a citywide forum under the theme of the role of women in re-building New Orleans to identify opportunities for women-owned businesses in city contracting.

Laura Merritt, MBA/MPP ’13
White House Domestic Policy Council | Washington, DC

Laura Merritt was selected to serve as a White House Intern in the Office of the Domestic Policy Council (DPC). As an intern, she coordinated with DPC agencies. The DPC includes all domestic policy areas, such as healthcare, immigration, education, and criminal justice. Laura acted as an aide in overseeing the development and implementation of President Obama’s domestic policy agenda. Beyond a more traditional internship experience, the White House provided interns with a speakers series, weekly events, a summer-long service project, and leadership training activities.

Varina Winder, MPP ’11
Planned Parenthood Action Fund | Washington, DC

Varina Winder worked in the Washington, D.C. office of Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF). PPAF is the nonpartisan advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund “engages in educational and electoral activity, including legislative advocacy, voter education, and grassroots organizing to promote the Planned Parenthood mission.” Varina helped PPAF capitalize on the efforts from their campaign, “Stand with Planned Parenthood: Protect Women’s Access to Health Care,” and build ground for future campaigns to ensure low-income women have continued access to reproductive and general health care. She also worked with their international advocacy department on ensuring continued funding for global reproductive health care and family planning.

Misty Wright, JD ’11
Office of U.S. Senator Al Franken/Senate Judiciary Committee | Washington, DC

Misty Wright, a Harvard Law School graduate, worked with the Senate Judiciary Committee in the office of Senator Al Franken as a law clerk. Some of her responsibilities included: writing hearing memos, questions, and statements on nominations, cybersecurity, immigration, and other topics; briefing the Senator and staffing him at hearings and markups; composing letters on behalf of the Senator, including one to President Obama; helping introduce an internet privacy bill; attending various briefings; and monitoring SCOTUS and Senate floor activity. For her WAPPP internship, Misty wrote, after the conclusion of her summer clerkship, a reflection paper on her experiences in Washington, D.C., focusing on certain key issue areas.

2010 Oval Office Interns

Molly Byrne, MPP ’10

Campaign for Candidate for Governor of Florida, Alex Sink

Molly spent the summer as an Outreach Coordinator for the Alex Sink for Governor Campaign in Florida. Alex Sink was the state’s elected Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and was running to become Florida’s first female governor. As an Outreach Coordinator, Molly was responsible for helping to recruit, train, and mobilize volunteers across the state. She developed and sustained relationships with grassroots volunteers and engaged supporters of Alex Sink. Molly spent a good part of her childhood in northeastern Florida, where she currently has family. She was delighted to work for a female candidate dedicated to making a difference in the state and who will serve as a role model for her future work in public service.

Manisha Dookhony, MC/MPA ’10

MA State Representative Linda Dorcena Forry (MA D-12)

Manisha spent her summer interning with Massachusetts State Legislator Linda Dorcena Forry (MA D-12). Representative Linda Dorcena Forry is one of two Haitian American representatives at the state-level for Massachusetts. She also chairs the state committee for small businesses. Manisha contributed to legislation that was being debated. She also assisted with a report on small business development that was launched in the fall. Manisha helped with development in the Haitian American community, as well as coordinating with the relief funding and assistance being distributed to Haiti.

Kate Glynn, MPP ’11

White House Intern, Office of the Vice President

Kate was selected to be a White House intern. She worked for the Office of the Vice President, which consists of personal staffers as well as policy advisors, and is akin to a miniature White House Staff that operates semiautonomously within the Executive Branch. This internship provided insight into life inside the beltway, as well as valuable professional experience. Kate was particularly excited to get a glimpse into the inner workings of the federal government.

Mallika Kaur, JD/MPP ’10

Office of the Mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsom

Mallika was in the Office of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. She specifically worked with the Mayor’s Public Safety Advisor focusing on issues of community-police relations. Combining her law and policy training, Mallika is deeply interested in the intersections of issues of race, gender, and security, at the local, national, and international levels. In the Mayor’s office, she had the opportunity to work at the city level on perceptions of policing and security in different minority communities. She was also involved with the Community Justice Center, inaugurated under Mayor Newsom’s purview last year, which combines social services, including drug treatment, medical care, employment assistance, as well as education services, to achieve restorative justice.

Jane Lee, MBA/MPA ’12 

Campaign for Candidate for Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson

Jane spent her summer working for Jocelyn Benson, candidate for Michigan Secretary of State. Jane researched emerging election reform policies throughout the nation and within the state, and her research helped to inform Ms. Benson’s platform. She also traveled throughout the state and visited various Secretary of State’s offices to analyze constituent access and convenience to state services, including issuing vehicle registrations, licensing automobile drivers, and regulating notaries public. Jane gained firsthand experience of the rigors of the campaign trail by accompanying Ms. Benson to various gatherings and meetings and addressing constituent concerns.

Katya Melkote, MPP ’10


Katya Melkote spent the summer of 2010 working in New York City with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). She researched and analyzed data on women and adolescents in the areas of reproductive health, protection, and education. Her findings will serve as the basis for future UNICEF publications and programming. These findings will also be important to legislators and public leaders worldwide who will use this data to assess the status of women and children in their countries in order to formulate policy decisions, programming, and public opinion.

Devin Romanul, MPP ’11

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC)

In the summer of 2010, Devin served as a legislative fellow at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a quasi-public agency geared towards the expansion of the renewable energy industry. Primarily, he explored various governmental options for intervention to promote growth in this area. Researching regulations and statutes in many other states across the country, he contributed to the development of wind siting and solar thermal programs right here in Massachusetts. With the approval of Cape Wind, Devin also worked on the state purchase of a barge that is specially designed for offshore wind projects.

Christina Sanchez, MPP ’10

Los Angeles Deputy Mayor of Education, Joan Sullivan

Christina worked under the guidance and supervision of Joan Sullivan, Los Angeles Deputy Mayor of Education. She worked on a broad range of issues, with a particular focus on school turnaround models, state education legislation, and parent engagement strategies. She was responsible for working with the office's partners and her research on turnaround models will be used by the Mayor's Partnership for Los Angeles Schools as it codifies its own turnaround approach. Ultimately, Christina wants to use the skills that she gained as a teacher, a summer intern, and an Oval Office training participant to contribute to the raising of student achievement in her home city's highest need schools. 

Mayra C. Suárez, JD/MPP ’12

U.S. House of Representatives, Resident Commissioner Pedro R. Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico)

Mayra worked in the Washington, DC office of Resident Commissioner Pedro R. Pierluisi, the sole representative in Congress of the four million Americans residing on the island of Puerto Rico. She conducted research on public policy issues of significant importance to the island’s future, such as its political status and economic development. She helped draft bills for introduction by the Congressman, and aid in constituent services. Working in the House of Representatives allowed Mayra to become better acquainted with the chamber’s procedures and culture, while learning how to garner support for initiatives or bills from other Congressmen and Senators and gaining insight about the Committee on the Judiciary, where Resident Commissioner Pierluisi is Vice-Chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

2009 Oval Office Interns

Rahma Adam, MPP '09

Young Women Leadership Training

Rahma spent the summer of 2009 in Tanzania conducting leadership training workshops for young women enrolled at universities across the country. She worked to help empower young women to promote their future participation in elective politics. Rahma supported and promoted leadership capacity among young girls between the ages of 15-22 who showed an interest and potential for future political leadership activities. To introduce these young girls to the political systems and specifically the operations and opportunities for women in political parties, Rahma conducted several workshops at different schools and universities in Dar-es-Salaam and other parts of Tanzania. She trained the students on the following aspects of leadership: public speaking, debating, advocacy and lobbying. In addition, the workshops included a mentorship component, whereby activists and gender experts interacted with and motivated the young women to become leaders.

Elizabeth A. Côté, MD/MPA '09

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)

This past summer, Elizabeth worked in the State Offices of U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). She studied and compared constituent services and human resource management in the State Senatorial Offices. Working closely with the Senators' State Directors, Elizabeth traveled with them across Maine meeting with constituents and addressing their concerns. She also contributed to state operations by preparing a new State Office Personnel Handbook which included state job descriptions and ethics policies.

Aranzasú De La O, MPP '09

Women's Center of Los Angeles

Aranzasú spent her internship working with the Women’s Center of Los Angeles (WCLA). The WCLA is a community organization that works with other organizations in the Los Angeles area such as the Department of Cultural Affairs; Recreation & Parks; City Libraries; and the Commission for Children, Youth & Families. Aranzasú coordinated the creation of a website for the WCLA and worked with its board of directors to determine the website’s content. This also consisted of an analysis of the impact of current arts policies to display on the website. Since the WCLA is a new organization which needs assistance with program implementation, Aranzasú had the opportunity to research evaluation tools and coordinate outreach to volunteers and program sites. She also assisted with fundraising, including researching potential foundation and government funding. 

Sheila B. Lalwani, MPP '09

U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts)
Blog (password required)

During the summer of 2009, Sheila worked in the Office of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) on a range of issues, including immigration and policy work. She was responsible for working with constituents, helping formulate policy and assisting in research. Sheila focused on managing constituent relations and mobilizing the press. The majority of her work resided in the Boston office, but she also had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. Ultimately, Sheila wants to use the skills that she learned through the Oval Office training program to prepare herself for a career in politics and policy.

Margaux McDonald, MPA/MTS '08

Martha Hall Findlay, Member of Parliament, Canada

Margaux spent her summer working with Martha Hall Findlay, Member of Parliament in Canada. Hall Findlay is currently the Official Opposition Critic for both Public Works and Government Services, and the Treasury Board. Margaux worked with Findlay's team of policy advisors in her Ottawa office researching and writing policy positions that related to Martha’s opposition role and committee membership; assisted with the writing and production of constituent-directed mailings with information on Martha’s policy positions; and compiled and wrote a humorous yet insightful publication on “the day in the life of a female Member of Parliament.” She also drafted correspondence relating to constituent inquiries on various issues and collaborated with staff on various projects, policy and community outreach. Margaux’s internship provided her with a rich learning environment related to her policy interests and political aspirations.

2008 Oval Office Interns

Aranzasu De La O, MPP '09

Maria Leon Vazquez for School Board and Margaret Quinones for Santa Monica College Board of Trustees Campaigns

Aranzasu spent the summer working on two campaigns in Santa Monica, CA - Maria Leon Vazquez's campaign for school board and Margaret Quinones' campaign for Santa Monica College's Board of Trustees. In addition to the two campaigns, Aranzasu worked with School Board Member, Oscar de la Torre starting an education coalition that included Latina/o parents, who are organized around special education issues. They also created a Latino Political Action Network composed of Latina/o teachers, administrators and education. Their goal was to organize a major progressive advocacy group to assist with quality of life issues, workers rights, education, etc. in Santa Monica, CA.

Adia Hoag, EdM '08

Obama for America

Adia worked with the national presidential campaign for Senator Barack Obama, Obama for America. She applied for the Obama Organizing Fellows program. In June, Adia was assigned to Jacksonville, FL where she spent six weeks obtaining real world organizing experience that had a concrete impact on this election. As a Fellow, Adia was trained on the basics of organizing and campaign fundamentals: managing databases, fundraising money, getting out the vote, educating the public on the issues and campaigning door-to-door. In Jacksonville, Adia carried out grassroots organizing activities such as training door-to-door campaign volunteers, holding informational meetings and phone banking on behalf of the campaign. Adia received valuable experience participating in training on field organizing, messaging and other activities for the Obama campaign. The Obama Organizing Fellowship was designed not just to help win the presidential election, but to strengthen our democracy by training dedicated volunteers in communities across the country. Adia participated in an intensive and rewarding training program focused on the basic organizing principles at the heart of Barack Obama’s campaign.

Moushumi Khan, MC/MPA '08

Obama for America

Moushumi spent the summer working on Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign, Obama for America, in Ann Arbor, MI, specifically in the Crown Fellowship Program. She worked in the field office and conducted voter outreach campaigns, particularly to the Muslim/Arab community.

Katherine Randall, MPP '08

Healthcare Policy Examination

Katherine used the opportunity of her Oval Office summer internship to develop her views on healthcare. As in the US, healthcare is an issue of critical importance to voters in the UK, albeit for different reasons. Katherine interviewed experts on healthcare - academics, politicians and policy-makers - in the US, Canada, France and the UK in order to gain a deeper understanding of this crucial policy issue. In Fall 2009, Katherine took a post working for Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Strategy Unit on issues of healthcare.

2007 Oval Office Interns

Amelia Showalter, MPP '08

EMILY's List, Washington DC

Amelia interned at EMILY’s List, an organization that supports pro-choice Democratic women running for congress and governor. In addition to GOTV efforts and phone banking, Amelia conducted candidate research.

2006 Oval Office Interns

Mamie Marcuss, MPP '07

Political Assistant to the State Director of U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts)

Mamie worked directly with Senator Kerry's State Director to build and foster the Senator's political relationships within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Specifically, she planed and attended meetings and events with key political contacts in the state, primarily state and local legislators. Additionally, she managed an effort to enhance the Senator's communications with his Massachusetts constituents by harnessing emerging technologies, such as pod casts and blogs. The internship helped Mamie further her goal of running for elected office. First, it enabled her to develop a better understanding of politics, complementing my past experience in the policy arena. Second, it offered her a chance to build a political network in the state, one which will prove invaluable in any future race. Finally, it gave her an on the ground appreciation for the day-to-day life of a U.S. legislator-an office she hopes to one day hold. 

Sarah Rasmussen, MPP '07

Research & Communications Intern, America Votes/Minnesota

Sarah worked as a research/communications intern with the organization America Votes/Minnesota. America Votes is a new, historic coalition of dozens of progressive political organizations working to educate and engage voters on issues like the environment, the economy, and a woman's right to choose. American Votes also developed electoral strategies and shift resources to ensure that on-the-ground political efforts are smart, efficient and effective. As an intern in the research and communications department, Sarah conducted issue-based research, write organizational press materials, and help develop issue-based messages.

Katie Selenski, MPP '07

State Assemblymember Dave Jones, Sacramento, CA

Katie returned to California to work for State Assemblymember Dave Jones, who represents her hometown of Sacramento. Working on legislative projects in Jones’ capital office was a tremendous opportunity for Katie, whose experience is in nonprofit and advocacy organizations, to learn about the inside of the legislative process, develop new political skills, and observe the daily life of an elected official. Katie is committed to achieving real solutions to the problems facing Sacramento residents and she continually seeks to discover more about the city. She was eager to learn from Assemblymember Jones, who also had a record of distinguished service in the Sacramento City Council and as a legal aid attorney in the city, about how he has accomplished such success and about the challenges and opportunities of serving in public office. Katie hopes to use the lessons she learned to develop strategies for achieving progress for Sacramento.




Blog Disclaimer: The information contained in the blogs of the Oval Office Interns does not represent the views, intentions, or strategies of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. The information is solely the personal opinion of the blog author. The Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard University may not be held responsible for any content included in the personal blogs, nor are they responsible for how the student develops blog material beyond the scope of his or her Oval Office Internship.

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Margaux McDonald, Cohort 2009




Adia Hoag registering voters in Florida during her 2008 Oval Office internship with Obama for America.

“This summer, I learned a lot about myself, politics and how to run an effective campaign. The Oval Office trainings, lectures and intimate luncheons with incredible female leaders from around the country and the world, lead me to get involved in Obama for President 2008 campaign in Florida and Representative Carol Shea-Porter’s re-election campaign in New Hampshire.”
-Adia Hoag