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Two Harvard Kennedy School alumni have been named White House Fellows. Anne O'Connell MPA/ID 2012 and Missy Ryan MPP 2005 are among the Class of 2012-13 as announced earlier this month by the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.
Anne O’Connell is a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Coast Guard who has commanded four Coast Guard ships, including one in the Middle East conducting international security missions as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Most recently, she commanded a ship in the Caribbean responsible for regional security priorities including counter-narcotic, anti-human trafficking, and other operations.
O'Connell's military decorations include four Coast Guard Commendation medals, the Iraqi Campaign medal and multiple unit awards.
Ryan is a journalist who has been posted in the Middle East and Latin America. Prior to beginning the fellowship, Missy wrote about U.S. policy on Afghanistan/Pakistan and military affairs for Thomson Reuters, receiving along with two colleagues a 2012 New York Press Club award for political coverage.
Ryan's experience includes a 20 month post in Baghdad, where she served as correspondent and deputy bureau chief for Reuters. She also served as Reuters’ acting bureau chief for Mexico and Central America. She has also reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Lebanon and Libya, including covering the final days of the Gaddafi regime in 2011.
The White House Fellows Program was created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to give promising American leaders “first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government, and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs.” Selection as a White House Fellow is considered highly competitive and is "based on a record of professional achievement, evidence of leadership potential, and a proven commitment to public service."