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Five of this year's class of 15 White House Fellows are graduates of Harvard Kennedy School. Founded in 1964, the White House Fellows program offers young men and women first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government. The Fellows typically spend a year working as a full-time, paid Fellow to senior White House Staff, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials.
"We at the Kennedy School are very proud of our HKS alumni who have been accepted into this prestigious White House Fellows program. They join the many other members of the HKS community who are working in critical positions of influence – in the public, private and non-profit sectors in the U.S. and around the world,” said Paige Ennis MPA 2010, senior director of Alumni Relations.
The White House Fellows from Harvard Kennedy School are:
Elizabeth Coté MPA 2009 most recently served as a resident physician in Anesthesia at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She completed an internship in Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2010, she provided medical assistance to earthquake victims in Haiti and worked in a relief camp to deploy a mobile medical record system that tracked patients and prevented family separation. While in medical school, Elizabeth started a training program in Chennai that empowered orphanage caregivers to prevent and detect newborn disease. In 2004, she served in the Coalition Provisional Authority as a special assistant to the Iraqi Ministry of Health and volunteered at the main combat support hospital. Working at the OECD in Paris, she managed a study that compared health quality among 20 countries. As an AmeriCorps Fellow, Elizabeth established a program that linked enrollment in the school meals program with access to MassHealth. Raised in Bangor, Maine, Elizabeth earned a Foster Scholarship at Harvard Medical School (M.D. '09) and a Zuckerman Fellowship at the John F. Kennedy School Government at Harvard University (M.P.A. '09). She is a magna cum laude graduate of Wellesley College (B.A. '99). Placement: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Ziad Haider MPA/JD 2011 recently earned an M.P.A. and J.D. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Georgetown University. He previously served as a Foreign Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Chris Dodd and Professional Staff on the House Committee on Homeland Security. He previously served as a Research Analyst at the Henry L. Stimson Center developing conflict resolution measures in South Asia, a Fulbright Scholar in Malaysia working on Muslim women’s rights and studying Islamic law, and a Fellow at Human Rights Watch’s China Program and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, conducting field work on governance reforms in Pakistan’s tribal belt. He has also worked at leading international law firms in the United States, India, and Singapore. Haider is the author of The Ideological Struggle for Pakistan (Hoover Institution Press) and a foreign affairs columnist for The Sun (Malaysia). He is the Director of the Truman National Security Project’s Asia Expert Group and a member of the Groton School’s Alumni Committee. He received his B.A. with distinction in Political Science from Yale University. He is fluent in Urdu and proficient in Mandarin and French and has lived in Bahrain, China, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore. Placement: U.S. Department of Justice
Theodore Johnson HKSEE 2004 is a Lieutenant Commander and information warfare officer in the United States Navy. He most recently served on the faculty at the U.S. Naval War College where he was a cyberspace and information operations military professor. His thirteen years of commissioned service include numerous afloat deployments throughout Asia and the Middle East, cyberspace operations supporting major combat operations, and as aide-de-camp to the Director of the National Security Agency, Generals Keith Alexander, USA and Michael Hayden, USAF. In 2007, Ted deployed with Expeditionary Strike Group SEVEN in support of Operation Sea Angel II, the disaster relief response to Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh. In 2009, he conducted research in Africa, Asia, and South America that led to official U.S. Navy publications on theater security cooperation and in the historic U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings. His military decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service and Humanitarian Service medals. Theodore holds a Bachelor of Science from Hampton University and a Master of Liberal Arts with an International Relations concentration from Harvard University. Placement: U.S. Department of Energy
Jaron Wharton MPA 2009 is a Major in the United States Army. He most recently served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where he was a Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. In this capacity, he focused on Afghanistan and served as a liaison to the President’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. His military assignments include four combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. He graduated with honors from the United States Military Academy with a B.S. in International Relations and earned an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Jaron is also a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations. His military awards and decorations include three Bronze Star Medals (including one for valor), the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for supporting multiple projects for wounded warriors, the Ranger Tab and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Placement: United States Agency for International Development
Tony Woods MPP 2008 Tony Woods most recently served as the Director of ServiceNation’s “Service as a Strategy” initiative. In partnership with Mayor Bloomberg’s Cities of Service coalition, Tony managed a program that develops volunteer-driven solutions for American cities. Before joining ServiceNation, Tony campaigned in 2009 to represent California’s 10th congressional district in the US House of Representatives. Tony has also served as an aide to New York Governor David Paterson and as an officer in the US Army. While in the Army, he deployed twice to Iraq as a platoon leader and earned the Bronze Star for his service. Tony’s extensive community service activities include leading reconstruction trips to New Orleans and Haiti, bicycling across America to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, and mentoring low-income students through the college admissions process. Additionally, Tony has written op-eds for The Washington Post, Daily Beast, and Huffington Post. Tony received an M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School and a B.S. in Economics and American Politics from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Placement: U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Ziad Haider MPA/JD 2011
"We at the Kennedy School are very proud of our HKS alumni who have been accepted into this prestigious White House Fellows program. They join the many other members of the HKS community who are working in critical positions of influence – in the public, private and non-profit sectors in the U.S. and around the world,” said Paige Ennis, MPA 2010 senior director of Alumni Relations.
Tony Woods MPP 2008