WeLead Alumni Spotlight
Joanne Antoine, Executive Director,
Common Cause Maryland
"One WeLead speaker confirmed my instincts to focus on local elections, which have the greatest impact on everyday lives."
D'Shawna Bernard, Director of Political Partners, HUSTLE
Bernard's passion for public service has allowed her to work across a range of issues within the public and private sector, all of which have been rooted in equity, accessibility and justice.
Tonia Bui, Communications Specialist, Montgomery County Public Schools
"The WeLead program truly is a space of women who empower other women. Despite our different career paths, we shared the common goal of promoting women's leadership."
Kate Raulin Carney, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, TIAA
"I enjoyed spending time with a group of smart, passionate, bipartisan women and seeing how everyone interacted with the legislative/government system in different ways."
Keesha Ceran, Associate Director, Teaching for Change
"The most valuable thing I learned from WeLead is that although others may count me out, I should be the first one to champion myself and count me in!"
Erin Daly Wilson, Communications Director & Policy Advisor, Texas Senate
"One of my WeLead mentors connected me to a campaign and I used another connection to place a staffer in an internship on the Hill. Staying in touch with people takes effort, but it always pays off."
Jessica Davis, Director of Federal Affairs, Emory University
"WeLead taught me the importance of bringing together all the different parts of a problem to come to a solution that is best for multiple stakeholders."
Erika Dyer, Account Supervisor, Curley Company
“WeLead is a unique experience because it brings together a bipartisan group of ladies who are just beginning their career. It was refreshing to learn that many of us shared the same experiences and had a lot in common."
Rachael Estes, Government and Regulatory Affairs Manager, Apex Clean Energy
"I really enjoyed learning the nuts and bolts of running a campaign. It was also inspiring to be in the company of driven, talented and politically-minded young women."
Courtney Federico, Independent Expenditures Political Desk, DCCC
“Take advantage of every opportunity. You worked hard to have this experience, so be thoughtful and strategic about what you want to gain from WeLead, and get after it!”
Ashley Fox, Deputy Chief of Staff, DC City Council
"I appreciate WeLead providing a bipartisan space even more as an alumna, and I credit the program with some of my strongest friendships in DC."
Frances Garcia Davis, Workforce Management Specialist, NIH
"It was great to see accomplished female leaders take the time to mentor and inspire a younger generation of women to follow in their footsteps." Read More
Toni Gingerelli, Chief of Staff, Office of New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal
"We were able to have open dialogue about the challenges we face, the best ways to support each other, and systemic changes that can increase women's representation."
Zandria Haines, Vice President, SBDigital
“The most valuable takeaway for me was learning about the impact that women on both sides of the aisle were having in DC and beyond."
Audrey Henson, Founder, College to Congress
“WeLead took me out of my bubble and showed me that women on opposite sides of the aisle could not only be friends, but we could achieve common goals.”
Aly Higgins Wheeler, Founder, Wheelerhouse, LLC
"While I love a good plan, the most growth I've seen in my career has been when I deviated from 'the plan' and jumped at a new challenge."
Keren Johnson, Founder and Principal Consultant, The Everstone Group
"WeLead allowed me to find my voice. I became confident and learned that what I had to say added value in every setting. WeLead and the trainers in the program changed my career trajectory by empowering me to speak up."
Ellen Kamei, Mayor, Mountain View, California
On leading during the double threat in 2020 of COVID and wildfires, Kamei said that “government can move quickly during a crisis” and gave an example of the City Council passing a rental relief bill in her town in just 10 days.
Zainab Mohsini, Legal Coordinator, National Abortion Federation
"To achieve a better society, we need leaders who will bring about progressive changes by fighting for bold solutions to our complex problems."
Elizabeth “Liz” Murphy, National Policy Director, Sandy Hook Promise
"WeLead opened my eyes to the multitude of ways I could lead in the political/policy world – including, but not limited to, running for office."
Rachel Nitsche Mairella, Financial Clerk, U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
"Take that leap, and apply to WeLead. If selected, you will have one of hte most valualbe experiences of your professional life."
Laura Ransone, Associate Director, Women in Government Relations
"WeLead does an amazing job bringing together a diverse group of talented and driven women. I can't wait to see a woman from my class running for office."
Carla Reed, Director of Human Resources, The Raben Group
“I really enjoyed the professional development sessions. As an HR professional, I valued having the opportunity to practice presentation and communication skills during mock interviews with women who were well established in their careers."
Beth Roberts, Senior Program Officer, Finance, Investment and Trade at Millennium Challenge Corporation
"I learned so much from simply interacting with WeLead colleagues, sharing stories and exploring new possibilities. At an early stage of my career, this was invaluable."
Carissa Smith, Sr. Advisor for Office of Public Engagement, Biden White House
"WeLead was such a transformative and insightful curriculum. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and learning from the best of the best in politics. I walked away with a rolodex of contacts in the field of government relations and politics."
Tria Stallings, Office of Communications & Outreach,
U.S. Department of Education
"Regardless of their political party or ideals, your WeLead cohort will become life-long friends. Remember, you are stronger together!"
Nicole Tardif, Director of Communications,
Americans for Prosperity Action
"I made a dramatic career shift from Capitol Hill to campaign communications during WeLead. I would have never taken that leap without the advice of panelists and fellow participants in the program."
Lauren Underwood, U.S. House of Representatives (IL-14)
Underwood was elected to Congress in 2018 to represent her hometown, Naperville, IL. Underwood credits WeLead with "providing me with the tools, leadership training, and confidence to run for office."
Alexandra Weinroth, Communications Director & Speechwriter, U.S. House of Representatives
"I recently got a call asking me to manage the campaigns of two women running for local office in my hometown. Thanks to my recent participation in WeLead, I had the confidence, training, and support network to say 'yes!'
Patrice Winston, Corporate Communications, Capital One
"WeLead taught me how to ask for what I want and how to be strong in who I am."
Phylicia Woods, Executive Director, Cancer Policy Institute at the Cancer Support Community
"There's nothing like having a strong group of women to inspire, support, and motivate you to be your extraordinary self."
Meron Yohannes, Policy Advisor,
U.S. Department of Commerce
"I bonded with my classmates
and the speakers over the shared challenges and worries that women feel about running for office."