Home » News » 15 Outstanding Alumni Begin A Year Of Professional And Academic Development as The 2015-2016 Public Policy Fellows

15 Outstanding Alumni Begin A Year Of Professional And Academic Development as The 2015-2016 Public Policy Fellows


The 2015 – 2016 Public Policy Fellows began their yearlong networking and leadership program with a fall retreat at TFAS headquarters on Sept. 19.

The 15 fellows gave presentations on their impressive backgrounds and accomplishments, and participated in workshops on professional development, ethics and leadership throughout the day. Molly Whalen from Leadership Outfitters led the professional development session, while Dr. Mike Collins of Georgetown University taught an engaging course on the importance of ethics in leadership.

The Public Policy Fellows program is a yearlong networking and education program to develop young leaders with a shared commitment to improving public policy. This year the fellows will develop strong connections with TFAS alumni, network with key leaders in public policy and journalism and participate in academic discussion sessions to enhance their professional development through skills-based workshops.

Introducing the 2015 – 2016 Public Policy Fellows:

Phil Applebaum (ICPES 12)Phil-A is an activism coordinator for the Institute for Justice (IJ). He travels the country, organizing activists and equipping them with the grassroots tools they need to be effective advocates for their rights. Applebaum has worked nationwide to eliminate burdensome regulations and restore property rights through activism trainings, public demonstrations and outreach to government officials. Before starting at IJ, Applebaum attended Tulane University in New Orleans where he received his Bachelor of Arts in economics and a Bachelor of Science in Management in business legal studies. He was an active member of the rowing team and created Tulane’s chapter of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Applebaum attended ICPES in 2012 where he interned at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.


Kirshana-DKrishana Davis (IPJ 11) came to the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks last year after working as a journalist for the Baltimore Sun Media Group and freelancing for several regional and local newspapers and magazines. As a digital media specialist, Davis spearheads the agency’s digital and online strategies, highlighting programming to best serve the needs of Baltimore residents. She wrote the agency’s inaugural social media engagement policy and is on the policy writing and implementation team for the their national accreditation process. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration concentrating in public policy at the University of Baltimore and received a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in print journalism from Morgan State University. She attended IPJ in 2010 and was a TFAS Journalism Fellow in 2014.


Morgan-EMorgan Eackles (IBGA 10) is a membership advisor within the strategic accounts division of The Advisory Board Company. Eackles partners with executives at the firm in being a strategic adviser to academic, public and private hospitals and health systems on issues encompassing profitable surgical growth, physician alignment, clinical integration, strategic planning, rapid margin recovery and workforce efficiency. Eackles was a specialist for a lobbying organization supporting one of the country’s largest privately held companies and served as a senior associate within the performance technologies branch of the Advisory Board Company, focusing on physician cost and quality metrics, care management workflow strategy and support for MSSP/ACOs. Eackles received her Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Tech, and now is completing her Master of Arts focused on healthcare policy at George Washington University.


DinaUpdatedDina El Sayed (IIPES 10) recently finished her Master of Arts in diplomacy and international relations at Seton Hall University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and international affairs from the Lebanese American University in 2012. As an undergrad, Sayed spent a year in Paris at SciencesPo and attended IIPES in Greece in 2010. Dina moved to D.C. in September 2014 to work for a small NGO in the human rights field and is currently pursuing her second degree in cyber security. As an undergraduate, Sayed interned with UNESCO Beirut Office preparing a report on youth policy in the MENA region. She was the leader of a research team responsible for collecting and tabulating data and preparing and editing final manuscripts. Her second research internship was with UMAM Research and Documentation Center in Beirut, researching cases about the Lebanese Military Tribunal.


Brittany-HBrittany Hackett (IPJ 07) 
 is a reporter and multimedia coordinator with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). In this role she provides support to NASFAA’s Policy and Federal Relations team as they advocate for federal policies that promote student access and success in higher education. She also contributes to NASFAA daily newsletter, Today’s News, and produces a higher education policy-related video series, “The Policy Brief.” Prior to joining NASFAA in October 2012, Hackett worked as a web producer for Politico Pro and a senior writer for the Advisory Board Company’s Women’s Heath Newsletter, covering health care policy. She is a 2007 IPJ alumna and participated in the 2011 TFAS Journalism Fellowship program.


Sean-HSean Heravi (ICPES 10) is an associate in the Business Intelligence group within Deloitte’s Financial Advisory practice. He has more than eight years of professional experience including open source intelligence analysis of terrorist networks, strategic assessments of defense operations and policies, qualitative research and security risk analysis with a specific focus on the Middle East and North Africa. Currently, Heravi conducts commercial due diligence investigations to assess supply chain risk for federal government clients, using multiple open source databases to analyze a wide range of risks relating to clients, partners and suppliers of government organizations. Heravi is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and was deployed twice to Guantanamo Bay with an anti-terrorism platoon. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Penn State, and is one semester away from completing his Master of Science in conflict resolution from George Mason University.


Thomas-KThomas Kraemer (IBGA 06) graduated with honors from Emory University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Business Administration concentrating in organization and management and finance. Through a scholarship provided by Emory’s Institute for Developing Nations, Kraemer conducted research on urban forms of microfinance at the University of Cape Town. After graduation, he was a research intern at the Heritage Foundation, working on the Index of Economic Freedom. Thomas also worked for the Federalist Society and completed the Koch Associate Program. He currently works for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom as manager of finance and administration. In this role, he focuses on enhancing organizational performance while ensuring smooth operations as well as management of overall finance and administrative matters.


Chris-MChris Maneval (ICPES 09) currently serves as the senior legislative assistant for Congressman J. Randy Forbes of Virginia. He has worked on Capitol Hill for the past four years and is responsible for a number of policy issue areas including healthcare, transportation, education, energy, budget and tax policy. Maneval is a 2009 graduate of ICPES and served as the ICPES program advisor in 2010. He received his undergraduate degree in political science with a minor in economics from West Virginia University.


LeeAnna-MLeeAnna Matarazzo (IEIA 14) works as the human resources coordinator for the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Matarazzo is an alumna of Elon University in North Carolina where she majored in religious studies and minored in Spanish and Middle East studies. While at Elon, she helped to support her university as a university guide where she was able to interact with prospective students and families. She also interned with the United States Department of State where she researched issues pertaining to religious freedom in the Middle East. As a 2014 graduate of IEIA, Matarazzo was able to explore Washington, D.C. and her passions during the various networking events and institute opportunities.


James-McCreadyJames McCready (AIPES 10) grew up outside of Buffalo, New York and attended AIPES in Prague in 2010. He studied international relations, history and adolescent social studies education at Canisius College before attending the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. After graduate school, he moved back to Buffalo and taught social studies for a little more than a year. In November 2014, McCready started working as the program support analyst with Risk Mitigation Consulting in D.C. In his spare time he likes to play sports – he is on a lacrosse team and a soccer team – read and find new places in the city.


Chimene-OChimene Okere (IEIA 13) serves as an Obama administration political appointee at the US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Capital Access. Chimene acts as an advisor to the office’s executive leadership, manages daily program administration and promotes engagement with banks, credit unions, nonprofits and other lending institutions. Prior to joining SBA, Okere earned a degree from the University of Memphis in 2014. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Okere is interested in the role of entrepreneurship for economic development in areas affected by war.


Katie-QKatie Quinn (CSS 11) is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. She attended Auburn University where she majored in political science and minored in business. Quinn moved to D.C. in May 2012 after completing the 2011 Capital Semester Spring program. She now works for Baker Donelson as a public policy coordinator with their healthcare policy group. Quinn is an avid runner, with five half marathons coming up this fall. Coming from Auburn University, Quinn is a huge college football fan. After she and her brothers graduated high school, her parents moved up to the New Jersey/New York area, and she is now a big Rangers and Giants fan as well.


Martin-Enrique-RodriguezMartín Enrique Rodriguez (ILA 15) graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in social communication and journalism from Universidad Monteávila in Caracas, Venezuela. He is currently working on a Master of Science in political science at Universidad Simón Bolívar. He was an exchange student in the U.S. in 2005. So far, Rodriguez has worked in the besieged Venezuelan private sector. Last year, he had the opportunity to be an international relations professor at his alma mater. He is currently writing his dissertation on Chavez’s regime oil diplomacy. He enjoys playing tennis, conversation, food and wine. Rodriguez is a 2015 alumnus of ILA in Santiago, Chile.


Danielle-RDaniel Ruckert (IPJ 12) is a communications associate at the Pew Charitable Trusts, working specifically on child nutrition initiatives. She is responsible for supporting the communication efforts related to the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project. Her work includes traditional and new media outreach, message development, creative writing and media relations. Previously, Ruckert worked to raise grassroots support for the U.S. Coast Guard’s National On-Water Standards for Recreational Boat Operation, a project focused on improving the safety and enjoyment of our nation’s waterways. She supported other government relations projects at METCOR, a D.C.-based consulting firm. Ruckert earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication, with a focus in public relations, from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, where she was president of the college’s Society of Professional Journalists.


Sarah-Jean-SSarah Jean Seman (IPJ 12) is a data graphics specialist at The Heritage Foundation, where she uses data visualization to detail public policy issues. Her work has been included in research papers, Capitol Hill testimonies and The Daily Signal. Prior to Heritage, she worked as a writer and videographer for the media outlet Townhall. During her two years there, she produced and launched a bi-weekly YouTube series that focused on issues in the D.C. metropolitan area. She also wrote feature stories and book reviews for Townhall’s monthly magazine. Seman received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in political science at Biola University. There she was the senior news editor of the student newspaper and a contributor to their magazine. Seman received Biola’s 2012 Outstanding Print Journalism Student of the Year Award for her reporting. She is a 2012 IPJ alumna and a 2015 TFAS Journalism Fellow.


Sarah-SicardSarah Sicard (IPJ 13) is currently an account executive with Banner Public Affairs. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, Sicard went to college in New York. After IPJ in 2013, Sarah interned with the press offices of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York, while finishing her undergraduate degrees in journalism and political science at Hofstra University. Sarah moved to D.C. after graduation in 2014 and worked for Bloomberg Government as a data analyst. Afterward she worked in defense journalism with National Defense Magazine before moving to communications with Banner Public Affairs.

To learn more about the Public Policy Fellows Program visitTFAS.org/publicpolicyfellows.

Keep up with the Public Policy Fellows this year by following TFAS on social media!
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