WHFFA News

  • Cara Lapointe (2013-14) to Serve as Interim Director During Transition

    Dear Commissioners, Alumni, Fellows, and Friends,

    The final months of the Obama Administration have been a time of intense and rewarding work and now with the new year comes the program’s ninth Presidential transition. Each Fellow has been involved in their individual placement transitions and our office has been focused on making sure that the incoming White House Fellows team will be successful. As a former Fellow, I am honored to be stepping in as Interim Director and grateful to my colleagues at the Navy for allowing me to give back to a program that has given me so much. We are in a great place because of the work that Jenny, Ashley, Kathy, Andy and Yazmeane have done to strengthen the program. Throughout Jenny’s tenure as Director, she has steered the program with grace and purpose. She and her team have laid a strong foundation to continue the legacy of this remarkable program into the new Administration. We look forward to another successful selection process for a new class of White House Fellows.

    What an incredible year it has been for the White House Fellows program!  The past few months have been full of exciting moments for the class such as the policy trip to Los Angeles, CA and once-in-a-lifetime meetings with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.  Importantly, the Fellows have also been hard at work within their placements at agencies like the U.S. State Department and National Economic Council.

    The 2016-2017 class of Fellows has garnered a wealth of knowledge through their work on important issues including national security, trade policy, and healthcare. As a part of their education program, the Fellows have had the unique opportunity to engage with a number of leaders in government, business, and the non-profit sector including Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, U.S. Secretary of Education John King, and U.S. Senator Cory Booker.  A few additional highlights have been a visit to the White House Situation Room where they heard from the Senior Director, attending the WHFFA Annual Leadership Conference, attending a reception with Rumsfeld Foundation Central Asia Fellows, and touring the Potomac on the Chief of Naval Operations’ Barge with Vice Admiral Phil Cullom (WHF ‘94-95).

    To further their leadership development, the Fellows traveled to Los Angeles, California in November for a domestic policy trip. The trip included an intensive communications training at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands and meetings with various national and local leaders. The Fellows had the opportunity to engage in discussions on media relations and communications with leaders like Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal, Glenn “Doc” Rivers, Coach of the LA Clippers, Ben Silverman, Co-CEO and Chairman of Propagate Content.  In addition to the education program, the Fellows have been actively giving back to the community through monthly service projects and events.  In October, the Fellows partnered with Seabury Resources for Aging to assist in the maintenance and upkeep of homes for the elderly and, in November, the Fellows teamed up with Bread for the City to provide food to those in need.

    Thank you to Jenny, Ashley, Andy and Yazmeane for their passion and dedication to this program, and we wish them good luck on their next adventures.  Thank you as well to all of those who supported the Fellows, our program, and our outreach efforts in 2016.  We wish all the friends of the Fellowship a safe and healthy 2017!

    posted: January 20, 2017
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