Truman-Albright Fellows Program
Stay in the nation's capitol following Summer Institute and be a part of this inspiring yearlong program. The Truman-Albright Fellows Program will take place from September to May of each year.
Each Fellow should be employed in an entry level position by a public service organization and will have the opportunity to participate in both an educational and service component throughout the year in Washington DC. Organizations that have hosted Fellows in recent years include:
- Appalachian Regional Commission
- Brookings Institution
- Center for American Progress
- Department of Agriculture—Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
- Department of Agriculture—Office of Rural Development
- Department of Education
- Department of Health and Human Services—Administration for Children and Families
- Department of Health and Human Services—Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
- Department of Health and Human Services—Office of Rural Health Policy
- Department of Homeland Security—United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Interior—Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Department of Transportation—Office of the Secretary
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Human Rights Campaign
- Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University
- Office of Leader Nancy Palosi (D-CA)
- Office of U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)
- Pew Charitable Trusts
- Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
The 2014-2015 Truman-Albright Fellows will begin meeting this Fall. Please find their bios below:
Azeem Ahmed (AL 13): is a 2013 Truman Scholar with a degree in Finance and Pre-Med. In 2011, he traveled to Egypt as a World Food Programme health and nutrition summer intern and helped develop a national food fortification program. He conducted more than 40 field visits and certified enough mills to produce 250,000 tons of vitamin-enriched rice. The following summer, he traveled to Bangladesh to work with the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research. There he helped create protocol for pediatric sepsis management, shadowed physicians, and assisted with emergency triage of cholera victims. During his time at Auburn University, Ahmed served as President of the Committee of 19, the flagship war-on-hunger student organization, and Vice President of the Campus Kitchen Project. In 2014 Ahmed was named winner of the President William Jefferson Clinton Hunger Leadership Award, an honor presented to only one university student worldwide each year. Ahmed plans to pursue a career as a physician, and hopes to one day oversee large scale public health initiatives both domestically and internationally. In September of 2014, he will serve as a Truman-Albright Fellow in the Office of Health Policy, within the Department of Health and Human Services.
Zack Avre (SD 13): is originally from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Zack graduated from Macalester College in 2014 with a degree in geography, a minor in political science, and a concentration in urban studies. He is interested in equitable housing and inclusive planning and hopes to pursue degrees in urban planning and geography. He is interested in equitable housing and inclusive planning and hopes to pursue a master's degree in urban planning, geography, and/or law. This fall he will join the advocacy team at FairVote as a Democracy Fellow. In his spare time, he can be found on a bike, on the court, or at a punk show.
Alex Coccia (OH 13): is a Harry S. Truman Scholar who completed his B.A in Africana and Peace Studies at University of Notre Dame, graduating magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He was elected student body president in his junior year. He also led advocacy campaigns on LGBTQ inclusion, leading to the first University-recognized gay straight alliance, and sexual assault prevention. Prior to his junior year, Alex conducted research on reconciliation efforts in Rwanda through the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. With a focus on social justice and advocacy, Alex was an intern for Fenton communications during the summer before senior year. He is currently working in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services.
Ileana Cruz-Marden (PR 13): is a Truman Scholar and Gates Millennium Scholar from Puerto Rico. She recently graduated from the University of Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras) in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. During her time at the UPR, she studied the impact of the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act on U.S.-Pakistan relations and conducted research on the relationship between levels of official development assistance and governance indicators in top aid-recipient countries. Her Emphasis in International Relations and Comparative Politics led her to partake in internships with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Puerto Rican Legislative Assembly, and the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office of South and Central Affairs. This year she will be working as the Special Assistant and Aide to Chambers for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Ileana is interested in exploring the impact of foreign direct investment and trade liberalization on developing economies, and in learning about the growing role of private sector led-development programs and the effect of this trend on foreign policy, global governance, and accountability mechanisms. Ileana wishes to pursue a career as a policy and program consultant in the field of international development.
Brandon DeBot (WI 13): recently began work as a Research Assistant in the Federal Fiscal Policy division at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Originally from Stevens Point, WI, he graduated in June from Dartmouth College summa cum laude with a degree in Government and Public Policy and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He was also the recipient of the Barrett All-Around Achievement Cup and the Colby Prize for Government. At Dartmouth, DeBot competed for the Men's Varsity Tennis Team, leading the team to its highest national ranking in program history and being named Second Team All-Ivy and Academic All-Ivy. He also worked as a researcher in the Policy Research Shop and as a James O. Freedman Presidential Research Assistant in the Government Department. DeBot previously interned at CBPP and the White House National Economic Council. He plans to pursue a career in economic policy.
Catherine Fontenot (LA 13): is originally from Basile, Louisiana. Catherine grew up in a small town but used her time at Louisiana State University to learn about cultures and people around the world. Because of her experiences as a Louisiana Service and Leadership (LASAL) Scholar in the LSU Honors College, Catherine is focused on addressing racial and socioeconomic inequality. She earned her BS in Biological Sciences and plans to earn an MD and an MPH. Catherine will devote her career to improving health in under-resourced areas, increasing access to health care, and combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic. As a Truman-Albright Fellow, Catherine is currently working with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, in the Health Resources and Services Administration under the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Jacob Glass (CT 12): is a Policy Analyst on the Department of Transportation's Safety, Energy, and Environment team, in the office of Secretary Anthony Foxx. Previously, Jacob was the chief editor and research associate at the Podesta Group, an international government affairs firm. He was also a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Environmental Change and Security Program, where he wrote for the Wilson Center’s award-winning publication, The New Security Beat. At the Wilson Center, Jacob’s work focused on the intersection of climate change, international migration and global security. He is also a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, Hartford Courant, PassBlue and the American Security Project. Jacob is the founder of Wildman Pictures, a documentary film organization focusing on environmental policy. Jacob earned his bachelor’s degree in international studies and environmental science from Muhlenberg College.
Mariah Grubb (ID 13): received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with a minor in psychology from Willamette University. For six years, she worked as a wilderness adventure guide, advocating for environmental protection and wilderness restoration. During the summer of 2013, she lived in a rural village in Rwanda where she conducted research considering the ethics of volunteer tourism and documenting the community’s perspective. She also spent this time learning about social entrepreneurship and collaborating with a team of community members to develop sustainable solutions for environmental, health and economic challenges. Back in Oregon, she worked with a program aimed at reducing recidivism rates by mentoring recently released offenders, supporting them as they rebuilt their lives. Over the past year, she worked closely with Native American high school students at the Chemawa Indian Boarding School, mentoring them through the college application process. She also interned for Oregon Governor Kitzhaber in his Citizens’ Representatives Office. During the summer of 2014, she interned with the Office of the Chief of Staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Tyler Hatch (ID 12): completed his undergraduate degree from the College of Idaho and received degrees in History and Political Economy. Tyler focused extensively on Latin American studies, constitutional law studies, and gender/sexuality studies. Tyler is currently a Policy Analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Tyler recently signed a book deal to explore growing up gay within the Mormon (LDS) Church and enjoys writing for several online publications in his free time. Tyler plans to pursue a J.D. and hopes to work on civil liberties issues and is also interested in exploring journalism. Tyler currently serves on the Truman Scholar Association Board of Directors and volunteers for various political and special issue campaigns.
Brandon Hersey (MS 13): is a recent cum laude graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in Political Science with an emphasis in domestic affairs and human rights. He currently works for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning Research and Evaluation. After gaining work experience in the policy field, he plans on attending graduate school to earn a Master’s in Public Policy. His research interests include issues with human capitol, social mobility, and social justice.
Akbar Hossain (PA 12): completed his BA in Government at Franklin and Marshall College, graduating magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He was the recipient of the Stanley Craig Memorial Award, the most prestigious all-college honor awarded by members of the faculty. A 2012 Pennsylvania Truman Scholar, Akbar's interests include immigration issues, refugee and asylum policies, and global migration. He has previously interned for the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security, and served as a Truman-Albright Fellow at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In his free time, Akbar enjoys watching re-runs of Seinfeld and cycling around the busy streets of Washington, DC.
Andrew Keefe (MN 13): graduated from Macalester College in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and media & cultural studies. He interned this past summer at the American Youth Policy Forum after spending a year directing a second language learning center in St. Paul, MN. He has also managed numerous community-based initiatives in Oaxaca, Mexico through the nonprofit Amigos delas Américas. As a Truman-Albright Fellow, Andrew will serve in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, in the Division for Child and Family Development. After earning his PhD in Education, he plans to develop policy geared toward closing socioeconomic disparities in urban communities.
Matt Landrieu (LA 13): is from New Orleans, where he attended private, catholic school. During his time studying elementary education at Louisiana State University, Matt stumbled across his calling to become an educator. Through his studies, he developed an interest in the critical pedagogy of teaching and learning as well as the social issues influencing and being influenced by schools and school systems. He is particularly discouraged by the inequitable intersections of race, poverty, social mobility, and educational/access. He will be working at Truesdell Education Campus in Washington, DC for the 2014-2015 school year, after which he hopes to find the next opportunity that will help him grow as a teacher, as an educator, as a person, and as a positive light for community and individual empowerment.
Narintohn Luangrath (OR 13): graduated summa cum laude and Scholar of the College from Boston College in May 2014. She studies states’ policies towards forced migrants unprotected by the UN Refugee Convention, in particular, those externally displaced due to natural disasters or generalized violence and conflict. She participated in the 2013 UN High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development as a member of Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of International Migration. Previously, as an intern with the Irish Human Rights Commission, she drafted policy recommendations for the Irish government concerning the treatment of asylum seekers, refugees, and nomadic immigrant groups. During Summer 2014, Narintohn worked at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on issues related to the increase in unaccompanied alien children (UAC) arriving in the U.S., as well as the “credible fear” and defensive asylum application processes. Narintohn is a Truman-Albright Fellow in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Jordan Meteyor (TX 13): is a community organizer and native of Inglewood, California. In 2011, Jordan's family was victim to the type of predatory loans that brought on the nationwide housing and financial crises. This prompted Jordan to direct her focus toward housing as a platform for social mobility in low-income communities. As a result, Jordan launched multiple student campaigns for affordable housing, founded her alma mater's City Relations Task Force, and completed a documentary on gentrification in East Austin. Her experience extends to Accra, Ghana, Beijing, China, and most recently, Washington, D.C. where she spent time as a White House intern before serving as a Briefing Coordinator and Scheduling Assistant to Secretary Shaun Donovan and Secretary Julián Castro at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Jordan is a proud University of Texas alumna and currently serves as a Staff Assistant in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs as a liaison to local elected officials.
Gabrielle Newell (DC 13): a proud Washingtonian, Gabrielle is eagerly reengaging with her hometown of DC as a Truman-Albright Fellow after graduating from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Human Rights. Continuing her summer placement with Polaris (a leading anti-human trafficking nonprofit), Gabrielle has transitioned from working with survivors in Victim Services to her new role as a Call Specialist on the national human trafficking hotline. Additionally, she is pulling on her grassroots experiences in Chicago (specifically the campaign to restore the adult Level 1 Trauma Center on the South Side) to contribute to DC community organizing efforts promoting racial justice. A believer in the power of communities and the importance of adventure, Gabrielle is looking forward to continue working and learning in DC.
Rellani Ogumoro (CNMI 11): from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Sociology-Anthropology and a minor in Gender Studies from Eastern Oregon University in 2011. Prior to her placement at the U.S. Department of the Interior, Rellani interned for the Commonwealth’s Delegate (nonvoting member of Congress) and then worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At HHS, she coordinated a national stakeholders meeting at the White House to draft the federal government’s response to human trafficking, drafted million dollar research projects to evaluate the human services in insular areas and assisted with the community, consultation and engagement tasks for Head Start research in American Indian Alaska Native communities. Rellani looks forward to learning more about government-to-government relations, improving economies, education and health systems in native communities as well as protecting natural resources and sacred sites for future generations.
Uzoma Orchingwa (CT 13): graduated from Colby College in May 2014 with honors in Philosophy and distinction in Sociology. This past summer as part of the Truman Summer Institute he served a legislative intern in the Office of U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. Previously, he served as a Research Assistant for his college’s Philosophy Department and during his senior year wrote an honors thesis in which he used existential ethics to analyze America’s prison system and its affects on individual and collective ontology. Uzoma has many hobbies, one of which includes documentary filmmaking. He produced two documentaries while in college and intends to continue to use the medium in creative ways to engage difficult and important issues. His future plans include law school and graduate study in public policy and international relations. He is interested in the penal system, constitutional and international law and politics.
Russell Page (NM 12): grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he saw gorgeous landscapes and rich culture, but also glaring inequities and intense poverty. After graduating from Claremont McKenna College last year, Russell came out to Washington, DC to serve his home state in Senator Tom Udall's office first as a staff assistant at the front desk and now as a legislative correspondent, handling a diverse array of issues. In the long-term future, Russell wants to go back home to serve the state of New Mexico. That may mean working in public interest journalism, formulating policy for local, state or federal government, or possibly running for public office. He wants to work wherever he is best able to create positive policy changes and address New Mexico's many pressing issues.
Charity Porotesano (AS 12): currently works as a Truman-Albright Fellow at the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. She graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa with a Bachelors of Arts in political science, and was the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Truman Scholarship. Since Charity’s return from college, Ms. Porotesano held the Youth Representative Seat on the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS) Advisory Council and taught the third grade at Matafao Elementary School in American Samoa. In the capacity of Youth Representative, she has volunteered for various Outreach programs that the Sanctuary has sponsored and coordinated hosting the Youth Ocean Summit as well as promoting Sanctuary sites to tourists. She also organized the first Youth Science Workshop, a program that promoted science careers to the students of American Samoa. The local TV station broadcasted the workshop and over 100 parents and students attended it. For her work at the Sanctuary, she was given the NMSAS 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award. In addition to this award, the Federation of American Scientists and the Pacific Islands Society recognized Charity’s commitment and dedication to her community and selected her to be an ambassador for the 2013 Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament program.
Sam Ritholtz (NY 13): is the Václav Havel Human Rights Fellow at Perseus Strategies, a public interest law firm that specializes in international human rights. Prior to joining the Perseus Team, Samuel has conducted research in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America on issues pertaining to the rights of marginalized populations. He is also a United Nations Youth Ambassador for Voices of African Mothers, an African non-profit organization that advocates for women and children. Samuel studied International Development Economics at Cornell University and concentrated in global health and African studies. In the future, he hopes to pursue a PhD and produce research that contributes to informed policy decisions in post-conflict areas.
Jacob Tobia (NC 13): is a writer and organizer committed to justice for gender non-conforming, genderqueer, and transgender people. They graduated Summa Cum Laude from Duke University in 2014 with a degree in Human Rights Advocacy, where they specialized in the history of the LGBTQ movement in South Africa from Apartheid to the present day. At Duke, Jacob served as the Vice President of Equity and Outreach for Duke Student Government, where they successfully lobbied for full inclusion of gender neutral housing and restrooms, pushed for comprehensive healthcare coverage for transgender students, mobilized the Duke community against anti-LGBT ballot initiatives in NC, and worked for socially responsible investing of Duke’s $6 billion endowment. In addition to campus organizing, Jacob worked at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, Sonke Gender Justice Network, and the Gay and Lesbian Archives of South Africa over the course of their undergraduate career. In 2012, Jacob began blogging for The Huffington Post. Since then, their projects and writing have been featured on MSNBC, PolicyMic, The Nation, Huffpost Live, Thought Catalog, and many other outlets. They have also received multiple awards for their organizing work including the Benjamin N. Duke Scholarship, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, the Oliver Koonz Human Rights Award, and the Campus Pride National Voice and Action Award. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Jacob enjoys good guacamole, craft supplies, hiking/backpacking and reading Judith Butler on the beach.
Zach Wahls (IA 13): is a graduate of the University of Iowa, an advocate for LGBTQ rights, an Eagle Scout and the co-founder of Scouts for Equality, the national campaign to end discrimination in the Boy Scouts of America. His testimony about his two-mom family before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee was YouTube's most watched political video of 2011. He is a Truman Scholar and the author of the national bestseller My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family.
If you have any questions, please email Andy Kirk or call him at 202.395.7432.