Truman Governance Fellows

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The Truman Governance Fellows Program is for Truman Scholars with a demonstrated interest in working at senior levels in the federal executive branch. The program consists of meetings with senior figures with experience in high-level executive branch positions. The program is designed so that participants (1) Develop knowledge of the key issues and challenges associated with senior executive branch service (as political appointees or in senior executive service roles), (2) Build community among one another – Truman Scholars who share an interest in working at the highest levels in the executive branch, and (3) Prepare to succeed as managers and as leaders in the federal executive branch. Workshop topics include:

  • Paths to political appointment
  • Senior Executive Service
  • Navigating the federal personnel system
  • Skill-building to become an effective manager
  • Working within an agency
  • Views from the inside the Executive Branch

The third class of Truman-Governance Fellows met in Washington, DC in November 2018. Speakers included:

  • Julie Anderson (1996 Nebraska) Principal, AG Strategy Group; Former Acting Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Seth Andrew, (1999 Rhode Island) Global Director, Bridge International Academics; Founder, Democracy Builders; Former Senior Advisor, The White House
  • Jeffrey Grant (1989 Michigan) Deputy Director for Operations, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Ann Lichter (1997 West Virginia) Assistant Administrator, U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division
  • Katie Malague, Vice President for Government Effectiveness, Partnership for Public Service
  • Leo Martinez-Diaz (1998 Illinois) Global Director, Sustainable Finance Center, World Resources Center; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, Energy and Environment, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Westbrook Murphy, General Counsel, Truman Scholarship Foundation
  • Jeff Navin (1996 South Dakota) Partner, Boundary Stone Partners; Former Acting Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Renee Stone (1983 Florida) Vice President – Climate, National Audubon Society; Former Chief of Staff, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Darci Vetter (1995 Nebraska) Vice Chair, Agriculture, Food & Trade & General Manager, Public Affairs, Edelman; Former Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
  • David Wade (1996 Connecticut) Founder and CEO, GreenLight Strategies; Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of State


The 2018 Truman Governance Fellows

Jon Cardinal (NY 07), a native of Ogdensburg, NY, is Director of Economic Development for United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. In this capacity, he oversees the Senator’s legislative agenda on various economic policies and directs a statewide outreach operation that implements the Senator’s economic development goals. He is a 115th Congress Stennis Center Senior Fellow and was honored in 2015 with the Statewide Leadership Award by the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals for his work on federal workforce policy and economic development. Jon began his career on Capitol Hill in 2007 first as an intern and then as an aide on the staff of former United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Jon graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2008 with an honors degree in Government. At St. Lawrence, Jon was elected student body president his sophomore year and was treasurer of his hometown Democratic committee. He also served as chair of his county's Young Democrats chapter and as the North Country regional director for the New York State College Democrats. In May 2013, Jon was elected to a four-year term on the St. Lawrence University Board of Trustees that concluded last Spring.

E. Christi Cunningham (TX 87) is a professor at the Howard University School of Law and Director of the Education Rights Center. She served as Associate Assistant Secretary for Regulatory Affairs at the Department of Labor from 2009-2012.  She served as the regulatory officer managing the Department’s relationship with the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. As a professor at Howard Law School, she has received awards for teaching and service, directed the Legal Reasoning Research and Writing program, and taught Human Rights in South Africa. She also served as a consultant to the South African government’s asset forfeiture division. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Constance Baker Motley and was an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City prior to entering academia. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. and B.S. from Southern Methodist University. She founded a non-profit anti-violence organization that worked to coordinate faith-based social services in Northeast and Southeast Washington, D.C.. In addition, she worked as the Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator at the D.C. Rape Crisis Center and mediated disputes between consumers and service providers for the D.C. Department of Mental Health.

Hetal J. Doshi (AL 00) is an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Colorado and focuses on prosecution of white collar crimes and crimes facilitated by the use of virtual currency.  When she joined the Department of Justice in 2014, Hetal was a member of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force where she investigated and later secured a multi-billion dollar penalty, one of the largest in the history of the DOJ, against a global investment bank for its role in the 2008 global financial crisis.  Hetal also works on issues  regarding hate crimes, civil rights, and community policing. Prior to her work at the DOJ, Hetal worked in private practice at Alston & Bird in Atlanta, Quinn Emanuel in New York, and Faegre Baker Daniels in Denver.  During her time in private practice, Hetal tried significant pro bono matters involving federal civil rights issues and immigration. Between 2011 and 2012, she took a one-year sabbatical from private practice and lived in Nairobi, Kenya where she volunteered as a legal consultant on legislative matters for the Kenyan Parliament and human rights issues for local NGOs.  Hetal is a 2006 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and earned her B.A. in Economics and Political Science in 2001 at Emory University. 

Ellie Dupler (MI 15) is a second-year student at Columbia Law School, where she focuses on international and constitutional law, particularly as these fields apply to national security and U.S. foreign relations. Most recently, Ellie was a law clerk at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, where she worked on cases involving public fraud, the Foreign Agent Registration Act, international money laundering, and crimes committed by and against U.S. diplomats abroad. Prior to coming to Columbia, Ellie served a one-year term as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where she taught classes on a vast range of social and political issues to students throughout the Republika Srpska. In 2016, Ellie graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Global Affairs. While at Yale, Ellie worked with the U.S. government in Lusaka, Zambia and Washington, D.C. and with nonprofit organizations in Ghana and Uganda. Ellie was born and raised in the 500-person town of Thompsonville, MI.

Jill Ferguson (VA 16) works at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, where she researches energy policy and technology for rural America. She earned a B.S. in material science engineering with a concentration in nanotechnology from the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science. Jill is passionate about spurring rural economic development and energy independence through broadband-enabled energy efficiency and renewable energy. She has worked as a Science and Technology Fellow for the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, conducted photovoltaic research as a visiting scholar at MIT, and has spoken at The White House about STEM education. She volunteers in K-12 STEM outreach and helps organize the MIT & UVA Policy Internship Program which connects budding engineers with a policy internship in DC. In her free time, she loves hip-hop dancing and sharpening her survival skills.

Daniel Gastfriend (MA 12) is a joint candidate for a Master in Public Administration in International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Master of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Originally from Newton, MA, he holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he studied economics and public policy. Prior to coming to the Kennedy School, he worked as a management consultant with Bain & Company in South Africa and as a policy consultant with IDinsight in Uganda and India. More recently, he has worked at the New York City Mayor's Office and at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. He has designed and launched impact evaluations, economic development plans, and corporate strategies for governments, businesses, foundations, and NGOs internationally.

Mike Geruso (RI 02) is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a nationally-recognized authority on US health insurance markets. Prof. Geruso's work has addressed issues of adverse selection, cream-skimming, upcoding by physicians and insurers, and imperfect competition. He has drawn on his body of academic research to provide policy and litigation advice on payment regulation in Medicaid, Medicare, and the individual insurance Marketplaces. Prof. Geruso's developing country research focuses on the environmental determinants of infant health and survival, including poor local sanitation and extreme weather. His work has been published in peer-reviewed outlets including the American Economic Review, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and the Journal of Health Economics and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and the Economist magazine. His research has been funded by the Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and holds bachelor's degrees from Virginia Tech and a PhD in Economics from Princeton. He completed postdoctoral work at Harvard prior to joining the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in 2014.

Tim Hagerty (KY 89) is a Member of Frost Brown Todd, in Louisville, Kentucky, where he practices environmental law, with an emphasis on energy, manufacturing, and transportation.  Over his 24-year career, Tim has assisted clients in a wide variety of permitting and compliance matters under the Clean Water Act and related environmental laws.  He also has extensive experience assisting both public and private sector clients in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act, and related laws. Tim is a frequent speaker at national conferences regarding the Clean Water Act and NEPA.  He serves as the Vice President/President-Elect of the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation.  He co-chairs the Public Policy Council of Greater Louisville, Inc., the Metro Chamber of Commerce, and is the former chair of the Kentucky Chamber’s Energy and Environmental Council. Tim serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Nativity Academy, an independent Catholic middle school serving students of academic promise from low-income families.  He is the former President of Central Louisville Community Ministries, a multi-faith organization that provides emergency assistance to low-income residents of Louisville’s urban core. Tim is a graduate of Yale Law School and the University of Louisville.

Stephen Honan (VA 10) currently serves as the Aide-de-Camp to RDML Brian Brakke, Commander of 19,000 Navy Expeditionary Forces.  Previously, Stephen commanded explosive ordnance disposal forces in the Middle East in support of OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE.  He is also a qualified Marine Engineering Diving Officer. Academically, Stephen graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2011 with a Bachelors in Control Systems Engineering.  Two years later, he graduated from the University of Oxford with a Masters of Philosophy from the School of Geography and the Environment with a research focus on Water Science, Policy, and Management. Last Christmas, Rebecca Peters (CA 13 Truman) proposed to Stephen and they are scheduled to marry in Ben Lomond, CA next August!  This November, they’ll be moving to Oxford, UK where Rebecca will finish her DPhil and Stephen will serve as the Training Officer of the British Explosive Ordnance Disposal School.

Jeni Lamb Rogers (CO 09) is an attorney with the Faegre Baker Daniels LLP’s nationally ranked food litigation and regulatory practice.  Jeni is a part of national recall and trial teams for national foodborne illness outbreaks and related litigation. Jeni is also serves as regulatory counsel for natural and organic startup food businesses, advising on compliance with FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requirements, negotiating agreements for food brands and manufacturers, and reviewing product packaging to comply with FDA, FTC and USDA regulations to reduce risk of regulatory enforcement and consumer litigation. Before practicing law, Jeni started a non-profit soy processing business for farmers living with HIV in western Kenya; has worked on conservation agriculture research projects in Kenya, Uganda and Lesotho; and worked for a food hub aggregating conventional and organic produce and consumer packaged goods. While working in agricultural policy, Jeni worked on food safety, germplasm conservation, and trade issues with the American Seed Trade Association, Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry, and the House Committee on Agriculture. Jeni is a Food Safety and Preventive Controls Alliance Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) for Human Food and is a Produce Safety Alliance Trainer of Trainers for the Produce Safety Regulation.

Olimar Maisonet-Guzman (PR 09) is a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State.  Previously, she worked as Program Manager for Environmental Cooperation with a focus on Central and South America in the Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues (EQT) in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental Scientific Affairs (OES).  From 2012-2015, she worked at IREX, an international nonprofit organization, to increase citizen engagement with government and to broaden access to technology and information.  In 2011, she was awarded a Boren Fellowship, allowing her to study in Brazil from 2011-2012, focusing on the development of sustainable hydropower in the Amazon.  While in Brazil, Ms. Maisonet-Guzman was also a policy coordinator for the United Nations Major Group of Children and Youth for the Rio+20 and the post-2015 negotiations.  Ms. Maisonet-Guzman holds a Master’s Degree in Global Environmental Policy from American University and a BA in Political Science and Communications, and a minor in Economics from the University of Puerto Rico.  She is a 2009 Truman Scholar and a 2010 Truman-Albright Fellow.

Teresa Kennedy (AK 15) is a systems integration consultant for the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command Guided Missile Frigate Program Office. She also serves as an associate consultant for Ventus Executive Solutions on business development projects. Teresa volunteers her time serving on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Naval Academy’s Alumni Association – Greater Washington Chapter and actively supports Veterans for American Ideals, a project of Human Rights First. In the future, Teresa plans to pursue a joint MBA/MPP program and focus her career on defense fiscal policy in the federal executive service. She hopes to address the need for a balance between diplomacy and defense and bridging the civilian-military divide. Teresa is a 2016 Distinguished Graduate of U.S.N.A. with a B.S. in English Literature and a focus in Engineering. She is the Alaska 2015 Harry S. Truman scholar and enjoys cooking, camping, and playing with dogs.

Patricia Ladnier (MS 82) is a management and program analyst for strategic policy and rulemaking in the Office of Infrastructure Protection, National Protection and Programs Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Patricia works primarily with the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards Program to secure the nation’s chemical facilities from terrorism threats. She earned a law degree from the University of Virginia, Masters of Military Art and Science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas), and B.A. in Political Science/History and Economics from Graceland University (Lamoni, Iowa). Her SAMS master’s thesis about legal and administrative challenges for the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense in protecting critical infrastructure is published in the InterAgency Journal of the Arthur D. Simons Center for Interagency Cooperation. Her professional interests include homeland security, national defense and security, and law and public policy. Patricia previously worked as an attorney with Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner; U.S. Marine Corps’ Legal Assistance at Quantico, Virginia; Surovell, Jackson, Colten & Dugan; and in solo practice; focused on solution-oriented, customized, and cost-effective legal services. Originally from Gautier, Mississippi, she moved to Virginia for graduate school and settled in Northern Virginia after clerking for a judge. She volunteers with her local church and community organizations.

Cameron McCord (VA 12) was born in Springfield, VA and attended MIT, graduating in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Nuclear Engineering and a minor in Political Science. He received a Master’s Degree in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT in 2014. Cameron was a four-year varsity soccer player, member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, and a 2012 Harry S. Truman Scholarship winner. Cameron commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 2013. After leaving MIT, Cameron completed the challenging nuclear submarine training pipeline and reported to the USS Helena (SSN 725) fast attack submarine in 2015, where he served as the Chemistry and Radiological Controls Assistant (CRA) and Assistant Weapons Officer (AWEPS).  He stood Officer of the Deck on a dynamic EUCOM deployment to the North Atlantic from 2016 to 2017, completing multiple missions vital to national security. Cameron has worked at the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the post-Fukushima Task Force, the Department of Energy on International Nuclear Energy Policy and Cooperation, and the Pentagon for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs. Cameron currently serves as a Navy Liaison to the House of Representatives.

Kenneth Meador (OK 13) is currently serving as a clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. After dropping out of High School in 1995 and working as a cook until 2002, Kenneth joined the United States Army. Between 2002 and 2009 Kenneth served as an Army combat medic. He deployed to Iraq three times. Kenneth is also a first-generation college graduate who began his higher education from scratch when he left the Army in 2010. Kenneth earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science (summa cum laude) from the University of Oklahoma in 2014, and his J.D., earlier this year, from Boston University School of Law, where he attended as a Public Interest Scholar. Kenneth hopes to pursue a long-term public interest career working on veterans issues.  

Xiao Wang (SC 08) is a fourth-year associate at Williams & Connolly LLP, where he works on insider trading, immigration, and media and entertainment matters.  Prior to joining Williams, he clerked in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, for Judge Lucy H. Koh, and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, for Judge Karen N. Moore. Xiao attended Yale Law School, and received his Bachelors and Masters of Public Policy degrees from the University of Virginia.  While at Virginia, Xiao founded the Virginia Policy Review, a policy journal that is now in its eighth year of publication (with numerous articles by former Truman Scholars) and has been cited by commentators and policymakers across the country.  During law school, Xiao was a member of the Yale Law School Supreme Court Clinic and a law clerk at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.  Xiao is interested in immigration and environmental policy.


Please address any questions about the program to Andrew Rich, Truman Executive Secretary, at or 202.395.3545.