Women's Leadership Fellows

The Women’s Leadership Fellows program is a selective cohort of women currently enrolled at the Trachtenberg School who meet monthly to build leadership and community through skills-based workshops, a mentoring program, and networking events. Monthly sessions are led by vetted trainers who volunteer their time and expertise to focus on negotiation, conflict resolution, verbal and nonverbal communication, and management skills.

Trachtenberg School alumnae, including previous Women’s Leadership Fellows, serve as mentors to current participants. Mentors provide fellows with coaching and professional development support. Women’s Leadership Fellows also have the opportunity to network with current and past fellows, George Washington University alumni, and other professionals.

The women are chosen by the Co-Chairs after a competitive application process. Student co-chairs coordinate the planning and logistics of the program in partnership with the Trachtenberg School Administration.


The Trachtenberg School’s Women’s Leadership Fellows Program prepares high-potential women to be successful public service leaders through professional development, mentorship, and networking.


  • Leverage individual strengths and core competencies for leadership success
  • Foster self-empowerment and confidence-building to close the leadership gap
  • Master critical professional skills to successfully navigate workplace complexities
  • Connect dynamic cohorts of women to build community capacity

Apply to Join Women's Leadership Fellows Program

Do you identify as a woman in the MPA, MPP, or Environmental Resource Policy program? Would you like to be part of a selective nine-month leadership program? Applications are accepted at the beginning of each fall semester for the Trachtenberg School’s Women’s Leadership Fellows Program.

Applications for the 2020 - 2021 academic year closed on Friday, September 4. Thank you to all applicants for your interest! 

For More Information

Please direct questions about the WLF program to [email protected].


Current Cohort Co-Chairs 


Rebecca Bizzarri


Rebecca Bizzarri

Rebecca Bizzarri is a second-year Master of Public Administration student with a focus in Politics, Policy, and Administration. She completed her Bachelor's degree at GW, where she studied international affairs, and double-minored in both economics and women's, gender, and sexuality studies. As a GW Presidential Fellow, Rebecca serves as a university ambassador in a number of campus events and initiatives. She currently works as an Analyst in the GW Division of Safety and Security, where she supports the university's Back to Campus Initiative, in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In her free time, she enjoys trying new recipes, watching movies, and fawning over all the puppies she sees in DC.



Nazeefa Hossain


Nazeefa Hossain

Nazeefa Hossain is a second-year Master of Public Administration student with a focus on managing community partnerships. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is passionate about serving survivors of violence. Her focus is to collaborate with law enforcement to improve their methods when working with survivors. During her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, watching movies, traveling to new places, and is always eager to learn.




Olivia Shaffett


Olivia Shaffett

Olivia Shaffett is a second-year Master of Public Administration student. She graduated magna cum laude from Louisiana State University with a bachelor's degree in history. While living in Louisiana, she created an editorial platform, Modern Girls, to support and feature women in business, the arts, and the non-profit sector. Her advocacy work includes volunteering for Baton Rouge STAR (Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response) and Planned Parenthood Young Leaders in Action. Olivia is interested in creating and implementing policy that will establish protections and produce further access to resources for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. When she's not studying, she enjoys exploring the many local bookstores, comedy clubs, and museums that D.C. has to offer


Rachel Silber


Rachel Silber

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Rachel Silber packed her bags for Washington D.C. where she is now a second-year Master of Public Administration student eager to learn all sectors of the field. She graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor's degree in English and a double minor in political science and human rights. She was inspired to obtain her MPA in London, where she interned with a non-profit that worked with domestic violence survivors and a Member of Parliament to help establish more effective law enforcement protocols for reporting. Since moving to D.C she interned at the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Amtrak's Office of the Inspector General, Rachel uses her free time to read fiction, take late night walks to the Lincoln Memorial, and have a drink with friends at Tonic.


Current Fellows 

Rachel Y



Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Field of Study: Undecided
Current Position: Presidential Fellow, GW Office of VP for Research and Program Assistant, Dinah, Inc.

Rachel is a first-year MPA student coming straight out of her undergraduate studies at the Elliott School at GW, where she majored in international affairs and minored in history and organizational sciences. Currently, she is serving as a Presidential Fellow at GW, working in the Office of the Vice President for Research as an ambassador of the student experience and liaison for student research initiatives at GW. She is also working for Dinah, a Philadelphia-based non-profit serving victims of domestic violence in Philadelphia's Jewish community, as a program assistant and social media manager. Some of Rachel's favorite past-times are TED Talks, cooking, and traveling.






Hometown: Madrid, Spain
Field of Study: Social Policy
Current Position: Research Assistant, GW

Aylen Rodriguez Ferrari is a second-year MPP student with a concentration in Social Policy and a Spanish Fulbright scholar. She went to law school and then decided she wanted to contribute to society through the development sector and got a master’s degree in Microfinance. Her specialization is in gender, poverty alleviation, and financial inclusion. She has been working for more than 5 years in the field, in Latin American countries in particular.  Aylen moved from Madrid to DC last year and she is fascinated about the nature and culture around the capital. In her free time, she enjoys riding her bike, reading a book outdoors, and hanging out with friends, she loves picnics! 






Hometown: Howell, NJ
Field of Study: Undecided
Current Position: Program Manager, National Center for Victims of Crime

Christa Andersen serves as the Programs Manager for the National Crime Victim Bar Association (NCVBA). Christa has been with the National Center since 2018, previously acting in the role of membership and training coordinator for the NCVBA. In her current role, she assists with the planning, marketing, and execution of training as well as marketing and membership development and retention. Prior to joining the National Center, Christa interned at the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN) and the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. Christa holds her B.A. in Justice and Law from American University and is studying for her Masters in Public Policy (MPP) at The George Washington University.



Lauren S



Hometown: Southold, NY
Field of Study: Health Policy
Current Position: Advocacy Specialist, Population Connection Action Fund

Lauren Salmiery is a first-year Master of Public Administration student with a focus on health policy. She received her bachelor's degree in international studies from American University and has since focused her work on global reproductive health. Her history of advocacy experience comes from her work at Population Connection Action Fund, where she helped lead and grow the #Fight4HER campaign. Lauren is a passionate advocate for racial equity, gender equality, and reproductive freedom. In her spare time, she enjoys biking and running around D.C.'s many trails and outdoor spaces.





jamie pascal, MPp

Hometown: Long Island, NY
Field of Study: Government, Tech, and Public-Private policy
Current Position: Manager of Policy and Programs, African American Mayors Association

Jamie Pascal is a second-year Master of Public Policy with a focus on Government, Tech, and Public-Private policy. She graduated magna cum laude from Howard University with a concentration in English and pre-law studies. As an undergraduate student, Jamie interned for the African American Mayors Association which sparked her initial interest in local government and policymaking. As it stands, Jamie has worked with the Association for five years and currently serves as the Manager of Policy and Programs. In her current capacity, Jamie oversees the organization’s policy portfolio which includes criminal justice reform and workforce development among other priorities addressed by cities across the country. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, attending music and art festivals, and nature-related activities.






winifred wilberforce, MPp

Hometown: Cape Coast, Ghana
Field of Study: International Education Policy and Program Evaluation
Current Position: Member Relations Research Intern, ISEP Study Abroad

Winifred Graham Wilberforce is a second-year Master of Public Policy student with a focus on International Education Policy and Program Evaluation. She has a Bachelor of Education degree with a major in Economics from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. She is interested in formulating progressive policies that will have a positive impact on educational issues and themes across a range of cultures, countries, and regions. She is currently an English tutor volunteer for Reading Partners in a D.C. elementary school. She loves to tour the city with friends and try new cuisine during her free time.





sarah fritz, MPp

Hometown: Ellicott City, MD
Field of Study: Foreign Policy
Current Position: Government Affairs, Expedia Group

Sarah Fritz is a first-year Master of Public Policy student with a concentration in foreign policy. She is specifically interested in researching the intersection of women’s advancement and foreign policy. Sarah graduated from the University of Delaware in 2018 with a dual degree in Political Science and Communications and a minor in Legal Studies. She currently works in the Government Affairs office at Expedia Group where she focuses on travel policy and runs a company-wide civic engagement program. In her free time, Sarah enjoys coaching mock trial, long runs around the monuments, and spending time with her two kittens.






bryanne colby, MPA

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Field of Study: Undecided
Current Position: Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools

Bryanne Colby is a second-year Master of Public Administration student. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in international affairs from GW. She was a 2013 Teach For America corps member and currently works as a teacher. She is passionate about creating policies to provide a more equitable educational experience for children and their families. In her free time, she enjoys reading and traveling.





Michelle crowe, MPA

Hometown: Lawrence, KS
Field of Study: Politics, Policy and Administration
Current Position: US Army Force Manager

Michelle Crowe is a first-year Master of Public Administration student with a focus on Politics, Policy, and Administration. She graduated Cum Laude from Emporia State University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish with a minor in Sociology. Michelle is an active-duty Army officer and mother of two. In her time away from work and studies, Michelle enjoys spending time with family and friends, outdoor activities, and cooking.



Lauren P


lauren perlik, MPA

Hometown: Milton, NY
Field of Study: Gender and Social Policy
Current Position: Content and Research Coordinator, Future Majority

Lauren Perlik is a second-year Master of Public Administration student with a focus on Gender & Social Policy. She graduated from Northeastern University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in Political Science and International Affairs. She currently works at Future Majority as a Content & Research Coordinator and recently interned at EMILY’s List with the Independent Expenditures team. Before moving to D.C., she worked at a boutique consulting firm and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, where she helped elect more Democratic women to office. During her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her cat, Tater Tot, and exploring all that D.C. has to offer





malka berro, MPP

Hometown: New Haven, CT
Field of Study: Health Policy
Current Position: Policy Associate, National Council for Behavioral Health

Malka Berro is a first-year Master of Public Policy student, with a focus on health policy. She is passionate about advocating for those living with mental illness and addiction, as well as the providers who serve them, and is currently working as a policy associate with the National Council for Behavioral Health. Malka also has worked to advance population health with the National Academy for State Health Policy and interned in the U.S. House of Representatives. She graduated summa cum laude from Antioch College with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Spanish language focus. During her free time, Malka can be found chasing after her excitable puppy, singing, or hiking around DC.






elizabeth cottle, MPA

Hometown: Hopewell Junction, NY
Field of Study: Social and International Development
Current Position: Associate, Aceli Africa

Liz Cottle is a first-year Master of Public Administration student, interested in focusing on social policy and international development. She graduated from Binghamton University with a dual Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, concentrating in Leadership, and Psychology. After traveling to Malawi and Haiti, Liz became passionate about sustainable development as a means of addressing global poverty and vulnerable populations, particularly by way of economic development and female empowerment. She is excited to expand her experience in policy after previously analyzing the mechanisms of workforce development, international development advocacy, and inclusive financial lending to merge her understanding of ground-level service, government involvement, and private commitments. Liz's long-term goal is to create inclusive, informed, and effective policy, ensuring all individuals have the capacity to escape poverty. In her free time, Liz enjoys reading, traveling, and running.