Women's Leadership Fellows

Running for over a decade, the Women’s Leadership Fellows program is a selective cohort of women currently enrolled at the Trachtenberg School.

The cohort builds community and leadership through two professional development retreats, monthly leadership pods, informational interviews and networking events.  Over the academic year, the Fellows focus on strength building, conflict resolution, verbal and nonverbal communication, goal setting, workplace confidence and management skills. There are additional optional social, volunteer and career development activities that members are encouraged to attend.

Student Chairs coordinate the planning and logistics of the program in partnership with the Trachtenberg School Administration.

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

Program Details


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


Trachtenberg School alumnae, including previous Women’s Leadership Fellows, connect with current participants through informational interviews and other events.  These opportunities provide fellows with coaching and professional development support. 

How to Join

Do you identify as a woman in the Trachtenberg School's Master of Arts in Environmental Resource PolicyMaster of Public Administration or Master of Public 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.

Members of the cohort are chosen by the co-chairs after a competitive application process.

Current Cohort Co-Chairs

Giulia DeLuca

Giulia DeLuca

Giulia (she/her) is a Public Policy student and is focusing on housing and environmental policy. She is passionate about creating sustainable change through community engagement, organizing, and policy action. She was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities in 2020 with a B.A. in Political Science and minors in Applied Economics and Racial Justice in Urban Schooling. In the past two years, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA supporting residents in affordable housing build volunteer leadership councils. In her free time, she enjoys biking, kayaking, cooking, and exploring the DC area.


Julia McNicholas


Julia McNicholas

Julia is a first year Master of Public Policy student at TSPPPA planning on concentrating in national security and foreign policy. She holds a bachelor's degree in International Studies and German from Fairfield University, along with a minor in anthropology. Having worked across multiple sectors, Julia is looking forward to concentrating on policy work in the public sector to enact meaningful change through foreign policy.


Rachel Stevenson

Rachel Stevenson

Rachel is a Master of Public Administration student pursuing a certification in nonprofit management. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Kent State University in 2018. Rachel went on to pursue a career in nonprofit communications and has experience managing major giving programs, donor stewardship, media relations, advocacy communications and content creation for local, national and international organizations. She currently serves as the communications director for the American Heart Association Greater Washington Region, where she elevates the Association’s community health and public policy priorities focused on food security, emergency response, access to care and tobacco control and supports annual fundraising efforts generating over $6.9 million locally in support of the Association’s mission. In addition to co-chairing the Women’s Leadership Fellows, Rachel previously served as a teaching assistant for Research Methods & Applied Statistics in the Trachtenberg School. She also is a second-year Fellow through the Bryce Harlow Foundation, the nation's premier organization supporting the profession of lobbying and government advocacy. In her free time, Rachel enjoys boxing, yoga, weightlifting and running, clocking over 1,300 miles each year and completing two 32.1-mile and 500-mile challenges.


Current Cohort

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Rachel Abraham

Rachel Abraham is a first year Master of Public Administration student concentrating in Health Policy. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Policy Studies from American University in 2021 and currently serves as the grassroots advocacy and federal policy coordinator at the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Rachel has previously occupied roles specializing in Medicaid and Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), as well as in the patient advocacy space working with groups like the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, The JFK Tower Golf Tournament for Pulmonary Hypertension, and PHAware Global. She looks forward to growing with her community at TSPPPA and getting to know her amazing fellow cohort members. In her free time, she can be found enjoying an oat milk latte, a Broadway cast recording, or hanging out with her 1-year-old Jack Russell mix, Nellie.  


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Naomi Atughonu

Naomi is a first year TSPPPA Ph.D. student in the Public Budgeting and Finance Specialization and is interested in combining defense/national security and international economics/trade. She has interned at the U.S. Government Accountability, the U.S. Commercial Service, and most recently at the Congressional Research Service in the Defense Policy and Arms Control Office. She holds two bachelor’s degrees in economics and piano performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MPP degree from the University of Maryland-College Park. In her free time, she enjoys reading mystery novels, visiting national parks and museums, and playing the piano. 


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​Katie Azelby

Katie is a first year Master of Public Administration student at TSPPPA planning on concentrating in nonprofit management and national security & foreign policy. She holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, with a focus on International Security from the University of Washington. Katie currently serves as the Program Associate for the American Academy of Diplomacy, where she oversees the social media, organizes outreach programs, and supports the organization's programming. Her interests lie in diplomacy, foreign policy, and women's empowerment.


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Amanda Buttner

Amanda (she/her) is a Public Administration student. She plans to focus on international development, and she is passionate about refugee advocacy as well as humanitarian aid. Amanda recently moved back to the United States after living abroad in Prague, Czechia for the past year and a half. While there she was teaching English and pursuing her love of travel. She loves to visit new places and is always open to try new restaurants around D.C.

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Linda Cheriyan

 Linda (She/ Her) is a Master of Public Administration student concentrating in nonprofit management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Fraud Examination and Financial Forensics from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In the past four years, Linda has dedicated her efforts to community organizing and is passionate about gender justice. Her work in community organizing has encompassed a broad spectrum of critical issues, including but not limited to police brutality, maternal health, human trafficking, food injustice, and gender-based violence. In her free time, she loves to travel, do photography and try out new recipes.

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Nandin-Erdene Enkhtuvshin

 Nandin is a first-year ENRP student and a Fulbright scholar at TSPPPA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics and has a professional degree of a Certified Expert on Climate and Renewable Energy Finance from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. For the past six years, she has been working on sustainable and climate finance projects. Her main fields of work and expertise are developing Green and SDG Finance taxonomies, development of sustainable finance implementing tools, green and gender-inclusive financial product and pipeline development, M&E on sustainable finance implementation in the country, and designing the sustainable financing schemes for the different fields such as textile value chain, energy efficient and affordable housing, and women SMEs. Nandin-Erdene also contributed to developing the National Roadmap for Sustainable Financing, establishing the Mongolia Green Finance Corporation, the so-called first national green bank, a unique public-private partnership institution with a special mandate to promote green finance in the country, and securing $50 million in funding from GCF. Besides, she worked and co-implemented several international projects and their sub-components with the following organizations, namely GCF, World Bank, IFC, UNDP, UNICEF, AVSF, GIZ, and The Asia Foundation.


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​Marie Goodrich

 Marie is a Master of Public Administration student focusing on Nonprofit Management. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in History & French from Colgate University. She is currently working as a Racial Justice Research Fellow with As You Sow, researching corporate actions relating to both DEI and environmental justice efforts. With a background in history, she is passionate about studying patterns in our society and how to enact tangible solutions by providing aid and resources to encourage reform.

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Madison Jennings

Madison Jennings is a second year Master of Public Policy student with a field focused on Disability Policy. She has been the President of the Disabled Students Collective here at GW, since Fall 2021 (as an undergraduate). She also serves as the Executive Secretary of Accessibility for the Student Association. Currently, she is working at AARP as a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Intern.

Wardah Kashar

Wardah Kashar is a dedicated student in her second year of the Master of Public Administration program, specializing in international development. With a solid academic foundation in international relations, she is committed to making a meaningful impact in the field. Wardah is a distinguished member of the Minority Leadership Fellowship and the Bryce Harlow Foundation Fellowship, demonstrating her commitment to leadership and public service. Beyond her academic pursuits, Wardah enjoys immersing herself in reading and fitness during her free time. In addition, Wardah is a passionate food enthusiast who creates short videos reviewing new restaurants to feature on her food blog.


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Sakshi Kataria

Sakshi is a Master of Public Policy candidate at The George Washington University specializing in National Security and Foreign Policy. Her career focus centers on Indian foreign policy, security policy, geopolitics, international relations, regional stability, diplomacy, and negotiation. Sakshi's expertise in lateral thinking equips her to approach complex policy issues from multiple perspectives. With a Bachelor's degree in Communication Design, she possesses a robust skill set in strategic communication—a vital asset in policy management. Leveraging strategic communication, Sakshi previously directed documentary films based on social policy issues in India. Her objective revolved around raising awareness about crucial policy issues and engaging citizens in novel ways to develop new approaches to address social challenges. By integrating strategic communication and public policy analysis, Sakshi aims to forge a fulfilling career in public service.


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Rita Krapf

Rita is a Master of Public Administration student planning to concentrate on nonprofit management. She has a B.A in Political Science and a Minor in History from American University. She has experience in community and volunteer engagement in the nonprofit sector. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, painting, and exploring DC.

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​Emily Lamb

Emily Lamb is a second-year MPP student, specializing in social policy. She graduated from The George Washington University in 2023, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with a focus in Public Policy. During her time at GW, she was an active member of the Capital Chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi Society and hosted a weekly political radio show on WRGW. Emily is passionate about education, labor, and cultural policy and has completed various internships, including with Girl Scouts and First Book. When not working or studying, Emily enjoys visiting DC's many book stores and museums. 

Caroline Motley

Caroline Motley

Growing up 20 minutes outside of Washington, D.C., Caroline has always cared about politics and governance as it pertains to human rights. After the Supreme Court decision reversing Roe v. Wade, Caroline decided to put her passion for feminism into action; with the help of her co-founder Tyler Brent, Caroline founded the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Movement for Choice, which raises money for abortion access through donation-based events and fitness classes around Washington, D.C. Since its founding, Movement for Choice has hosted dozens of events and raised thousands of dollars for reproductive healthcare but it is just the beginning! Caroline is now enrolled in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy to learn how to better manage and lead Movement for Choice in order to make a greater impact on the fight for reproductive rights. 


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Jaya Parashar

Jaya is a purpose-driven individual determined to create a positive impact, empower others, and build bridges between cultures. She is presently dedicated to advancing her education with a master’s degree in public administration (MPA), building upon her solid academic foundation in political science, which she cultivated through her undergraduate and master's studies at Delhi University in India. Jaya firmly believes in the transformative power of analysis, effective communication, and exceptional interpersonal skills. She is currently working as an international student ambassador with the International Services Office at GW and is committed to facilitating a seamless transition for fellow students and nurturing a supportive environment for their personal and academic growth. Beyond academia, she actively engages with a few nonprofits in Washington, D.C. Her volunteer work with One Journey focuses on shaping the narrative of refugees in America, while her role as Vice President for Global Shapers Community, World Economic Forum allows her to be a catalyst for driving change. Jaya's multifaceted personality shines through her love for dance, and exploration through travel. Her love language is food and sharing a scrumptious meal with her is the key to winning her heart. She is poised to make a positive impact with her unwavering dedication, fostering inclusivity, compassion, and global transformation.


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Eliza Thorn

Eliza is a Master of Environmental Resource Policy student in her first year at The George Washington University. A native Floridian, she graduated with honors from the University of Florida, attaining a bachelor’s degree in Sustainability Studies with a minor in Economics. Outside of class, Eliza works for TRC Companies, Inc. as a consultant in the environmental sector. She finds fulfillment in her work on environmental justice initiatives. Eliza is passionate about surfing, snowboarding, and other board sports, volunteering, sustainable fashion, and travel in her free time.