Women's Leadership Fellows Program

Logo for WLF Program

The Women’s Leadership Fellows (WLF) 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 WLF participants. Mentors are alumnae who 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 a panel of Trachtenberg School faculty, staff, and students after a competitive application process. Two 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 female cohorts to build community capacity


Apply Now to Join the 2017-2018 Women's Leadership Fellows Program

Are you a woman in the MPA, MPP, or Environmental Resource Policy program? Would you like to be part of a selective nine-month leadership program? Apply now (the deadline is 5pm September 1) for the Trachtenberg School’s Women’s Leadership Fellows Program.  

2017-2018 Co-Chairs

Paige Robnett
Paige Robnett PhotoPaige Robnett is a Project Manager for Cook Ross, a consulting firm that helps companies implement inclusion and diversity initiatives. Previously, Paige served as the College/University Relations Manager for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) where she managed the organization's leadership programs and campus initiatives. She has a BA in Communication and Women’s Studies from Denison University and is currently pursuing her Master of Public Administration from the George Washington University. Paige has experience in strategic program management, communications, and event coordination. She loves promoting feminist issues and her passion for community outreach and women's leadership development drives her work.
Kaitlin Smith
Kaitlin Smith PhotoKaitlin Smith is a second year MPP student with a focus in Health Policy. She commissioned as a naval officer in 2011 upon completion of a B.S. in Biological Anthropology & Anatomy at Duke University. As a Surface Warfare Officer, Kaitlin completed tours in USS STOCKDALE (DDG 106) in San Diego, CA, and USS DONALD COOK (DDG 75) in Rota, Spain. At sea, she held billets as the Antisubmarine Warfare Officer, Damage Control Assistant, Information Systems Officer, and Electrical Officer, and she deployed throughout the Pacific, Middle East, and Mediterranean. Kaitlin is currently stationed at the Pentagon and intends to transfer to the reserves in May 2018 in order to pursue a civilian career in policy. Originally envisioning a career in physical therapy following her military service, Kaitlin is excited to explore health care from a broader perspective. Having participated in the 2016-2017 Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration Women’s Leadership Fellows Program, she is thrilled to return as a co-chair for the 2017-2018 cohort.
Megan Knox
Megan Knox PhotoMegan Knox is pursuing a Master of Public Policy at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration. She hopes to focus in either International Trade or Social Policy. Megan moved to the Washington, DC area in September 2011 after graduating from Allegheny College with a degree in Political Science and a minor in French. She currently works as a research analyst at the National Weather Service (NWS)/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Prior to her time at NOAA, she spent five years at the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) where she worked as a research analyst primarily focusing on legal, risk, and compliance issues relevant to multinational manufacturing firms. While at MAPI, she also coordinated two separate events on corporate security and critical communications.  
She currently resides in Arlington, VA but still calls Pittsburgh, PA home. She is excited to continue working with future, female leaders as a co-chair of this year’s cohort. 

For More Information

Please direct questions about the WLF program to Denise Riebman, Director of Career Development and Alumni Services at the Trachtenberg School, at [email protected] or [email protected]

WLF Learn From Each Other

In December 2013, participants in the Trachtenberg School's Women's Leadership Fellows Program met at GW's Alumni House for an afternoon of networking and learning from each other and their alumni mentors.

A WLF Success Story

My success story is definitely a testament to the confidence the Trachtenberg School and WLF helped me build: 
was offered a promotion at work and I used newfound confidence from WLF and the negotiations training and asked for a better title than what they were offering (with the expectation that they would come to somewhere in between what I suggested and what they offered - that whole start high logic) - but they agreed to my suggestion!
-- A Member of the 2013-2014 WLF Cohort