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Congressional Fellowships
on Women and Public Policy

Class of 2006

These seven remarkable women are already making a difference as WREI Fellows on Capitol Hill.

Jacqueline Ayers works in the office of Congressman Robert Scott (D-VA) on issues before the Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee as well as on health, labor, and women's issues. She previously served as the Associate Director of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, where she was responsible for legislative advocacy, public education, and development. During her time with ICLU, Jacqueline coordinated several public education campaigns on racial profiling and also taught constitutional rights and civic participation to recent immigrants and at-risk youth. In 2000, she received her B.A. in mass communications and government from Western Kentucky University and then in 2004, her juris doctorate from the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. Jacqueline is admitted to practice law in the State of Indiana, and before the United States District Courts for the Southern Districts of Indiana. While in law school, Jacqueline spent a summer in Accra, Ghana, working on various human rights issues and community mobilization. Her volunteer efforts include advocating for Planned Parenthood of Indiana on women's reproductive rights. A member of the Marion County Bar Association, an organization that supports minority attorneys in Indianapolis, Jacqueline also tutored low income high school students and encouraged them to attend college.

Berre Burch is a fellow in the office of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy of Rhode Island working on mental health policy. Previously, Berre was a child and adolescent forensic interviewer at Safe Shores: The DC Children's Advocacy Center, where she conducted interviews with child and adolescent victims of violent crimes in Washington, DC. Working with investigators and prosecutors, she and her colleagues promoted collaboration between civil and criminal investigations. Berre received her master's in Art Therapy from the George Washington University. While at GWU, she had the opportunity to work in a variety of mental health settings, including an elementary school for children with severe emotional disturbances and Walter Reed Hospital's adult inpatient psychiatric ward. As part of her work for the Department of the Army, Berre also had the rare and rewarding experience of working at the Pentagon Family Relief Center providing support and services to the family members who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks of September 11th. She has presented papers at national conferences on art therapy and trauma. An Arkansas native, Berre completed her BA at Hendrix College, a liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas

Jill Feldstein covers education policy in the office of Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). She has spent the last few years working in the areas of community organizing, voter mobilization, and electoral politics, bouncing back and forth between the U.S. and Latin America. She spent last summer in Mexico, interviewing state congresswomen and party leaders on the role of gender in the candidate nomination and selection process. The previous year, she served as deputy director of a Get-Out-the-Vote effort in Washington State, where she helped mobilize more than 100,000 low-income voters for the 2004 presidential election. In 2002-2003, Jill used a Fulbright grant to train local activists on the principles of community organizing and to conduct an evaluation of a women's reproductive health advocacy project in the Andes. Jill holds dual Master of Arts degrees in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and BAs in Economics and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Heidi Hollonbeck double majored in Global Studies and Political Science at the University of Iowa, graduating with honors. After graduation, she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to French-speaking Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa. The first two years of her service were spent in a rural village building a maternity ward. She also served on the Women in Development (WID) Committee and helped coordinate the WID Scholarship Program. Heidi extended her Peace Corps service for a third year to be the coordinator of the WID committee and the HIV/AIDS committee. Heidi expanded the scholarship program and planned a four-day "Take Our Daughters to Work" seminar for scholarship recipients. She also organized a seminar to train fellow Volunteers how to teach about HIV/AIDS in their villages, including country specific teaching tools and resources. Next, Heidi went to Japan to teach English for two years. She was employed by a Japanese school board to teach at three junior high and three elementary schools. She took advantage of this opportunity to study the Japanese language, as well as the arts of calligraphy and kendo. Upon returning to the US, Heidi enrolled in the MBA program at St. Ambrose University, with a concentration in international business. Heidi is working in the office of Congresswoman Betty McCollum. She is working on the Global Health Caucus and focusing on the issues affecting women and children around the world.

Leslie Greenberg is working as a health policy fellow on Senator Barbara Mikulski's Subcommittee on Retirement Security and Aging. Leslie is a registered nurse. She went into nursing to help people, but became attracted to health policy after observing the positive and negative effects of national programs on local patients, doctors, and hospitals. As an oncology research nurse at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC, Leslie coordinated the clinical, financial, and operational aspects of clinical trials. Leslie also worked with community oncologists to promote research and oncology services for cancer patients in the metropolitan Washington DC area. In 2004, she earned a Master's of Nursing/Health Policy from the University of Maryland at Baltimore with an Advanced Certificate of Health and Public Policy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. During the spring of 2004, Leslie interned in the Government Affairs office of the American Nurses' Association, working on federal and state policy and grassroots lobbying. She has also been very active with the Oncology Nursing Society. Leslie participated in the 2005 One Voice Against Cancer lobby day, to raise support for increased funding for cancer research and programs.

Savannah Lengsfelder recently received her Master's in International Governance and Development from the Institute of Development Studies in the United Kingdom. Her dissertation on the human rights responsibilities of transnational corporations was the culmination of five years of study and research in Guanajuato, Mexico; Valparaiso, Chile; Sevilla, Spain; the Hauge, the Netherlands; Pretoria, South Africa; and Brighton, England. In England, Savannah founded Advocates for Informed Democracy, a forum for student/faculty/policymaker debates on international affairs. A graduate of Stanford University in her native California, Savannah studied International Relations and Economics and minored in Latin American Studies and Spanish. At Stanford, she helped form Volunteers in Latin American, which funds summer trips for students to serve in an Ecuadorian children's shelter. She was also vice president of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Savannah has interned at the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Development Policy, for a Californian Congresswoman, and at an international humanitarian aid NGO, and recently fulfilled a Fellowship working on human rights law at the University of Pretoria's Centre for Human Rights. Savannah is drawing upon all of these interests and experiences in her work for Congressman Adam Schiff (D - CA, 29th District), where she is responsible for issues relating to human rights, democracy-promotion, international development and security, Latin America, Africa, trade, Latinos, and the environment.

Anthea Watson accepted placement on the staff of Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and will focus on women's issues, including access to reproductive health services and the Equal Rights Amendment. Anthea graduated from Boston University School of Law in May, where she was the articles editor for the Boston University International Law Journal. During law school, she spent time studying the effect domestic tax policy has on women's economic choices. Anthea hopes to publish her paper, "Examining the Gender Bias in the Tax Code," this year. While at BU, Anthea volunteered with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and the Women's Bar Association legislative policy committee. Prior to law school, she worked as a research assistant at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC, where she researched the peace-building efforts of women in Ireland and Serbia. A former champion at synchronized swimming, Anthea enjoys any excuse to get in the water and swims with a D.C. area master's swimming team.