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Congressional Fellowships
on Women and Public Policy

Class of 2007

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


Kate Geyer graduated from American University with a BA in public communications and women's studies and a graduate certificate from the Women and Politics Institute.  She will complete her master's in public policy with a concentration in women's studies from George Washington University in May of 2007.  In 2001, Kate enlisted in the Special Operations Forces of the U.S. Army Reserve, serving for four years and reaching the rank of Specialist (E-4) in the 82nd Airborne, 450th Civil Affairs Battalion.  In 2000, she founded and began playing for the first District of Columbia collegiate women's ice hockey team at American University.  After graduating from American, Kate served for two years as Legislative Director for Delegate Anne R. Kaiser (D-Burtonsville) in the Maryland General Assembly, later taking time off to manage Del. Kaiser's 2006 successful re-election campaign.  Currently, Kate serves in the office of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as a Legislative Fellow, where she works on health policy issues, including infant health, nursing, and health workforce shortage.


Sara Harrier works for Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard on women’s issues, HHS and housing appropriations.  She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Missouri – Columbia in anthropology and women’s studies, with a specialization on domestic violence, sexual assault, and reproductive rights.  Sara spent a semester studying in Europe, where she researched how legalized sex work affects conditions for women and for sex trafficking by interviewing sex workers in The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and England.  As an intern with NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, she organized information sessions on campus and testified before Congressional sessions to advocate for Roe v. Wade. Sara is also pursuing a master’s in social work at UM-C, where she has conducted intakes for domestic violence offenders and facilitated group meetings as a program development intern at the Family Counseling Center.  At the same time, she worked as a graduate research assistant, developing a sexual assault presentation for healthcare providers.  For five years, as an Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention therapist, she conducted one-on-one therapy sessions with an autistic child.   


Yen Truong is a fourth year student at Tufts University School of Medicine, where she will receive her MD and a master's in public health in May 2008.  Her chosen specialty will be obstetrics and gynecology.  She will be covering health issues for Rep. Lois Capps, chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues.  Yen attended the University of California, Berkeley where she received undergraduate degrees in political science and integrative biology.  For three years during college, she worked as a program assistant at Microbicides as an Alternative Solution in Berkeley.  In 2004, Yen was able to return to her country of birth and volunteered at an anonymous HIV testing site in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  Her work focused on HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination and she worked in collaboration with the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies.  Also in 2004, at a pre-conference summit for youth at the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, she presented on youth advocacy in microbicides for the Global Campaign for Microbicides.  Her other volunteer experiences in Berkeley were at the Emergency Department of the Alta Bates Medical Center, tutoring at Washington Elementary School (her former elementary school), and teaching biology to pupils from 5 to 15 at the Lawrence Hall of Science.   Yen has particular interests in HIV/AIDS, reproductive rights, international health, and racial and ethnic disparities in health.


Deborah Perlman works on foreign affairs in the office of Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland.  She holds a masters in public policy from the UCLA School of Public Affairs, with a concentration in international policy, and a BA in history from Haverford College.  During graduate school, Deb worked as a research assistant at the Globalization Research Center-Africa, where she focused on such issues as post-conflict reconstruction, HIV/AIDS, and US-Africa Relations.  Previously, she interned at the Population Reference Bureau in Washington, DC, compiling data for the 2006 Youth Data Sheet that covered reproductive health, education, labor, and general population indicators for 150 countries.  As an adolescent health policy researcher at RAND, Deb worked on several survey research projects and evaluated international and public health proposals.  While a residential counselor at the Germaine Lawrence School for teenage girls with emotional and behavioral problems, Deb co-led therapeutic groups and counseled individual students.  Her volunteer work includes Human Rights Watch and Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles


Amber Shipley works in the office of Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) covering women’s, health, and environmental issues, among others.  She came to Washington with a master’s in public policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs as well as an MA from Rutgers University in women’s and gender studies.  After graduating with a BA in politics from Whitman College, Amber spent five years working with a handful of nonprofit women’s organizations in Seattle and New York, including serving as a grants coordinator for Girls Inc. in New York City and working with a microcredit organization in Seattle.  A founder and director of SeattleWomen.org, Amber also managed State Rep. Laura Ruderman’s successful 2002 campaign for the Washington House.  Outside of politics and women’s issues, Amber enjoys gardening and recently trained for her first half-marathon.



Bethany Sousa is working on women's issues in the office of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York. Bethany received her B.A. in English at the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.  During law school, she was a law clerk at the National Partnership for Women and Families in Washington , DC.  Bethany then returned to D.C. to work as a litigation associate at Venable LLP.  Her pro bono cases included a domestic violence protection order and a claim for a woman seeking asylum based on sexual orientation.  In 2005, Bethany received a masters (MSc) in gender studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.  While in the UK, she researched and drafted a paper on trade and gender on behalf of the Women's National Commission, which was submitted at the 2004 UN Committee on Trade and Development conference, and also drafted an application to the CEDAW Committee on women in prison in the UK, for the Fawcett Society.  During the winter of 2006, Bethany monitored and wrote reports on the 7th drafting session of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the 50th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, as a Fellow at the International Service for Human Rights.  Before coming to Washington for the WREI Fellowship, she volunteered at Amnesty International in New York City, where she researched and drafted materials on women's international human rights.


Davida Walsh, who hails from Ithaca and East Northport, NY, covers health, education and public housing policy for Congressman William D. Delahunt, (MA-10th). She received her B.A. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  While at UW, she interned for Senator Russ Feingold in his district office, worked at the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance with Office of Juvenile Justice and VAWA grants, and was a member and philanthropy chair of Chi Omega Sorority.  Upon graduation, Davida paralegaled at a Manhattan litigation firm and went on to attend Boston University School of Law.  During law school, Davida interned at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, the office of Massachusetts State Senator Cynthia Stone Creem and at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. She worked as a summer associate at the New York law firm, Cullen and Dykman LLP, and was an editor on the American Journal of Law and Medicine. After graduating from BU in May, 2006, Davida joined the Progressive Patriots Fund, Senator Feingold’s PAC, which sent her to San Antonio, Texas to work as Deputy Field Coordinator in a Congressional campaign.