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Congressional Fellowships
on Women and Public Policy

Class of 2008

These remarkable women are mastering public policymaking as WREI Fellows on Capitol Hill.


Carolyn Hughes graduated from Xavier University in 2005 with a BA in international affairs and minors in Spanish and English.  She then joined AmeriCorps, where she completed a year of community service projects around the United States, and was awarded both the Congressional and Presidential Awards for outstanding community service.  Afterwards, Carolyn spent several months leading reconstruction teams in Biloxi, Mississippi as part of Hurricane Katrina relief and rebuilding.  She then moved to London to pursue a master’s in human rights at the University of London and also spent time working at the Middle East Centre for Women’s Rights.  Carolyn now works in the office of Rep. Bobby Scott (Virginia) on labor rights, healthcare, international human rights, and women’s issues.  Carolyn enjoys all kinds of dancing, particularly salsa and Arabic dancing, and was a professional Arabic dancer in Cincinnati while pursuing her undergraduate degree.  In her free time, she is learning Arabic and playing on a soccer team.  Her other interests include cycling, playing the violin and traveling.

Joanne Manrique covers FDA and women’s international health issues for Rep. Rosa DeLauro, chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Related Agencies. Previously, she served as executive director for Experior Advisory, where she directed research on public health delivery programs for refugees and child and maternal care in the Middle East and Latin America. Joanne has also lobbied on labor issues and election disputes for several Latin American clients, including Guatemala and Mexico. In 2004, she served as an advisor to the presidential campaign of Senator John Kerry. In the past year, Joanne traveled extensively in El Salvador and Lebanon to complete her dissertation research. In Lebanon, she helped establish an NGO to advance critical aid projects, without regard for religious affiliation. Joanne holds a master’s in international relations from the University of Maryland and will complete her doctorate in the fall of 2008. Her public health training was done at George Washington and Johns Hopkins Universities and in Bogotá, Colombia. While completing her academic pursuits, Joanne and her husband Mark welcomed a new addition to their family, a baby boy named Connor.


After earning a BA in environmental science for UC Berkeley, Pammy O'Leary conducted human rights training for indigenous women and youth in Kenya with the organization MADRE.  She received a master’s in applied women's studies from Claremont Graduate University, where she established a new sorority chapter and did work linking feminism and female leadership opportunities via sororities.  Pammy then took a position with the Feminist Majority in Los Angeles, and found time to launch her own online apparel company, I am Femtastic.com. Her volunteer activities include interning with Human Rights Watch and Greenpeace, rape crisis counseling, and transnational work with women's organizations in Guatemala, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  She recently completed a graduate internship at the Office of the Focal Point for Women at the United Nations.  A Florida native, Pammy earned the Girl Scout Gold Award.   Her WREI Fellowship is on the staff of Rep. Carolyn Maloney (New York), where she drafted a resolution calling for action against sexual violence crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, recruits co-signers for the Women’s Equality Amendment, and assists with other legislation concerning women’s rights.

Anh Phan works for Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (California), focusing on health appropriations, immigration, civil rights, and women’s issues.  A returning student, she previously traveled abroad as part of foreign exchanges in Nagoya, Japan and Vietnam, and worked in the Oregon State Legislature and on several state and federal electoral campaigns in Oregon and Seattle before moving to the Washington, D.C. area to finish her undergraduate degree.  Anh graduated cum laude from George Mason University with a BA in government and international politics, minoring in urban and suburban studies.  She then earned a master’s of public administration from Bernard M. Baruch College, City University of New York, as a National Urban Fellow.  Prior to graduate school, Anh was national communications director for OCA, a pan-Asian American civil rights, social justice and education non-profit.  As OCA’s public relations officer, she represented the interests of Asian Americans in cases of product discrimination, anti-Asian violence, immigration, and racist portrayals of Asians in the media.  In addition, Anh volunteers with the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, a progressive, multi-issue feminist organization.  She enjoys traveling, entertaining, dancing, and maintaining a food blog.  Originally from Portland, Oregon, Anh and her husband Craig live in Alexandria, VA.

Jennifer Taylor works on health and women’s issues for Congresswoman Lois Capps of California. Before pursuing a Master’s in Public Health from UCLA, she graduated with honors from the University of California, Irvine with a BS in biological sciences and BA in psychology and social behavior.  Most recently Jennifer served as program and public policy manager at the Perinatal Advisory Council, where she worked with health professionals and community partners to improve the quality of care delivered in birthing hospitals in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties.  During this time she organized conferences for health professionals, conducted hospital-based evaluation activities, and lectured extensively on maternal and child health policy and advocacy. Previously, she recruited, trained, and supervised volunteer students and health professionals at Share OurSelves Free Medical and Dental Clinic in Costa Mesa, CA.  Her diverse healthcare background includes emergency medical technician certification, heart disease research, Veterans Affairs health education, and volunteer work with a therapeutic horseback-riding center, a health science camp for underprivileged high school kids, and the Flying Samaritans in Mexico. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys hiking, skiing, singing, and ice hockey. .


Amanda Wetzel worked on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff for then-Senator Joe Biden of Delaware.  She holds law degrees from Columbia University School of Law (2008), Universite Paris I, Panthéon Sorbonne (2008), and the Queen’s University of Belfast School of Law (2003).  Amanda also holds an honors degree in international politics from Penn State's Schreyer Honors College and has significant experience working on human rights issues in the United States and abroad.