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Congressional Fellowships
on Women and Public Policy

Class of 2009


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

 

Allison Adams-Alwine works for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (New York),  focusing on a wide range of women’s issues, including global women’s health and human rights, sexual assault in the military, and paid parental leave. Her undergraduate degree in political science and sociology is from Vanderbilt University. In May, she will receive her master’s in conflict resolution from Georgetown University.

 

Ally became interested in women’s issues while working for the nonprofit Families of Murder Victims, where she saw first-hand the central role women play in supporting their families and communities and helping them recover from tragedy and violence.  In graduate school, she focused on the international side of these issues in a position with Women in International Security, where she conducted research on women’s leadership in United Nations peacekeeping operations. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Ally’s parents both work as scientific researchers and professors at the University of Pennsylvania.

Megan Curran works in the office of Congressman Pete Stark (California) on issues relating to women, youth, and poverty.  She received her Master of Laws in International Law from the University of Edinburgh in 2006, where she investigated Rwanda’s constitutionally-mandated quota system on gender disparities and development.  Megan remained in Scotland to work for two years as a parliamentary aide/researcher for Helen Eadie, MSP, a member of the Scottish Parliament.   Originally from New York and a magna cum laude graduate of Fordham University, Megan double-majored in American and African/African American studies.  During college, she worked as co-director of a Bronx employment and housing drop-in center, serving clients, recruiting volunteers, and building coalitions with local NGOs and businesses.  Her volunteer work includes a women and poverty project with the Scottish women's organization, Engender; a corporate responsibility campaign for Amnesty International Scotland; co-presidency of Fordham University College Democrats, and reconstruction work as part of an international team rebuilding a severely flood-damaged village near Arles, France.

 

Krystl Haerian, works on the staff of Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), where she covers such issues as Medicare and Medicaid, women’s health, health appropriations, and health and the environment for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  A graduate of the University of Maryland Medical School, Krystl completed a post-doctoral fellowship in biomedical informatics at NIH.  She also holds a master’s in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University.  Her cum laude undergraduate degree in biological science and writing is from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where she was also a national champion rower.  Prior to her research work in Health IT, Krystl conducted laboratory-based research with clinical relevance for ALS and ovarian cancer.  A strong proponent of education, Krystl has volunteered as an adult literacy teacher in Baltimore City, as a preschool teacher, and as a writing tutor for English as Second Language (ESL) students.  She is also a Student Editorial Board member for the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.  In her free time, Krystl enjoys nurturing her children’s love of paleontology.

Abha Kundi works on health and women's issues for Congresswoman Lois Capps of California. Prior to her WREI Fellowship, Abha earned both a J.D. and master's in Public Health from Boston University. As a graduate student, Abha held internship placements with the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services and Elder Law of Michigan. During her time with these government and non-profit organizations, her activities ranged from researching and drafting public health legislation to assisting low-income clients seeking legal counsel on health issues and other matters. Before moving to the East Coast, Abha lived in Michigan, where she was a magna cum laude graduate of Kalamazoo College in English literature. Her interest in healthcare comes naturally: her father is an anesthesiologist, her brother a surgeon, and her mother a pharmacist. 

 

Jenny Lah works for Rep. Ron Kind (Wisconsin). She is a graduate student at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton.  Her work experience has mostly been international, and she is excited to work on domestic issues like Social Security.  This past summer, she interned at Liberia’s Ministry of Gender and Development. Prior to graduate school, she worked at the Yale China Law Center in Beijing and taught at China Foreign Affairs University with Princeton in Asia. Before her sojourn in China, she worked for two years at the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in New York. There she enjoyed learning about the newest developments in civil society organizing, aid architecture and UN reform. She continues to be interested in gender and development and was a co-chair of the Gender and Policy Network at Princeton.