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Congressional Fellowships
on Women and Public Policy

Class of 2011


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

Susan Cha is in the office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34th) working on issues related to women and adolescent health. She received her Master of Public Health in May 2010 from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, where she concentrated on maternal and child health epidemiology. Her thesis evaluated the content and quality of prenatal care on preterm and low birth weight infants in Virginia. Susan completed an internship at Virginia Department of Health, where she assisted with efforts to improve the data quality and efficiency of the state birth defects registry and evaluate a program that distributed folic acid to women at all health clinics to reduce pregnancies affected by neural tube defects. At VCU, Susan worked in the department of epidemiology and community health as a graduate research assistant on several projects, most notably an NIH-funded study that assessed how periconceptional stress impacts birth outcomes among pregnant women. Susan graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in psychology and decided to pursue a career in public health after a trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she worked with a team of health care professionals to educate and offer free clinical services to locals. Her experiences in Cambodia, in Mexico, and previous work at the INOVA Fairfax Hospital’s Emergency Department inspired her to focus on population-based research aimed at reducing disparities and adverse health outcomes among at-risk communities.

Julie Feeney works as a legislative fellow in the office of Representative Carolyn Maloney (NY-14).  Julie works on a variety of issues including anti-human trafficking, supporting reproductive health choice for women, among others.  Julie received her LCSW license in 2009, after graduating with a master’s in Social Work as a Peace CorpsFellow at the University of Missouri-Columbia.  During her social work practica, she worked with the Health Ambassadors Program at the Hyde Square Task Force in Boston and as a school social work student in Columbia, Missouri.   Julie also holds a master in teaching from Simmons College (2007), a master in professional communication from Clark University (2001) and a BA from Clark University (2000).  She is interested in how social policies and their implementation affect vulnerable populations, particularly in the areas of housing and education. 

Julie has worked as an in-home family co-therapist in Boston, and has also taught Spanish at Rockland High School.  She also worked as an Assistant Language Teacher in Mitsuse, Japan, with the Japanese Education and Training Program. 

As a Peace Corps Municipal Development volunteer in Santiago, Paraguay, Julie conducted courses on life skills for youth, organized workshops on children’s health, and helped build a youth center in a rural community.  Before Peace Corps, Julie worked as a tenant organizer to preserve expiring Section 8 housing and as an organizer for Boston’s community gardens.  Julie has also volunteered with City Life Vida Urbana in support of their organizing efforts to address the current foreclosure crisis.

Hannah Katch fell in love with policies that seek to improve women's health and racial and ethnic disparities in health care while working for an HIV/AIDS program in Latin America. Since then, she has taken on a range of jobs on health policy issues, including working for Senator Kennedy on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and conducting research with the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health.  She spent two years working in health policy research  at the Center for Health Care Quality, focusing on policy mechanisms for improving health care quality among under-served populations. On Capitol Hill, Hannah covers health care issues for Senator Al Franken. Before coming to Washington, Hannah staffed the Oregon headquarters of John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004 and spent a year working as an apprentice in an organic bakery. Hannah graduated with a Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) in Health Policy from George Washington University in 2010 and completed her labor doula certification in Spring 2011. 

 

Natalie Khalatov-Krimnus works on health issues for Rep. Lois Capps of California.  She received her JD from Hofstra University School of Law in 2009, where she served on the faculty committee as the law school’s student pro-bono coordinator.  She is passionate about public service and advocacy on behalf of individuals with psychiatric disabilities as well as underserved youth, at both at the individual and policy levels. This drive has led her to internships with Mental Hygiene Legal Services, New York City Legal Aid Education Advocacy Project, and the Long Island Advocacy Center.  Most recently, Natalie worked at Boston’s Disability Law Center, where she led a project aimed at providing better inter-state solutions for individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries residing in Massachusetts, and represented clients regarding their rights: to be free from abuse and neglect at inpatient psychiatric facilities, to be discharged from state-run or private facilities, and to appropriate, accessible housing.  Prior to her legal training, Natalie received a B.A. in English literature from Binghamton University and went on to serve in AmeriCorps, where she spent several months with Habitat for Humanity and the Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild the Gulf after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Natalie is also a certified mediator and a recipient of the Presidential and Congressional Service Awards.  She is fluent in Russian and enjoys traveling, bike riding, rueda dancing, and learning sign language.

Carmen Orozco-Acosta is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Notre Dame in the Department of Political Science.  She specializes in race and politics in the United State and international relations.  Her primary focus is on African-American and Latino politics, the history and political development of both groups, and coalition-building.  As an undergraduate at TCU, Carmen double-majored in Spanish and Political Science; she was very active with campus organizations, becoming a member of every minority and international organization at TCU.   While an undergraduate, she spent a semester in D.C. interning at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).  A proud Colombian-Mexican-American, she has become an avid activist particularly in the Latino community, organizing in the regions where she has lived.  She served on the executive board of the Hispanic Leadership Coalition in northern Indiana, led Latino outreach efforts in South Bend, Elkhart, and Goshen, Indiana, during the Obama campaign, and worked with numerous local and college organizations.  Most recently she co-founded the Graffiti Art Project in South Bend, IN to bring local youth into the arts and cultivate their talents. Carmen lived in Latin America as a child and enjoys traveling.  She studied abroad in Seville, Spain and Bologna, Italy.  [She enjoys visiting her large extended family in Colombia, taking dance classes, and practicing yoga].  Carmen is working for Congressmember Karen Bass of California, handling education, housing, Latin America, and budget related policies and issues.