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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 24, 1997


President Clinton today appointed 11 men and four women from ten states and the District of Columbia as 1997-1998 White House Fellows. The Fellows were selected from hundreds of applicants from around the country on the basis of a record of remarkable achievement early in their careers; possession of the skills needed to serve at the highest level of government; potential to be leaders in their professions; and a proven commitment to public service. A complete list of the Fellows is attached.

Describing the fellowship program as one of the traditions of the Presidency I have come to value the most, President Clinton recently praised the program.

White House Fellows spend a year working as full-time paid assistants to Cabinet secretaries, executive branch agency heads and senior White House staff. Previous Fellows include: Colin Powell, retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Tom Johnson, CNN President; Michael Armacost, President of the Brookings Institution; Doris Meissner, Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; Peter Dawkins, chairman and CEO, Diversified Distribution Services, The Travelers Group and former Heisman Trophy winner; Marshall Carter, Chairman and CEO, State Street Bank & Trust; Henry Cisneros, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary; Tom Downs, President of Amtrak; and Gen. Wesley K. Clark, who has been nominated to be Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.

In addition to spending a year working at the highest level of the federal government, White House Fellows have a unique opportunity to observe our nation's leaders first-hand and to meet informally in off-the-record sessions with other leaders in business, academia and the media. After their year of service, Fellows are expected to return to their communities and professions to share their new knowledge of how Washington works and to continue to develop as national leaders.

To obtain an application for the 1998-99 program, please write to the White House Fellows Program, 712 Jackson Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20503. Only U.S. citizens may apply, and employees of the Federal government are not eligible except if they are in the armed services.

The President's Commission on White House Fellowships 1997-1998 Fellows

Amy E. Alving, 34, is an associate professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Minnesota. A native of Coral Cables, Fla., Alving has appeared on local and national television programs designed to make science appealing to young people and is a member of the Army Science Board, the senior scientific advisory board to the Secretary of the Army.

John C. Burchett, 35, is an attorney in the Wayne County, Mich., Corporation Counsel's office, the nation's eighth largest county. A native of Detroit, Burchett is a founding member of the Detroit Wayne County Homeless Coalition and is a member of the business committee of the Detroit Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. He also co-founded an endowed scholarship for gay and lesbian students in Michigan.

Brad R. Carson, 30, is a commercial litigator with the law firm of Crowe & Dunlevy in Tulsa, Okla., who devotes one-third of his practice to pro bono representation of indigent clients. A former Rhodes Scholar, Carson received the award for Exceptional Contribution to Legal Services of Eastern Oklahoma. A native of Winslow, Ariz., who grew up on Indian reservations, he helped develop the Tulsa Community Development Credit Union which brings equitable banking services to low-income consumers, and is a founding board member of the Wayward Theatre Company.

Cheryl L. Dorsey, 33, is a pediatric resident at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. A Baltimore native, she was the founding director of The Family Van, a non-profit community outreach program combating infant mortality in inner-city Boston. She is an advisory board member of the John F. Kennedy School of Government's Nonprofit Policy and Leadership Program and was featured in the NOVA public television special, "Making of a Doctor."

Sanjay Gupta, 28, is chief neurosurgical resident at the University of Michigan. A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., he is medical consultant for Healing the Children, an international organization that provides medical services to children in underprivileged countries. Gupta has been a singing coach and a scuba diving instructor and is writing a book on the application of ancient Greek mythology to the present day.

Francis J. James, 32, is the founder and Legal Advisor to Legal Aid of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. James, who was born in France, also works with the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice and the Justice Ministry in Laos on legal aid matters. He has served as Deputy Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles and as a corporate lawyer. James founded and directed the Cambodian Defenders Project, a program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development to train that country's first criminal defense bar.

Jon P. Jennings, 34, was the Director of Basketball Development for the Boston Celtics. A native of Richmond, Ind., Jennings was a student assistant to Indiana University basketball Coach Bob Knight, and then worked for the Indiana Pacers. He served as a scout and coach with the Celtics and was a co-founder of Team Harmony, which annually brings together young people in Boston to promote understanding and respect for differences. Jennings has also traveled to Bosnia-Herzegovina to conduct basketball clinics for children.

Terrence K. Kelly, 37, is a Major in the U.S. Army and an assistant professor of Systems Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, who devised a new solution method for linear programs. Kelly, a native of New Rochelle, N.Y., participated in Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada for which he was awarded a Bronze Star. He is a member of Parents for Excellence, a group working for academic excellence in public schools in Bethlehem, N.Y., and is a volunteer on the Consideration of Others Team, which mentors West Point Cadets.

Jamie Frederic Metzl, 28 is a JD candidate at Harvard Law School. A native of Kansas City, he was a United Nations Human Rights officer in Cambodia, where he organized a human rights drawing contest for Cambodian children and founded the Cambodia Runner's Club. During college, Metzl worked in a Thai refugee camp and while in law school, served as Amnesty International's Country Group Coordinator for Cambodia. He is the restaurant reviewer for the Harvard Law Record and is writing a novel set in the 1970s along the Thai-Cambodian border.

Sean Eugene O'Connor, 35, is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy who serves as a Surface Warfare and Shipbuilding Analyst in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon. A native of Rumson, N.J., he served in Japan and the Persian Gulf, helped rescue several hundred refugees from the Mount Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines and was the second in command on the USS Mitscher DDG-57, the most technologically advanced class of warship ever built. During his tours, he rebuilt an orphanage in the Philippines and entertained handicapped children as part of an Adopt-A-School program in San Diego.

Jeffrey M. Prieto, 36, is an MPA-URB candidate at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Prieto, a native of Ventura, Calif., has a law degree from UCLA, served as an environmental planner for the City of Santa Barbara and later was appointed Santa Barbara Planning Commissioner. Prieto was a co-founder of the Esperanza Foundation, which sponsored a project for older ex-gang members to help young gang members and high-risk youth. Prieto has served as executive director of the Santa Barbara Chicano Scholarship Foundation, and was on the steering committee of a group seeking an at-large voting system for Santa Barbara.

Peter Rundlet, 31, is assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. in Washington, D.C., where he worked to ensure complete implementation of the "motor voter" law in the State of Maryland. A native of Denver, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras. While in law school, Rundlet helped raise funds to support summer public interest jobs for students and volunteered to represent food stamp recipients and victims of housing discrimination in Philadelphia.

Lois A. Scott, 36, is managing director of BancAmerica Securities Inc. in Chicago. A native of Philadelphia, she was the first woman in public finance to be named Principal of the firm of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, where she designed financial plans for state and local governments in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Scott designed the award-winning 1996 financial plan to restore investor confidence in the Chicago Public Schools. She serves on the board of a nonprofit day care facility, prepares tax returns for low-income families, is the founder of a program to keep public schools open after school for at-risk children and has served as president of a nonprofit theater company.

Clifford A. Skelton, 41, is a Commander in the United States Navy who serves as Commanding Officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 105 in Cecil Field, Fla. A native of Kingsville, Tex., he was responsible for the integration of women into one of the Navy's first combat aviation squadrons. Skelton, who was a lead solo pilot and operations officer with the Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, established an affiliation between the Blue Angels and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He is a fundraiser and volunteer for the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Matice J. Wright, 32, is a business analyst at SRA International Inc. in Bowie, Md. A native of Annapolis, Md., she is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and was the Navy's first African-American female flight officer, navigating more than 100 missions. Wright served as an Admissions Officer at the Naval Academy, providing counseling and guidance to high school students interested in attending the Academy. As a Company Officer at the Academy, she was responsible for training and leading more than 100 midshipmen through their development as officer candidates. An accomplished cellist, who also plays the clarinet and saxophone, Wright directed a Navy tutoring and mentoring program that paired midshipmen with at-risk children and serves on the board of directors of a retirement community in Annapolis.