THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Chicago, Illinois) ________________________________________________________________________ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 5, 1998
THE WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES NATIONAL FINALISTS FOR 1998-1999 WHITE HOUSE FELLOWSHIPS
Today, the White House announced the National Finalists for 1998-1999 White House Fellowships. Among the 30 finalists are two high school teachers, a conflict resolution specialist in the Gaza Strip in Israel, three doctors, and a former prima ballerina turned management consultant.
Twelve of this year's Finalists are women. The Finalists include 11 from the business sector, 3 lawyers, a software systems engineer, a human rights activist and 6 members of the military. A complete list of the National Finalists is attached.
Hundreds of applications were received from around the country, and fewer than 1 in 14 applicants were selected as Finalists this year. Seven panels of prominent leaders in Washington, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles chose the 30 Finalists. From June 4-7, the Finalists will be interviewed by the President's Commission on White House Fellowships, who will then recommend 11-19 names to President Clinton for appointment.
The White House Fellows program, established by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, provides an opportunity for outstanding Americans to spend a year working hand-in-hand with leaders in the federal government. The Fellows also participate in an education program that includes off-the-record meetings with high-ranking government officials, scholars, journalists and private-sector leaders. White House Fellows are expected to have a record of remarkable achievement early in their careers, the skills required to serve at the highest levels of government, the potential to be leaders in their professions, and a proven commitment to public service.
White House Fellows spend a year serving the President as full-time paid special assistants to members of the Cabinet and senior White House staff. President Clinton described the program, which was started 33 years ago, "as one of the traditions of the Presidency that I have come to value the most...because White House Fellows become engines of optimism and belief about America based on their unique experiences." Previous Fellows include: Colin Powell, Chairman of America's Promise and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian; Tom Johnson, CEO of CNN; Gen. Wesley K. Clark, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe; Jane Cahill Pfeiffer, former Chairman NBC; and Suzan Johnson Cook, member of President Clinton's Advisory Board on Race.
To obtain an application for the 1999-2000 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 application deadline is February 1, 1999, and the fellowship program runs from September 1 through August 31 of every year.
The President's Commission on White House Fellowships 1998-1999 National Finalists
Ted Ashburn, 31, is a research chemist and MD candidate at Harvard Medical School in Boston. A native of Indiana, Ashburn has a Ph.D in organic chemistry from MIT and has conducted research to develop methods to diagnose and combat Alzheimer's and other related diseases. He has been active in the Greater Boston Special Olympics, and as a participant in the MIT Chemistry High School Outreach Program, visited local high schools to perform chemistry demonstrations related to everyday life and to answer questions about careers in science. Ashburn also holds a private pilot's license.
Pieter Boelhouwer, 31, is a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. in Stamford, CT. A native of Connecticut, Boelhouwer has a JD from Yale Law School. While at McKinsey, where he focuses on information technology and health care, he designed an innovative approach to connecting schools to home via the Internet to improve children's education. While a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate, Boelhouwer developed and wrote legislation creating the National Civilian Community Corps, a residential service program passed as part of President Clinton's AmeriCorps bill. At McKinsey, he originated and led a pro bono project to help The Presidents' Summit for America's Future design its plan to reach the nation's communities.
Jean Callahan, 34, is an attorney at the Legal Aid Society in New York City, specializing in elder law. A native of Cape May, N.J., Callahan founded the Rutgers Law School Pro Bono Program. She served as lead counsel in a 1997 federal class action to ensure the rights of elderly and incapacitated New York Medicaid recipients to adequate home care. Callahan has served as an international monitor for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in South Africa, developed treatment plans and counseled 50 weekly clients at the Greenwich House East Methadone Maintenance Center in lower Manhattan and served as liaison to the Rikers Island KEEP program, designed to keep recently released prisoners from returning to drug abuse.
Erin Conaton, 27, is an investment banker and Ph.D. candidate at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, MA. Conaton, who grew up in New Jersey, has worked as a financial analyst for Salomon Brothers, Inc. in New York and directed client services for a growing entrepreneurial investment services firm based in New York and the Middle East. She has served in graduate fellows positions focusing on non-proliferation issues at both the National Security Council and the CIA. Conaton was president and is now a member of the Board of Directors of the National Collegiate Conference Association, which annually sponsors the oldest Model United Nations conference at the U.N. headquarters in New York.
Leela de Souza, 32, is a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. in San Francisco. A native of Chicago, de Souza earned an M.B.A. from Stanford University. She was a prima ballerina at the age of 23 with the Hubbard Street Dance Company, one of America's preeminent contemporary dance troupes. De Souza moved to Spain after college where she was a volunteer teacher at the American School of Madrid. While at Stanford, she served as executive producer and co-producer of the annual business school musical. De Souza is a mentor and tutor in the I Have a Dream Program in East Palo Alto, CA, and serves on the Business Arts Council of San Francisco.
Carlos Del Toro, 36, is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, stationed aboard the USS Vincennes. A native of Cuba, Del Toro was raised in New York City. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he has an M.A. in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College, an M.A. in legislative affairs from George Washington University, and an M.S. in electrical/space systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. Del Toro was a Tactical Action Officer during Operation Desert Storm and is the Navy's first Hispanic officer to command an Arleigh Burke Destroyer. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Board Member of the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and founded an "Engineers in Education" program to tutor and provide scholarships for inner city children.
Stephen England, 37, is a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon in St. Paul MN, specializing in children with special health care needs. A native of St. Paul, England received an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College and a master's in public health from Johns Hopkins University. England has lectured nationally and internationally on pediatric and adolescent health topics and serves on numerous state commissions addressing the health issues of children with disabilities. He is an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Minnesota and recently was part of a medical mission in Ecuador operating on children with cerebral palsy. England founded the Children's Health Enrichment Program in St. Paul, which teaches African American teenagers about health topics and provides mentoring and academic guidance.
John R. Flatter, 35 is a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a think tank analyst at Marine Corps headquarters in Arlington, VA. Flatter, raised in rural Washington State, is working on a Ph.D. in public administration at George Washington University and has an M.S. in management from the Naval Post Graduate School. He served as a Marine Corps drill instructor and trained and led the Marine unit that broke the Somali Warloads' strangle-hold on Mogadishu, Somalia. Flatter recently traveled to Romania to brief that country's military police. He is the founding director of the non-profit 2nd Track Foundation, which provides information and inspiration to low-income families and at-risk youth about opportunities to attend college.
Alexander Friedman, 27, is the founder of the 21st Century Roundtable and a JD-MBA candidate at Columbia University in New York City. Friedman, who was raised in New York and Washington, D.C., started the Roundtable as his generation's first civic venture capital non-profit group. It pairs young leaders of non-profits with young professionals who can help provide advice, services and financing. Friedman also started an Internet firm that provides business-to-business marketing information and a biotechnology services company dedicated to accelerating the clinical trial process for biotechnology firms. He founded Climb for the Cure, a national student effort to raise $1 million for AIDS research through a climb of Alaska's Mt. McKinley and has served as a small-claims court and family mediator in Harlem and the South Bronx.
Jose Fuentes, 33, is a physician at the UMC/Community Hospitals in Fresno, CA. A native of Mexico, Fuentes attended Culver Military Academy in Culver, IN, and received a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.D. from the University of California at San Francisco. After serving as a general surgery and urology resident at UCSF, Fuentes transferred to the UCSF-Fresno internal medicine program to pursue a community-oriented medical career. Fuentes has served as a mentor to disadvantaged children in Boston housing projects, a volunteer in a hospital emergency room and founded an outpatient medical clinic. He currently mentors a Latino high school student in Fresno and tutors and mentors Fresno college students seeking medical careers.
Jeffrey Glueck, 29, is a consultant at the Monitor Co. in Cambridge, MA. A native of California, he has a master's degree in international relations from Oxford University. While at Oxford, he and a partner won the annual Oxford Debating championship. Glueck has advised the Peruvian and Bolivian governments on economic competitiveness and since 1995, has directed the national competitiveness project for the Venezuelan government. Glueck was a pro bono advisor to the Center for Middle East Competitive Strategy, an economic development and regional cooperation project for the signatory governments of the Middle East peace process. He tutored at a housing project in Boston, co-founded the Harvard Communication Project -- an inter-ethnic discussion group -- and started a recycling program in Oxford student dorms.
Selma Gomez, 34, is the president of Applied Consulting Services Corp. in Miami, FL. A native of Miami, Gomez founded the company to provide operations improvement advice and strategic planning for private and non-profit clients. She has a Ph.D. in decision sciences, an M.B.A. and a master's in engineering sciences from Harvard University. Before starting her own firm, Gomez was a senior manager at KPMG Peat Marwick, LLP., in Miami where she developed a specialty in international market entry strategies. She teaches in the engineering department at the University of Miami, is a member of the Dade County Performance Commission, serves on the Community Advisory Board of the Retarded Citizens of South Florida and is a teacher in NETWORKS, a program to provide inner city students with enrichment classes on Saturdays.
H. Beecher Hicks, III, 30, is an investment banker at NationsBank Corp. in Charlotte, NC. Raised in Washington, D.C., Hicks has an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flager Business School. As a vice president at NationsBank, he provides mergers and acquisitions advice to middle-market companies. While serving as assistant to the chairman of NationsBank, Hicks led the formation of the bank's vendor development program and proposed a $30 million-equity investment company focusing on urban communities. He also helped start The Investment Group of Charlotte, which invests in local firms and real estate projects and provides technical aid to entrepreneurs. Hicks is a member of the Board of Directors of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Development Corporation and works with students at Johnson C. Smith University.
Shaz Kahng, 34, is a management consultant at Kurt Salmon Associates, in New York City. A native of New York, Kahng has M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Kahng was the first female minority partner at Kurt Salmon, a global management consulting firm specializing in consumer products and retail industries. Kahng has led projects in South America, Europe and Asia and recently led a team of top grocery industry executives through a consumer response project. She has served as an instructor of economics for Junior Achievement of New York, Inc., and tutored under- privileged children while at Wharton. She also was the co-executive producer of the independent film "Sunday," winner of the 1997 Sundance Film Festival.
C.S. Eliot Kang, 35, is a foreign policy analyst at the Japan Institute of International Affairs in Tokyo. A native of Seoul, South Korea, Kang grew up in Lakewood, N.J. He received an M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. from the Yale University Department of Political Science. Kang has worked as an investment banker for Dillon, Read & Co. and currently is on leave from Northern Illinois University, where he teaches international relations. An expert on Northeast Asia, Kang was elected a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, which awarded him its International Affairs Fellowship in Japan in 1997. Kang revived the defunct Korean-American Student Association at Northern Illinois and established a mentoring program there for Asian-American students.
Stephanie Koury, 30, is a conflict resolution specialist at Search for Common Ground in Gaza City, Israel. Koury, who is from Austin, Texas, moved to Syria to study Arabic after graduating from college. After returning home, she earned a J.D. from the University of Texas, where she served as Board Member of an organization that supports students who want to work in public interest law and also organized negotiation and mediation competitions and promoted dispute resolution activities at the state level. Koury moved to the Gaza Strip to launch conflict resolution programs. She oversaw the development of a community-based conflict resolution center there and also coached Palestinian women in basketball.
Bruce McNamar, 35, is a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. in San Francisco where he focuses on strategy development and organizational issues primarily in the financial services industry. A native of Billings, MO, McNamar has an M.B.A. and J.D. from Stanford University. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, where he helped build the community's first high school, which bears his name. At Stanford, he co-founded MBAID, a non-profit group that sends MBA students to developing countries. He also co-founded "Start Up," which provides a 12-week training program for economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs and funds and administers a micro-lending credit program to jump-start small businesses. At McKinsey, he has led the San Francisco office's community outreach efforts.
Kate Mehr, 35, is the executive director of Massachusetts Service Alliance in Boston, whose mission is to create and support service opportunities for citizens of all ages. The Alliance has increased state support for service by 750%. A native of western Massachusetts, Mehr received an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Mehr has taught high school government and history and coached basketball and golf at the high school level. She was a victim-witness advocate in Massachusetts, worked as an aide to a Massachusetts state senator and was a founding staff member of the Massachusetts Legislative Children's Caucus. Mehr coordinated "The Massachusetts Summit: the Promise of Our Youth, mentored a young Cambodian immigrant and was a volunteer basketball coach at a local YMCA.
Mike Miles, 41, is a teacher at Fountain-Ft. Carson High School in Fountain, CO, where he teaches Advanced Government, Economics and U.S. History. Miles, who grew up in Colorado, served in the Army's elite Ranger Battalion and commanded an infantry rifle company. He received an M.A. from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. A Soviet specialist, he worked as a Presidential Management Intern at the U.S. State Department and became a Foreign Service Officer. Miles was a political officer in Poland and a special assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to Russia. After returning home, Miles began teaching and has become an expert on standards-based education. He helped start the Pikes Peak Human Relations Coalition and sits on the boards of two community organizations that help find solutions to community problems.
Mark Montgomery, 33, is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy and Executive Officer aboard the USS Elliot, home-ported in San Diego. He is preparing the ship for its deployment to the Arabian Gulf. Montgomery, who grew up overseas and in Washington, D.C., has a master's in history from Oxford University and was one of a handful of liberal arts majors to complete the naval nuclear power program. He completed two overseas deployments on the USS BAINBRIDGE, including one in support of Operation Desert Storm. He led a team of 30 BAINBRIDGE sailors that provided disaster relief to the island of St. Croix after Hurricane Hugo. He later was assigned to the reactor department on a NIMITZ-class aircraft carrier where he deployed to Bosnia during air strikes. Montgomery is the first in his year group to be selected for command of a destroyer. When not at sea, Montgomery has served as a Big Brother.
James O'Connor, 31, is a management consultant at A.T. Kearney, Inc., in Chicago. A native of Evanston, IL, O'Connor earned a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and an M.B.A from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where he founded the Kellogg Corps, which places teams of MBA students in developing communities around the world. He served as the first American volunteer teacher at a school in Lebowa, South Africa, and created a community relations program at Kearney. O'Connor founded the Field Associates, a group of young adults who promote the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and he started the Associates Group of the Big Shoulders Fund, which involves young adults in advisory and fundraising roles with needy Catholic schools in Chicago's inner city.
Michelle Peluso, 26, is a management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group in New York City. A native of Middletown, NY, Peluso has an M.A. from Pembroke College at the University of Oxford. Peluso is a case leader at BCG and recently completed a project to define the next frontier in health care. Peluso founded A New Generation for Peace, a non-profit group which brought together 350 youth from 50 countries for seminars on global issues. In college, she spent 30 hours a week leading volunteer programs in West Philadelphia, including an at-risk mentoring program, a campus community service group and the Ronald McDonald House's Penn volunteer initiative. Peluso is a member of the board of Directors of Christa House, a non-profit group that builds homes and provides care for end-stage AIDS patients.
Asifa Quraishi, 31, is an attorney and LL.M. candidate at Columbia University School of Law in New York City. Quraishi, who grew up in Palo Alto, CA, has a J.D. from the University of California, Davis School of Law. She served as death penalty law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th circuit where she wrote a capital punishment handbook. During undergraduate school at the University of California at Berkeley, Quraishi revived the dormant Muslim Women's Fellowship student organization. As president of Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, she started an electronic message discussion group for American Muslim lawyers. She is the curriculum coordinator for a Muslim youth summer camp and was a delegate to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China in 1995.
Ricardo Roca, 36, is a software systems engineer at Advanced Marine Enterprises, Inc. in Arlington, VA. Roca, who grew up in Louisiana, has worked on simulation-based technology that has been used by scientists, engineers, military officers, teachers and financial experts. In order to enhance his career, which is focused on creating electronic teaching methods, Roca interrupted his career to become a full-time high school math and science teacher from 1990-92. He designed, developed and implemented instructional software to teach algebra and chemistry to academically deficient students. Roca has been a judge at school science fairs, spoken at career days, coached Babe Ruth baseball, and tutors a second grader once a week. Roca also serves as an appointed commissioner to the Arlington Country Multicultural Advisory Commission.
Clara Shin, 27, is a J.D. candidate at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. Raised in Orange, CA, Shin was the youngest AmeriCorps program officer, where she helped create a new federal agency to implement the program, and was in charge of developing the first national grant applications for selecting local programs for funding. Shin founded KOSOMOSE Women's Journal, a magazine for Asian-American women, and helped start the Tahoe-Baikal Institute, a bi-national environmental institute in California and Siberia that trains environmentalists in land and water issues. Shin is an advisory board member of Earth Train, which trains young activists to respond to community needs, is a board member of American Youth Hostels and a steering committee member for the Organization for Pan-Asian women.
John Tien, Jr. 34, is a Major in the U.S. Army and an assistant professor in the Department of Social Services at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY. A native of New Haven, CT., Tien is course director for the introductory American Politics core course. He was the top-ranked military cadet in his class at West Point and later attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Tien was among the first U.S. soldiers to cross the Saudi Arabia-Iraq border during Operation Desert Storm. He has commanded an M1A1 main battle tank company, a headquarters company and served as the chief logistics officer for a thousand-soldier brigade. Tien has tutored inner-city high school youth, is the co-organizer of the New York Orange County Special Olympics, and is a youth league soccer and baseball coach.
Cameron Torrens, 32, is a Major (select) in the U.S. Air Force and is studying for a M.S. at the Air Mobility Warfare Center in Fort Dix, NJ. A native of Montesano, WA, he is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and has a M.S. in international relations from Troy State University. Torrens air-dropped thousands of tons of supplies to Kurdish refugees following the Gulf War and was one of the first pilots involved in the delivery of humanitarian aid to Bosnia. Torrens builds homes for low-income families as part of Habitat for Humanity and has been active in the Colorado and New Jersey State Special Olympics.
Katherine Ward, 32, is a human rights activist and lawyer at the Coalition for International Justice in Washington, D.C., which gives advice to the International War Crimes Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Ward, who is from Connecticut, has a J.D. from the University of Chicago and a master's from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She served as in-country coordinator for a project advising Uzbekistan on legal reform and helped establish some of the first joint ventures in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan with U.S. partners. Ward spent two years in Croatia as a caseworker and then country director of a program to help Bosnian refugees seeking asylum. She volunteers with Greater D.C. Cares and was a leader of a Boston supper club that prepared dinner for 150-200 people one night a week.
Marshall Williams, 37, is a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army and is the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Raised in Washington, D.C., Williams has masters' degrees in human resource management and development and in management from the National-Louis University School of Management in Evanston, IL. Williams has been the Army's Soldier of the Year and was awarded the Sergeant Morales Lifetime Leadership Award, the highest leadership honor that can be bestowed on an enlisted soldier. He volunteers as a tutor and holds monthly classes to help enlisted service members write resumes and prepare for interviews. Williams has also been active with the Big Brothers Association and several programs that feed the needy.
Felicia Wong, 31, is a teacher at the College Preparatory School of Oakland and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California at Berkeley. Wong grew up in Sunnyvale, CA, and has a master's degree from the University of California at Berkeley and is studying for a Ph.D. in political science there. Berkeley. Wong took a leave of absence from Berkeley to teach high school full-time. She is a faculty advisor to a student group on diversity and has set up an ethics program for the school's senior class. Wong is the co-director and teacher in her high school's Partners' Program, an academic summer school that serves low-income public students in the 7th-9th grades. She has also worked on non-proliferation issues in Washington at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and at the Arms Control Association.