THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
THE WHITE HOUSE NAMES 17 AS 1998-99 WHITE HOUSE FELLOWS Business Sector Participation at All-Time High
Today, the White House announced the 1998-99 class of White House Fellows. This year's class of 17 includes nine people from the business sector, as well as a high school teacher, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, a Legal Aid lawyer, the executive director of a statewide non-profit organization, a former AmeriCorps program officer, and three military officers.
The White House Fellows Program, established by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, is America's most prestigious fellowship for leadership development and public service. It 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 cultural and private-sector leaders.
This year, fewer than 1 in 16 of the hundreds of candidates who applied were appointed by President Clinton as a White House Fellow. Thirty finalists were interviewed from June 4-7 by the President's Commission on White House Fellowships and 17 were then recommended to the President for appointment. The Fellows spend a year serving the President as full-time paid special assistants to members of the Cabinet and senior White House staff. The criteria for selection include remarkable achievement early in their careers, the potential to be leaders in their professions, and a demonstrated commitment to public service.
The newly selected class of Fellows come from nine states and the District of Columbia, and their average age is 31. More than half of the new class of Fellows come from business backgrounds at a time of heightened interest in public/private partnerships. The fellowship year will allow them to learn more about how the federal government works and the opportunities for private sector involvement in addressing public policy issues. Each Fellow was selected because he or she possesses the skills necessary to serve at the highest levels of government. A complete list of the Fellows is attached.
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 l998-99 White House Fellows
Pieter Boelhouwer, 31, is a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. in Stamford, CT. A native of Wethersfield, CT, 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 Wildwood, NJ, Callahan has a JD from the Rutgers Law School and founded its Pro Bono Program. Upon graduation, she won a prestigious Skadden Law Fellowship. 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.
Leela de Souza, 32, is a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. in San Francisco. A native of Chicago, de Souza earned an MBA from Stanford University. Prior to college, de Souza studied ballet for 18 years and danced professionally for five. At the age of 23, she was a principal dancer 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 on the Academic Committee and was as executive director 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 Commander in the U.S. Navy and is Director of Training for all AEGIS cruisers and destroyers and the Commissioning Commanding Officer of the USS BULKELEY, the newest Arleigh Burke destroyer. A native of Cuba, Del Toro was raised in New York City. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he has an MA in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College, an MA in legislative affairs from George Washington University, and an MS in electrical/space systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. Del Toro recently completed a tour as second in command aboard Guided Missile Cruiser VINCENNES stationed in Japan. He 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 MD 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.
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 provide advice, services and financing. He co-founded 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.
Jeffrey Glueck, 29, is a consultant at the Monitor Co. in Cambridge, MA. A native of Newport Beach, CA, he has a master's degree in international relations from Oxford University, where he and a partner won the annual Oxford Debating championship. He 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, was founding participant in the Harvard Communication Project, an inter-ethnic discussion group, and started a recycling program in Oxford student dorms.
Selma Gomez, 35, is the president of Applied Consulting Services Corp. in Miami, FL. A native of Miami and the daughter of Cuban refugees, 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 MBA 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. He was raised in Washington, DC, where his grandfather and father served as pastor of Metropolitan AME Baptist Church. Hicks has an MBA 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.
Bruce McNamer, 35, is a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. in San Francisco. A native of Billings, MT, McNamer has an MBA and JD from Stanford University. Prior to graduate school he worked in investment banking and was a Peace Corps volunteer in a small Paraguayan village where he helped build the community's first high school, which bears his name. While at Stanford, he co-founded MBAID, a non-profit group that sends MBA students to developing countries for three months to work with local entrepreneurs and small community organizations. He also helped launch "Start Up," a community-based microlending organization in East Palo Alto. 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 Amherst, MA, Mehr received an MPA 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.
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 JD from the Georgetown University Law Center and an MBA 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, where he taught English history and math for one year at a rural Catholic school dedicated to the education of underprivileged African students. O'Connor created a community relations program at Kearney, founded the Field Associates, a group of young adults who promote the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and started the Associates Board 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 MA 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 youths from 50 countries for seminars on global issues. As an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, she spent 30 hours a week leading volunteer programs in West Philadelphia, including an at-risk mentoring program, a campus community service group and a volunteer initiative at the Ronald McDonald House. 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.
Clara Shin, 27, is a JD candidate at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. Raised in Orange, CA, Shin was the youngest AmeriCorps program officer, where she helped implement the program, and was in charge of developing the first national grant applications for local programs seeking 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, was a board member of American Youth Hostels and served as 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 Sciences 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.
Felicia Wong, 31, is a high school teacher in Oakland, CA 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. At the College Preparatory School, 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.