THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
The President's Commission on White House Fellowships 1999-2000 National Finalists
David Aronberg, 28, is an attorney at Steel Hector & Davis LLP in Miami. A native of Miami, he has a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Aronberg co-organized Florida's Holocaust Insurance Project, which investigates allegations of fraud against companies that have refused to honor World War II-era policies sold to the victims of the Holocaust. He is pro bono counsel to the Project and serves as a special assistant to the state Commissioner of Insurance. He also drafted the regulations that put teeth in Florida's landmark Holocaust Victims Insurance Act and has compiled a comprehensive database of potential claimants. As an undergraduate at Harvard University, Aronberg served as student body president and during law school, represented disabled workers and AIDS victims at an inner-city Boston legal services clinic. He also wrote the curriculum for a "Kids in Court" program that paired Harvard Law students with middle school students for a mock trial competition. Aronberg represents indigent domestic violence victims pro bono and serves on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami and the Anti-Defamation League of Florida.
Khalid Azim, 34, an investment banker, is a Vice President at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in Hong Kong. Azim grew up in Harlem but was educated in Massachusetts with help from the A Better Chance (ABC) program. He graduated from Pitzer College and has an M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. Azim raises billions of dollars of debt capital for Asian issuers by providing financial services to Asian banks, corporations and government entities. During the Asian financial crisis, he developed and designed a financial structure for the largest Thai bank to raise regulatory capital when the capital markets were effectively shut down. Azim served five years in the U.S. Navy where he became the only minority officer in his submarine squadron and participated in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Through the Student Sponsorship Program, he mentors a 16-year-old boy and pays the youth's tuition to a private school. Azim is also active in A Better Chance and Big Brothers. While in the military, Azim was involved in the Navy's Adopt-a-School program.
Esther T. Benjamin, 30, is a manager in the Financial Management Consulting Group of Grant Thornton LLP in Vienna, VA. A native of Sri Lanka, Benjamin moved with her family to the United States when she was 13. She received an M.A. in Applied Economics and an M.A. in International Affairs from American University. Benjamin advises government agencies, including the U.S. Patent Office, and agency chief financial officers on financial and cost management issues. She has also advised the Commander of the Defense Logistics Services Center on privatization and helped facilitate a high-level decision-making process on Navy infrastructure modernization for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment. Benjamin was the youngest person appointed United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Officer during the humanitarian crisis in Somalia, where she coordinated aid for almost one million people. She co-founded the Good Samaritan Fund, which finances education for the victims of civil war in the village in which she was born in Sri Lanka. Benjamin is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Urban Coalition, co-chair of the Development Finance Workgroup and is a nominee for the Board of Directors of the Society for International Development.
John (JB) Buxton, 29, is a consultant to the Institute for Education and Government at Columbia University and an M.P.A. candidate at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. A native of New Hampshire, he now calls North Carolina home. At the Institute, which assists the nation's governors in improving public schools, he serves as a consultant to the director, drafting position papers and conducting research. Buxton has taught political science at a South African university and English in a U.S. high school. He helped to run a statewide teacher preparation scholarship program in North Carolina and served as the policy/research director for the principal group seeking school reform in the state. Buxton served on the organizing committees for a statewide conference on poverty and for the North Carolina Pan African Games. He also helped launch a George Soros-funded initiative to bring after-school programs to all New York City public schools, tutored in a Trenton high school and served as an advisor to entering students in his graduate program.
Anthony Perez Cassino, 33, is the Director of the Department of Pro Bono Affairs for the New York State Bar in Albany, N.Y. A native of the Bronx, Cassino graduated from Fordham University and received a J.D. from New York University Law School. Prior to his current job, Cassino was in private practice and also served as counsel/chief of staff to his local Assemblyman in the Bronx. In his current post, Cassino promotes increased pro bono participation by the private bar and lobbies local and federal governments to ensure adequate public funding for legal services. In 1996, the New York State Bar Association was awarded the prestigious Harrison Tweed Award by the American Bar Association for the work of Cassino's department. He helped to develop an innovative biannual training conference that brings together legal services and pro bono attorneys and in response to the 1996 crash of TWA flight 800, Cassino helped to create a committee to coordinate the private bar's pro bono response to the legal needs of victims of disasters in New York. Cassino is a volunteer with the Legal Aid Society in the Bronx, which awarded him its 1998 Pro Bono Service Award, is a board member of a nonprofit organization that assists at-risk adolescents in the Bronx, and he also provides legal assistance to recovering individuals at an Albany drug rehabilitation center.
Douglas J. Denneny, 36, is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy and Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director for Operations, Information Operations, The Joint Staff at the Pentagon. A native of Scottsdale, AZ, he is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Naval War College and the Armed Forces Staff College and earned an M.S. in National Security Studies from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He also studied international law and economics at Oxford. Denneny provides assistance to an Air Force general and manages the general's 45-person organization. He also provides policy guidance and staff support to the general and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on defense issues. Denneny was the Maintenance and Operations Officer of a squadron, and the 200-person department he led set a record for continuous aircraft sorties while deployed on an aircraft carrier. Denneny was honored as Pacific Fleet F-14 Naval Flight Officer of the Year in 1997 and has flown more than 40 combat missions in Iraq and Somalia. He was selected to be a TOPGUN instructor in Sacramento. While there he visited more than 10 elementary schools to talk about the dangers of interacting with strangers. He has also volunteered for the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the National Institutes of Health Children's Charity and has mentored a high school student.
Michael J. Dobbs, 37, is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy and is the Executive Officer of the USS JEFFERSON CITY, a nuclear attack submarine based in San Diego. A native of Houston, Dobbs grew up in Lakewood CA. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and, as an Olmstead Scholar, earned an M.A. in political science from the University of Grenoble in France. He also holds an M.P.A. from Troy State University. As the second in command of the submarine, Dobbs is responsible for planning and executing the ship's schedule and for the training, professional development and quality of life for the 130 crew members. Prior to his current assignment, Dobbs served as a personnel policy maker and budget/program manager at the Bureau of Naval Personnel, where he helped institute several initiatives to facilitate the recruitment and success of minority officers. He also authored a report to Congress, on behalf of the Secretary of the Navy, on ways to improve the retention of nuclear-trained submarine and surface warfare officers. His proposals were accepted and have helped to improve personnel readiness aboard nuclear-powered warships. Dobbs established a program to tape crew members reading children's books to their families and has established similar programs on other subs and surface ships. He serves as a mentor for youth literacy tutors in San Diego.
Hazel Trice Edney, 39, is an M.P.A. candidate at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a former reporter for the Richmond Free Press in Richmond, VA, where she covered the City Council, and the General Assembly and focused on politics, civil and human rights, and crime. A native of Louisa, VA, Edney is the Kennedy School's William S. Wasserman Jr. Fellow on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, an honor given to a minority reporter who has shown outstanding leadership potential. In February 1999, she founded and organized the first-ever Harvard student chapter of the NAACP and is co-chair of the Kennedy School's Black Student Caucus. During her 12 years as a reporter at black-owned newspapers in Richmond, Edney specialized in writing stories that defend, educate and empower historically disadvantaged people. In 1991, she won the first-place feature story award in the merit awards competition of the National Newspaper Publishers' Association. Through her church, Edney has participated in award-winning community activities to feed the homeless and needy and to fight crime through community involvement.
Daniel F. Feldman, 31, is an attorney in the International Finance Group at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Francisco. A native of the San Francisco area, he graduated from Tufts University, has a J.D. from Columbia University Law School and an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Feldman specializes in financing infrastructure projects in developing nations. He also spends 25% of his time on pro bono international human rights issues, including advocacy work for the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. After college, Feldman worked as newspaper reporter in Johannesburg, South Africa. After being awarded a Columbia University Human Rights Fellowship, he spent a summer helping the African National Congress' Constitutional Drafting Committee by analyzing equal protection clauses for inclusion in the new Constitution, and he later returned to the country to clerk for South Africa's new Constitutional Court. After law school, Feldman clerked for Judge Cecil F. Poole of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then was awarded a Henry Luce Scholarship to work in Hong Kong for a year on political transition and human rights issues. He has also served as an international election monitor in South Africa, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Feldman helped to found the Legal Services for Entrepreneurs, which provides pro bono legal counsel to low-income individuals who are starting or expanding businesses in distressed neighborhoods. He also has served as a mentor to underprivileged school children in San Francisco, New York and Johannesburg.
C. Elisia Frazier, 36, is Counsel with Lincoln Investment Management, Inc. in Fort Wayne, IN. A native of Atlanta, GA, Frazier graduated from Georgia State University and has a J.D. from Howard University School of Law. She is a securities transaction lawyer for Lincoln's private placement group, which in 1998 invested more than $2 billion. She also serves as vice president, legal counsel and director for a subsidiary, Lincoln Life Improved Housing, Inc., where she is responsible for all legal matters. Frazier chaired the Lincoln National Corporation's Real Estate 2000 Taskforce, which developed and implemented a project that used technology to efficiently close commercial real estate loans, and is co-chair of Lincoln National's Black Officers Network. Frazier also serves as a member of the American Bar Association Board of Governors, a 37-member board that runs the day-to-day activities of the world's largest professional association, with 400,000 members and an annual budget in excess of $80 million. She has spoken at numerous conferences and ABA Institutes on topics ranging from diversity and preparing women attorneys for the 21st Century, to issues for in-house counsel. Frazier has served as a tutor in the Fort Wayne Community School's Study Connection program and recruited and coordinated more than 175 Lincoln employees as tutors. She also is a Big Sister and an advisor to a local teen group. Frazier also secured the funds to underwrite the cost of 22 youth empowerment summits organized by the ABA's Young Lawyer's Division.
Juan M. Garcia III, 32, is a Flag Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and the Aide-de-Camp in London to the Deputy Commander in Chief of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, who is directing the Joint Task Force designing contingency operations in Kosovo. Garcia, whose hometown is Corpus Christi, graduated from UCLA and became a Naval officer after receiving a joint J.D./M.P.A. degree from Harvard. Prior to his London assignment Garcia was stationed at Naval Air Station Barber's Point, Hawaii where he accumulated more than 1,200 hours piloting the P-3 Orion. He flew 30 armed missions in support of Operation Desert Thunder in the Persian Gulf, including an emergency landing during a sandstorm. While in college, he organized and taught English and U.S. civics classes for candidates for immigration amnesty at an East Los Angeles Jesuit mission. Garcia has also served as a legal advisor and counselor to shelters in Washington, D.C., Corpus Christi and Honolulu and started "The Sky is the Limit," a program that introduces youth from troubled homes to the opportunities available in naval aviation.
Sunil Garg, 32, is an assistant to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. A native of Pittsburgh, Garg was raised in Toledo, OH. He graduated from the University of Chicago, earned a M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and is currently an M.B.A. candidate at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Garg manages Mayorial initiatives primarily on economic development and re-engineering city departments. He also serves as the Mayor's principal advisor on inner-city issues. He is currently overseeing the development of a new $4 million public-private organization to lead the business attraction, retention and expansion efforts of the City. After graduating from the Kennedy School, Garg was an associate with The Chapin Hall Center for Children, a research and development center at the University of Chicago. While there, he co-authored three papers that have contributed to the understanding of practitioners, policy-makers and funders of the conditions facing inner-city residents and the benefits, limitations and possible unintended consequences of the different strategies being implemented to revitalize these neighborhoods. He also created a new investment strategy for a $4 million foundation fund to enhance the skills of youth workers. Garg helped to launch the Open Book Program, an after-school literacy program on Chicago's South Side, as well as the University of Chicago's chapter of a national community service fraternity. While an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, he took a leave of absence to conduct independent research in Nicaragua about the Contra war.
Melissa M. Goldstein, 28, is a consultant to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission and a post-doctoral fellow in bioethics and health policy at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown universities. A native of Florence, AL, she graduated from the University of Virginia and has a J.D. from Yale Law School. Goldstein is an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center and a group instructor in Clinical Ethics at the Georgetown University Medical Center. She is also a consultant to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. During law school, she was a student attorney at Yale Legal Services and helped design the Yale Medical School's ethics curriculum. While a law student, Goldstein also guided the University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital's compliance with "patient dumping" statutes and investigated cases brought under the Vaccine Compensation Act for the U.S. Department of Justice. After law school, she clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Goldstein writes a quarterly column for the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and sits on the Ethics Committee of the Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington, D.C. As a volunteer attorney with the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, D.C., she represents HIV-positive clients by drafting medical directives, investigating claims of employment discrimination and negotiating custody disputes. Goldstein has performed in more than 20 theatrical productions in Northern Alabama and has appeared in college Shakespeare plays and television commercials.
Gary Hall, 32, is an attorney with Gardner, Carton & Douglas in Chicago. He grew up in inner-city Chicago and graduated from Howard Unversity. Hall has a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School and also studied at the Concannon International Law Centre in London, where he worked as an extern with the law firm of Mayer, Brown & Platt. At Gardner, he provides legal counsel on a variety of corporate finance matters, including equity and debt public offers, mergers and acquisitions and SEC compliance. Prior to law school, Hall worked as a Senior Budget Analyst in Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's Office of Budget and Management and later as a Financial Officer of Real Estate for the Department of General Services. While in city government, he led a task force that significantly improved City collections of water and sewer usage fees, served on a strategy committee to streamline city services and was the youngest person ever selected to participate in the City's Intergovernmental Executive Development Program. Garg founded Imani, a non-profit organization that raised funds and public awareness for such causes as famine in Somalia and HIV/AIDS in minority communities, and spearheaded the first fundraising campaign for the Chicago Chapter of 100 Black Men to expand its mentoring and tutoring programs and to endow scholarships for youth in impoverished Chicago neighborhoods. He also serves on the Board of Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century.
Claudia Colindres Johnson, 32, is Skadden Fellow and staff attorney at the Pennsylvania Health Law Project. A native of Guatemala, she grew up in El Salvador and in Puerto Rico. Johnson graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and has a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, an M.P.H. from the School of Public Health at Berkeley and an M.P.P. from the Goldman School of Public Policy also at Berkeley. Johnson represents low-income persons who have medically necessary services denied by their HMOs, focusing on the barriers to care that non-English speaking people face when trying to access Medicaid services in a managed care context. She negotiated a 10-point agreement with a local hospital group that implements concrete steps to help non-English speaking patients communicate effectively with doctors and other hospital personnel. Johnson also worked as a health care analyst for the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission in Washington and as a graduate research intern at the Health Insurance Association of America. Johnson mentors a young African-American high school student in Philadelphia, serves on the Board of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania and participates in the Philadelphia Bar Association's Committee on Ethnic Diversity. She also serves as a judge in a high school moot court competition, participates in an annual Career Day for Latina girls sponsored by Big Sisters of Pennsylvania and established an annual Toy/Book Drive for low-income children at a school in Philadelphia.
William (Casey) Jones, 30, is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard and an Assistant Professor, Department of Leadership and Management at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT. A native of Holland, PA, he is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation, Jones served on board the USCGC COURAGEOUS and was awarded the Commandant's Letter of Commendation for rescuing a Haitian migrant in Port Au Prince Harbor. At age 24, he served as Executive Officer of the USCGC CITRUS, the youngest Coast Guard officer to hold such a position. While an Assistant Personnel Transfer Account Manager, Jones developed a rank-specific transfer cost for personnel, allowing the Coast Guard to switch from a demand-managed to cost-managed account. He has been awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for outstanding achievement and twice was given the Coast Guard Achievement Medal for superior performance of duty. While at Wharton, Jones worked as a volunteer for the Christmas in April organization. He has served as the Treasurer and Director of Connecticut Works, a nonprofit group that helps needy high school students gain admission to and succeed in college. He helped the group obtain a Community Development Block Grant that more than doubled the organization's budget and tutors and mentors the students. Jones also is a volunteer for the local United Way.
Vince J. Juaristi, 30, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Nevada Institute for Children in Las Vegas, a research and policy organization to benefit children. A native of Elko, NV, he graduated from the University of Utah and has a M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The Nevada Institute for Children has provided reliable data, organized advocacy groups and informed policy makers on children's issues. The group has proposed legislation to expand drug treatment, improve mental health services, curb school violence and make child care more affordable and of higher quality. Before starting the Institute, Juaristi was a policy advisor to Nevada Gov. Bob Miller. While working for the Governor, he developed Nevada Check Up, a program to make health insurance available for all children. He also wrote Nevada's welfare reform legislation, and helped to overhaul the education system. Juaristi developed the Community on Wheels programs, which recently was named one of the top 25 most innovative programs in the country by the Ford Foundation. The Classroom on Wheels project refurbishes used school buses into pre-schools and drives them into low-income neighborhoods. The Clinic on Wheels uses refurbished school buses to deliver health screenings to children in low-income areas. Juaristi has served as committee chair on the Governor's Workforce Investment Board, as chairman of the Federal Citizen's Review Panel on Child Placement, as a member of the United Way state board and on the Board of Directors for SHARE, which provides wholesome food to more than 35,000 families in return for community service and a small fee.
Jacqueline F. Lain, 30, is Assistant Director of Governmental Relations for the Texas Association of School Boards in Austin. A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Lain moved to Dallas when she was 8 years old. After receiving her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Texas, she practiced law, specializing in defending schools districts in governance, employment and student discipline matters. She also edited the Texas School Administrators' Legal Digest, a monthly journal for school administrators and lawyers. At the Texas Association of School Boards, Lain provides legal advice to school board members and helps to shape the laws that govern Texas public schools. As an undergraduate at the University of Texas, she won the Dale Miller Scholarship for a summer internship on Capitol Hill and the Presidential Leadership Award, and in 1990, was named the University's Outstanding Female Student. She also was one of 10 students to participate in the Texas-Soviet Exchange Program, a student-organized exchange program between the University of Texas and Irkutsk University in Siberia. During college, Lain co-mediated juvenile gang disputes and last year co-chaired the Volunteers Committee for Austin's First Race for the Cure to raise money for breast cancer research and treatment.
Christopher M. Moore, 37, is a police lieutenant in the San Jose Police Department and an attorney in Pleasanton, CA. A native of the San Francisco Bay area, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and has a J.D. from Lincoln Law School of San Jose and an M.P.A. from San Jose State University. A 16-year veteran of the San Jose police force, Moore is the youngest command officer in the department. He is responsible for the effective deployment, morale and discipline of 42 police officers. He has also served in the Patrol, Street Crimes, Burglary, Crime Prevention and Field Training units and as department spokesperson in the Office of the Chief of Police. Moore supervised the creation and implementation of two nationally recognized youth violence prevention programs: Challenges and Choices (C2), a violence prevention and life skills curriculum for elementary and middle school students; and Safe Alternatives and Violence Education (SAVE). He co-authored and taught the Youth Access to Tobacco enforcement curriculum to law enforcement officers across California. Moore volunteers with the Northern California Unit of Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic and is a member of the Bench Bar, Media and Police Committee of the Santa Clara County Bar Association.
Peter F. Najera, 33, is a Major in the U.S. Army and a Strategist and Policy analyst at Army Headquarters at the Pentagon. A native of San Francisco, he considers Tucson, AZ home now. At the Pentagon, Najera develops strategy and provides policy assessment to senior Army leaders. He also has worked on the draft of the President's National Security Strategy and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's National Military Strategy. Najera graduated from the University of Notre Dame and received an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He spent four years in various armor units in Germany where he patrolled the Cold War border and represented the United States in a NATO tank gunnery competition. Najera served in southwest Asia in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, after which he was awarded the Bronze Star medal for distinguished service in combat and, along with his men, the Valorous Unit Citation for "extraordinary heroism." After the Gulf War, Najera was selected to be the Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General, Seventh Army Training Command in Germany. In 1995, he was chosen as one of the Army's General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award winners. Najera builds homes for Habitat for Humanity and bowls with Special Olympics participants. He also serves on the board of the Hispanic Alumni of Notre Dame and writes for Officer Review.
Delia Olufokunbi, 29, is a clinical psychologist and post-doctoral fellow in Mental Health Services Research and Policy at the University of South Florida in Tampa. A native of New York City, she lived in Hawaii, Nigeria and Connecticut while growing up. Olufokunbi graduated from the University of Connecticut and has a Ph.D and M.S. in Clinical and Health Psychology from the University of Florida. She is the Regional Project Coordinator for a statewide study evaluating the health and mental health status of women on welfare in Florida. She spent a year as a legislative intern with the Health Care Committee of the Florida House of Representatives where she wrote a bill to provide private corporations with annual tax credits for contributions made to preventive cancer-screening procedures for low-income state residents without insurance. She recently received a National Institute of Justice grant to study the impact of domestic violence on the employment experiences of women who receive welfare. Olufokunbi is a member of the University of Connecticut's Women's Center Board of Directors, the Healthy Start Coalition Board of Advisors, and the Hillsborough Community College African American Advisory Board. While an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut, she co-founded "Sister to Sister," a support group for undergraduate minority women. Olufokunbi is a Big Sister and a Guardian ad Litem in the Hillsborough County Court system, serving as a court-appointed advocate for children who have suffered abuse or neglect.
Daniel J. Ostergaard, 27, is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard and Atlantic Fleet Fiscal & Budget Manager in Portsmouth, VA. A native of Whittier, NC, he is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and is working on his National Security & Strategic Studies Diploma from the U.S. Naval War College. Ostergaard is conducting a Regional Strategic Assessment of all field operations in the Coast Guard's Atlantic Arena theater. Using historical data and trend analysis to forecast threats to national security, his assessment will aid in the creation of the Coast Guard's long-range strategy management plan. Ostergaard served on board the Coast Guard Cutter MIDGETT, where he participated in the maritime enforcement of United Nations' sanctions against Haiti and helped to safely repatriate more than 3,000 Haitians from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Port au Prince, Haiti. At age 23, he took command of the Cutter POINT EVANS and a shore-based rescue station on Kauai, Hawaii. Ostergaard conducted frequent counter-drug operations, fisheries enforcement and environmental missions in Colombia, Alaska and Western Samoa. While in Kauai, he established a tutor/mentor program for disadvantaged minority youths. He also created Aikane O Ke Kai, which introduces local youth to role models from federal, state and local agencies.
Barrye L. Price, 36, is a Major in the U.S. Army and Assistant Chief of Staff G1 for the 13th Corps Support Command at Fort Hood, TX. A native of Gary, IN, he graduated from the University of Houston and has an M.A. in history from Texas A&M University and in 1977, became the first African-American to obtain a Ph.D. in history in the 122-year history of Texas A&M. Price is responsible for personnel readiness management, assignments and strength accounting and personnel reporting for 5,500 soldiers. He has also served at Fort Polk, LA, and in Doha, Kuwait and Fulda, Germany. Price spent two years as an Assistant Professor of Military History at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. At West Point, he served on the Dean's Human Resource Council, as a Faculty Volunteer Outreach Representative and as the Recruiting Officer Representative to the Army Men's Basketball Team. Price was the 1997 winner of the Arter-Darby Military Writing Award from the Army's Command and General Staff College. He co-founded African-American Men Making a Difference and served as a volunteer with HOSTS (Help One Student to Succeed). In 1996, Price organized a winter coat collection drive for the homeless that resulted in a community-wide donation of more than 3,000 pounds of clothing to the Leavenworth, KS, Chapter of the Salvation Army.
Kenneth W. Purser, 29, is the lead math/science teacher at Vanguard High School in New York City. Purser grew up in rural Georgia and graduated from Auburn University. He has an M.S. in education from New York University. At Vanguard, Purser teaches math and science through hands-on project-based assignments. He is also responsible for facilitating staff development and implementing and developing the math, science and health curriculums. At the request of the principal, he is aligning the school's math curriculum with the new New York City standards. Purser also serves as the Athletic Director for the Julia Richman Education Complex, where he has successfully united the athletics programs of four small schools and continued to maintain high standards in both performance and academics. He has worked as a wilderness instructor for adjudicated youth, and as a cottage manager in a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed children.
Keith W. Rizzardi, 29, is an attorney with the South Florida Water Management District in West Palm Beach, FL. A native of Long Island, NY, he graduated from the University of Virginia and has a J.D. from the University of Florida and an M.P.A. from Florida Atlantic University. Rizzardi ensures that the Water Management District's projects to restore the Everglades comply with state and federal environmental laws. He is also an editor of the Florida Environmental Law Treatise and has published a research paper on manatee protection. Rizzardi has been honored by the Florida Bar for his work as a pro bono researcher for the Florida Constitution Revision Commission. He is the top state official for the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, a professional service group whose programs at six Florida law schools include educating junior high school students on the Bill of Rights. He also is a board member of the Sandoway House Nature Center, the Palm Beach County Democratic Leadership Council and the Governor's Commission for Community Health Partnerships, an organization that encourages private-sector involvement in public health issues. As pro bono legal advisor to the Commission, he has rewritten the bylaws and developed an annual planning and budgeting process. Rizzardi also serves as a member of the Management Assistance Team for the United Way of Palm Beach County and leads environmental tours while driving an airboat in the Everglades.
Mary E. Sarotte, 31, is an International Security Fellow at the Harvard University Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. A native of Detroit, she has an M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D in History from Yale University. She received a Humboldt Scholarship, among other awards, to fund her dissertation research and received the highest possible grade from her disseration readers. To research her forthcoming book on the history of the Cold War, Sarotte interviewed former Communist leaders and uncovered documents in East German archives that opened after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Sarotte was awarded a Prize Teaching Fellowship from Yale for her commitment to teaching. A competitive U.S. Masters swimmer, Sarotte has also written for newspapers and magazines in three countries and in two languages.
Reynaldo A. Valencia, 34, is Associate Professor of Law and Founder and Director of the Center for Latina/Latino Studies at St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, TX, where he teaches courses on corporation law, corporate bankruptcy, race and the law and gender and the law. He also serves as an adjunct Professor of Law at Texas Tech University in his hometown of Lubbock, TX. Valencia graduated from Stanford and has a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He earned an M.A. in Sociology from Stanford University where he was awarded a Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship for Minorities. During law school, he returned to his hometown to assist in litigation to desegregate the local school system, which resulted in the construction of a new junior high school in a predominantly Hispanic area of the city. After law school, Valencia was an associate in the Dallas office of the international law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, the second largest law firm in the world, where he concentrated on commercial bankruptcy and commercial litigation. At the age of 25, Valencia became the youngest faculty member in the history of Texas Tech School of Law. Valencia serves as the faculty advisor to the Hispanic Law Students Association at St. Mary's.
Timothy C. Wu, 36, is Director of Development at the Support Center for Nonprofit Management in San Francisco, the nation's largest nonprofit management consulting and technical assistance firm devoted exclusively to working with nonprofits. A native of New York City, Wu has also lived in Hartsdale, NY and Singapore. He graduated from Princeton University and has a J.D. from Harvard Law School. As a high school student at the Singapore American High School, Wu volunteered as an English teacher in Vietnamese refugee camps and as a reader for Talking Books for the Blind. As an undergraduate at Princeton University, Tim received the W. Sanderson Detwiler Award given to the student judged by his classmates to have contributed the most to the class during four years on campus. After graduation he became the youngest person and first Asian-American elected to Princeton's Board of Trustees. Prior to law school, Wu was an Associate Producer for CBS News in New York. While in law school, Wu was a member of the Harvard Board of Student Advisors, served as co-chair of the Ames Moot Court committee and spent two years with the Harvard Negotiation Projection, which develops and implements alternative dispute resolution methodologies. Wu is vice-president of the Small Change Foundation, a family philanthropic foundation that supports non-political organizations working for social justice and the advancement of human rights. He also sits on the boards of directors of Project Inform, an AIDS information and advocacy group; Continuum HIV Day Services, an adult day health center serving indigent people with AIDS in San Francisco; and Frameline, the International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
Lance E. Wyatt, 32, is Senior Resident in the Division of General Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles. A native of Southern California, Wyatt received his M.D. from UCLA. As Senior resident, he oversees all aspects of patient care and supervises junior residents. While a plastic surgery research fellow, he was Principal Investigator on four research projects focusing on bone development, repair and regeneration. He currently is Co-Investigator on a Veteran's Administration Merit Review Grant that focuses on craniofacial bone formation and aging. Wyatt was chosen for a summer research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health where he received the Exceptional Summer Student Award for his work at the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke. Wyatt is co-founder and Vice President of Health Relief International, a nonprofit medical service organization committed to providing health care worldwide to indigent adults and children. He is also co-founder of the African-American Surgical Resident Forum, an organization for African-American surgical residents who want to become academic surgeons. Wyatt is a member of the Black American Political Association of California and serves on the Youth Empowerment Committee of The New Leaders, a nonprofit public benefit group.
Ariel Zwang, 35, is Vice President for Operations at the Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation in the Bronx which provides job training, low-income housing, social services and economic development activities. Zwang is responsible for all infrastructure areas, including accounting/financial, computing, human resources and general administration. She also oversees two "social ventures": a food business and a fitness center. A native of Brooklyn, NY, she graduated from Harvard and has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. From 1992-1995, Zwang was Special Assistant to the Chancellor of the New York City Board of Education, which involved writing speeches and other policy documents, helping to create new programs and improve existing ones, and conducting inter-agency negotiations. She has also worked as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and at the investment bank, Morgan Stanley. While in business school, Zwang began a program in which business students helped recent immigrants find jobs. She is active with the United Jewish Appeal of New York, serves as a board member of the YWCA of Brooklyn, is a member of the alumnae board of directors at Miss Porter's School and is a trustee of Harvard Hillel.