National Finalists for White House Fellows Program Announced

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Finalist-- La’Shanda Holmes, Lieutenant, United States Coast Guard

The President’s Commission on White House Fellowships announced today the National Finalists for the 2015-2016 White House Fellowship. This year’s class of Finalists represents an accomplished and diverse cross-section of professionals from the private sector, academia, medicine, and our armed services.

National Finalists for the nation’s premiere program for leadership and public service hail from across the United States, from Fayetteville to Indianola, Houston to Baltimore. They have demonstrated remarkable professional achievement early in their careers, a commitment to public service, and the leadership skills needed to succeed at the highest levels of the Federal government.

National Finalists have advanced through a highly competitive selection process, including a comprehensive written application and regional interviews with civic leaders at eight different cities across the country. The National Finalists will be evaluated by the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships in Washington, DC from June 11-14, 2015.

A complete list of National Finalists appears below.

2015 National Finalists

C. Spencer Abbot, Commander, United States Navy, Yorktown, VA

Teeb Al-Samarrai, Deputy Health Officer and Tuberculosis Controller, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, Oakland, CA

Andrew Anderson, Major, United States Air Force, Douglas, WY

Alexander Billioux, Assistant Chief of Service, Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Simpsonville, SC

Sara Bleich, Associate Professor, Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD

Naomi Dennis, Major, United States Air Force, Houston, TX

Ahmed El Nokali, Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Pittsburgh, PA

Brooke Ellison, Associate Professor, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

Shereef Elnahal, Resident Physician, Radiation Oncology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

September Hargrove, Chief Operating Officer, PowerMoves.NOLA Initiative, New Orleans Startup Fund, New Orleans, LA

Luxme Hariharan, Pediatric Cataract, Glaucoma, Cornea and International Health Fellow, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, University of Southern California Eye Institute, Madison, WI

Corey Harrison, Corporate Strategy Executive, iCIMS, Inc., Browns Mills, NJ

La’Shanda Holmes, Lieutenant, United States Coast Guard, Fayetteville, NC

Kohar Jones, Family Physician, Chicago Family Health Center; Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Community Health and Service Learning, University of Chicago Department of Family Medicine, Chicago, IL

Michael Kleiman, Documentary Filmmaker, Roslyn, NY

Rayden Llano, Program Director, Health Policy and Economics, LSE Enterprise, Miami, FL

Jennifer Macdonald, Family Medicine Physician, UCLA Department of Family Medicine, St. Cloud, MN

Erik Malmstrom, Business Development Manager, Cargill Incorporated, West Hartford, CT

Rei Onishi, Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice, Citrus Heights, CA

Payal Patel, Infectious Diseases Fellow, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Houston, TX

Elizabeth Pearson, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, Indianola, IA

Neil Ruiz, Senior Policy Analyst and Associate Fellow, The Brookings Institution, Oxnard, CA

Thomas Smith, Chief Executive Officer, New Education Ventures LLC, San Diego, CA

David Sontag, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Data Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, New York, NY

Benjamin Taylor, Major, United States Army Special Forces, Fayetteville, NC

Maxeme Tuchman, Executive Director, Teach for America Miami-Dade, Miami, FL

Jason Wasfy, Cardiologist, Cardiac Unit Associates, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Kamillah Wood, Associate Medical Director, Mobile Health Programs, Children’s National Health System, Washington, DCAnil Yallapragada, Medical Director, South Carolina Stroke Institute, Grand Strand Medical Center, Myrtle Beach, SC

Founded in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the White House Fellows Program offers exceptional Americans first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the Federal government. After a competitive application process, selected individuals spend a year in Washington, DC working full-time for Cabinet Secretaries, senior White House staff, and other top-ranking government officials. Fellows also participate in an education program consisting of roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from the private and public sectors, including the President and Vice President. Fellowships are awarded on a strictly non-partisan basis.

Mary Zients, founder and Board Chair of the Urban Alliance Foundation is the chair of the Commission.

Cheryl Dorsey, the President of Echoing Green, serves as Vice Chair. Other members of the Commission are: Katherine Archuleta (Ex-officio), Wesley Clark, Nelson Diaz, Matrice Ellis-Kirk, Helene Gayle, Alice T. Germond, Vartan Gregorian, Steve Gunderson, Cynthia Hale, Deborah Harmon, Christy Haubegger, Peter Blair Henry, Amanda Hesser, John Hockenberry, Lisa Ling, Shannon Price Minter, George Muñoz, Lloyd W. Newton, Theodore Olson, Roger Porter, Azita Raji, Rion Joaquin Ramirez, Teresa Schwartz (Ex-officio; President of the White House Fellows Foundation and Association), George Thibault, Eleanor Kaye Wilson, and Judy Wise.

There are more than 700 White House Fellow alumni, a distinguished group that includes former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Additional information about the White House Fellows Program can be found at www./whitehouse.gov/fellows 

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