Meet the Summer 2020 Policy Communications Seminar Class
This month, we’re kicking off our first-ever Policy Communications Seminar in order to equip young professionals with the necessary skills and connections they need to be effective advocates for limited government. We’re excited to welcome 21 young writers to our inaugural class; get to know more about them below!
Susannah Barnes is a senior economics major at Grove City College. She currently works as a marketing fellow at the Institute for Faith and Freedom as well as a PR manager for her department. Susannah previously interned for the Mercatus Center and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. On campus, Susannah is involved with the debate team and the Journal for Law and Public Policy.
Calvin Blaylock is the executive assistant to the vice president of development at the Heritage Foundation. In this role, he leads key fundraising initiatives through the development department and crafts strategic communications to Heritage’s 500,000 generous donors. Prior to joining Heritage, Calvin served the Leadership Institute (LI) as a donor relations officer for the Northeast region. There, he managed relationships with donors to fund LI’s grassroots programs to train conservative activists. Personally, Calvin is an active member of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, long-time volunteer with International Justice Mission, aspiring acoustic guitarist, and avid flag football and volleyball player.
J. Cal Davenport has worked in Congress, for political campaigns, for think tanks, and in political consulting. He has been published in The Washington Examiner, IJR, RedState, The Resurgent and more. He received his M.A. in philosophy, politics and economics from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany.
Greg de Deugd
Greg de Deugd is a producer and designer working in North Carolina. He’s a graduate of the film school at UNC-School of the Arts, where he majored in screenwriting. Since then, Greg has worked primarily as a designer and art director in publishing and digital media. Active in the freedom movement, he loves helping friends develop communication packages for candidate and issue campaigns. Greg currently works as the design director for the John Locke Foundation, a Raleigh-based think tank focusing on statewide issues. When not working, Greg enjoys classic cinema, minor league baseball, and beach trips with his family. Guilty pleasures include late-night Oreo cookie sessions and binge-watching Twin Peaks.
Jane has nearly a decade of experience as a political operative, with stints in the public, private and non-profit sectors. She most recently served as an executive director for TechNet, where she represented more than 80 tech companies before 11 state legislatures in the Midwest. Previously, she advanced former Illinois Governor Rauner’s legislative agenda in the state House of Representatives as the administration’s director of House operations. Jane was instrumental as the director of legislative affairs for the Illinois Department of Revenue, during which time the Tax Foundation recognized her office with the 2016 Outstanding Achievement in State Tax Reform.
Jorge González-Gallarza Hernández
A writer in Madrid, Jorge’s work on economic and foreign policy has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, The American Conservative and elsewhere. He holds a BSc in economics from University College London and is a graduate of the Koch Associate Program, having served in policy analyst roles at the Manhattan Institute and at Americans for Prosperity. He is readying up to begin his graduate studies at École Normale Supérieure in Paris come September.
Katie Johnson is an energetic communicator and native Wisconsinite currently working in Washington, DC, doing public affairs and speechwriting. Her most recent role was working as Speechwriter at the US General Services Administration. Katie has held communications roles at what is now Stand Together (working closely with Americans for Prosperity) in Arlington, VA, as well as at the NRSC and Targeted Victory. In her spare time, Katie enjoys drinking iced coffee, collecting succulents, and doing barre workouts.
Peyton Lofton is a senior at Tulane University studying political science and French. He is the executive vice president of the Wave Center for Policy and Enterprise, a student-led think tank at Tulane. Previously, Peyton has served as a policy intern at the Pelican Institute for Public Policy and a transparency intern at the Nevada Policy Research Institute through the Charles Koch Institute’s internship program. Since completing AFF’s Writing Fellows Program last year, Peyton has been published in the Washington Examiner and the Foundation for Economic Education.
Will is a Nashville-based audio engineer by trade and education. A Memphis native, he attended MTSU and received a B.S. in recording industry in 2018. Will’s writing has appeared in Inverted Audio and most recently in Exponents. Will currently serves as the chapter lead for the Nashville branch of the Neoliberal Project. He is deeply passionate about bipartisanship and pop culture, aspiring to a career in political journalism with a focus on foreign policy and local Tennessee issues.
Marcus is a development associate with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy and a recent graduate of Tulane University. At the Institute, he assists executive staff in communicating with foundations and private donors about the organization’s policy work. In his spare time, Marcus enjoys writing about criminal justice reform, urban economics, and technology and innovation policy.
Lindsay Marie is a political commentator, columnist, and policy analyst. Currently, she is a criminal justice policy analyst for the Lone Star Policy Institute. Her research focuses on pre-trial detention, trial penalties, and charge stacking, as well as habitual offender and felony murder laws. She advocates for evidence-informed, cost-effective policies that are proportional to the crime and individual, preserve families and communities, and promote public safety. Her work has been published by the Washington Times, The Deseret News, Glenn Beck, the Foundation for Economic Education, etc. Lindsay Marie regularly appears as a guest on television and radio shows across the country.
Carter Moelk currently works as a deputy communications director in the House of Representatives. She’s worked on the Hill for almost 3 years, previously serving as a press secretary in the chamber as well. Carter graduated from the University of Kansas in 2017 with a B.S. in journalism from the William Allen White School of Journalism with a minor in communications and a focus in political science. Carter has a passion for writing and communications, specifically as it relates to crisis management in politics.
Sarah Montalbano is a junior at Montana State University studying computer science with the eventual intent of doing research for a think tank in the liberty movement. She is currently a research associate at Alaska Policy Forum.
James Paek is a graduate of the University of North Georgia and University of Georgia, where he received a Bachelor’s in political science. He completed AFF Spring 2020 Writing Fellows and he is a member of AFF Pilot Membership program. He also successfully completed the Youth Leadership School from the Leadership Institute. Prior to joining AFF programs, James appeared on the talk show Whiskey Politics to discuss international relations in the Korean Peninsula, the future outcome of Moon Jae-In’s presidency, and current events. He has exceptional expertise in any fields from criminal justice to health care reform. His work has been published on Students for Liberty, One Young World, FreedomFest Forum, and Medium. During COVID-19, James takes the time to read articles, write blogs and columns, watch documentaries such as CBS 60 minutes, and take online classes. In addition, he was selected for Global Ambassador for the Institute for Economics and Peace, World Literacy Foundation, Their World, One Young World, Internet Society, Global Changemakers, Mentor for Social Innovation Warehouse, and Volunteer Teacher for Microsoft TEALS.
Addison Patrick grew up in rural Southwest Virginia and has lived in several states on the East Coast. She attended Christopher Newport University, where she majored in communication studies and worked in the Office of Public Relations. Addison moved to Florida in Fall 2017 and quickly got involved in the local scene. She served as chair and vice-chair of the Duval County Libertarian party, on committees for the state party and as public relations director for a Florida state Senate campaign. She is currently chapter leader for AFF-Jacksonville. Addison is an entrepreneur who loves her dogs, live music, and festivals.
Michelle is a senior program associate for FEE. Her main focus is planning and executing student programming for high school and college students in the US and Latin America. Michelle graduated with a B.A. in English and political science from Florida International University. Her focus was Cuban and Cuban American studies, with a focus on human rights and exile. Prior to joining FEE, Michelle gained experience in project management and event logistics in the private sector. She enjoys hiking, water sports, and reading dystopian literature in her free time.
Katherine Revello is a freelance writer and editor. She holds dual bachelor’s degrees in politics and journalism from the University of Maine She blogs about politics and political theory at The Subversive Scrivener and also owns Input/Output Enterprises, an independent publishing company.
Sarah Stewart is a graduate student in the Rawlings School of Divinity at Liberty University. She has a Bachelor of Science in religious studies and a Master of Arts in Christian apologetics. She is currently working toward her Master of Divinity. In 2019, she received the Rawlings School of Divinity Award for Excellence in Theological Research. She was previously a participant in Liberty University’s Washington Fellowship as an intern at Family Research Council in their Government Affairs Department. She has academic writing credits as well as published blogs and devotional writings. Her passions are theology, political philosophy, and the arts.
Michaela Todd is native to Baldwin City, Kansas, and a fourth generation born and raised Kansan. She attended Highland Community College (KS) on a cheerleading scholarship and graduated in 2017 with an Associate in Arts. She transferred to Emporia State University (KS) where I was heavily involved with student government and College Republicans. She graduated last December with a Bachelor’s in communications and political science. She has had the privilege to intern in DC twice, once for Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (KS-02, retired) and most recently for the Heritage Foundation. She is currently working on a congressional campaign back in Kansas.
Amile Wilson is a native of Jackson, MS, and an award-winning director, choreographer, and producer. He has Bachelor’s degrees in theatre and philosophy from Belhaven University, a certificate in comparative economics from Georgetown, an MA from Reformed Theological Seminary, and is a member of the Playwrights’ Lab at Hollins University. His feature film work has included the John Cassavetes nominated The Dynamiter, Eden, and Hell On the Border. Amile is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Directors Guild of America. His political work includes campaign management and general and media consulting.