WeLead, a nonpartisan leadership training program run by the Women & Politics Institute, works to increase the number of women working in politics and running for office.
EmpowHER believes equitable participation of women in politics and government is essential for building and sustaining democracy. In order to reach equal representation, we need to build a community that encourages women to become involved in the political process and public leadership. Each member of our team brings a unique perspective to the table, and we are planning on using each of our strengths to achieve our fundraising goals. Below is a brief description of our team members, along with what they hope to bring to the project.
Annette Christie is a Dallas, TX native and currently lives in the Washington DC area. She has a passion for policy and advocacy and has sharpened her expertise by completing several internships and fellowships. Annette is currently a Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Al Lawson. She has completed several fellowship and internships that have made her determined to advocate for a more equitable world.
Annette graduated from Baylor University, Waco, with her Bachelor’s in Communication with Concentration in Rhetoric and Public Discourse. She is currently a Master’s in Public Policy Candidate at American University.Annette hopes to use all her experiences to invoke systemic policy change. She hopes to accomplish this by assessing the root cause of pressing public policy issues.
Alyssa Canobbio Hackbarth is a proud New Jersey native now living and working in Arlington, Virginia. Alyssa has always been active in politics and made her first run for her high school’s school board at the age of 21. During her time in the DC area, Alyssa has worked as a media relations expert for various nonprofits and clients by securing media placement in publications like The New York Times, The Economist, The Washington Post, and CNBC just to name a few.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for The White Coat Waste Project, a nonprofit that works to end the wasteful testing of animals within the federal government. Alyssa also is the Marketing Director for the Liberty Hospitality Group, Assistant General Manager and Beer Director for Lyon Hall restaurant in Arlington.
Alyssa has aspirations to eventually run for office in her adopted hometown of Arlington. When not busy, she enjoys time with her husband Sean and their cocker spaniel Skye.
Mariana Barros-Titus is an organizer working at the intersection of public policy and public history in Washington, DC. She brings over 7.5 years of experience working in the non-profit advocacy sphere, which she hopes to employ as she prepares for a future career in public office. As a graduate of the University of the District of Columbia, she is passionate about nuancing the conversation and conceptualization of the Washington metropolitan area to represent its rich and diverse local history. In addition, her work has primarily been focused on analyzing and dismantling barriers to system-literacy for historically underrepresented communities. She believes in informing public policy through the sharing of community histories and individual life stories, which can serve as powerful reflections of policy in practice.
Currently, Barros-Titus is serving as the inaugural Community Outreach Fellow for the DC History Center, where she is leading a project based on addressing “archival silences” in DC’s local historical repositories. In addition, she is working as Project Coordinator for the Herbert Denton Biography project, where she is coordinating biographical research and oral history interviews towards the goal of writing the biography of a prominent Washington journalist. In her volunteer time, she works with Black Broad Branch, a local history and advocacy project, and Neighbors United for DC Statehood, a coalition of DC residents who are organizing towards statehood for the people of DC. She hopes to use all of the experience and networks she has built in those different pockets to raise awareness of the need for women’s representation in public office, including the work of the Women in Politics Institute at American University.
Maria Ximena Mills is a strong advocate for women’s rights and representation. Being born and raised in Nicaragua has shaped her understanding of the lack of political and government structure in Latin America, which has deepened her interest in working with underdeveloped nations and human rights groups. Maria Ximena has worked with diverse civil society and non-profit organizations to encourage women leaders to engage in the political process, economic empowerment, and human rights.
She currently works as a Program Coordinator at IREX, where she oversees Communication, Curriculum, and Events components for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship Program. YLAI is a U.S. Department of State initiative for emerging entrepreneurs and business leaders from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada.
The Women & Politics Institute provides practical and academic training to women that encourages them to become involved in the political process and facilitates research by faculty and students that enhances our understanding of the challenges and opportunities women face in the political arena.
Only with your help can we offer more courses, enroll more students, train more young women to run for office, conduct more research, convene more special events, and ensure that women have a seat at all of the tables where the most important decisions are made.
Together, we will change the face of politics!
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