Blog Staff

Executive Editor

olivia-shaffett-old-headshot-4Olivia Shaffett is a second-year Master of Public Administration candidate. She graduated magna cum laude from Louisiana State University with a B.A. in History. While living in Louisiana, she created an editorial platform, Modern Girls, to support and feature women in business, the arts and the non-profit sector. Olivia is interested in creating and implementing policy that will establish protections and produce further access to resources for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. When she’s not studying, she enjoys exploring the many local bookstores, comedy clubs and museums D.C. has to offer. 




Deputy Editors

Headshot Straight On LinkedinXavier Adomatis is a first-year MPP student with an interest in consumer credit policy. He graduated magna cum laude last spring from GWU’s Elliott School with a B.S. in Economics and International Affairs, and currently works as a research associate at the National Journal, focusing on a broad range of economic issues. Xavier is originally from Greenville, South Carolina, where he attended an arts school, studying jazz saxophone and classical bassoon. When he’s off the clock, Xavier is probably hanging out with his fraternity brothers in Delta Lambda Phi, the first fraternity for queer men.



Lauren Salmiery_headshot

Lauren Salmiery is a first-year Master of Public Administration candidate with a focus on health policy. She received her B.A. in International Studies from American University and has since focused her career on global reproductive health and political advocacy. Lauren is a passionate advocate for racial equity, gender equality, and reproductive freedom. In her spare time, she enjoys biking and running around D.C.’s many trails and outdoor spaces.



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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Rachel Silber packed her bags for Washington D.C. where she is now a second-year Master of Public Administration student eager to learn all sectors of the field. She graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in English and a double minor in political science and human rights. She was inspired to obtain her MPA in London, where she interned with a non-profit that worked with domestic violence survivors and a Member of Parliament to help establish more effective law enforcement protocols for reporting. Since moving to D.C she interned at the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Amtrak’s Office of the Inspector General, Rachel uses her free time to read fiction, take late night walks to the Lincoln Memorial, and have a drink with friends at Tonic.


Staff Writers

IMG_2931Madison Grady is a second-year MPP candidate concentrating on regulatory policy. Originally from Montana, she graduated magna cum laude from Boise State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and communication. Prior to moving to D.C., Madison was working as a Special Assistant for Public Policy for the Governor of Idaho. She currently works in government affairs at the Investment Company Institute, focusing on financial services, retirement, and tax policy. In her spare time, Madison volunteers with the Washington Urban Debate League, coaching local debaters and judging tournaments






Dagoberto Acevedo is a second-year MPA candidate at the Trachtenberg School, focusing on transnational security issues and international leadership. He currently mentors first-generation low-income students with the Kalos Academy, is a District of Columbia College Democrats Field Organizer, and serves as Deputy Director of Graduate Student Affairs for the GW College Democrats. Previously, he interned for the Office of Senator Tim Kaine on Capitol Hill, where he became a member of the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association. Originally from Cojutepeque, El Salvador, Dagoberto graduated from Bluefield College with a degree in Political Communication. When not working or focused on politics, he enjoys catching up with friends and family over different brunch spots in Washington, DC and propels the racial equity agenda by serving as a Minority Leadership Program Scholar.

122433288_10224704146255595_1845626940173535458_oEmma Dewhurst is a first-year MPP student concentrating in program evaluation and policy analysis. Originally from Kentucky, Emma graduated summa cum laude from the University of Cincinnati with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Economics. Emma worked for a nonprofit in Cincinnati for three years before moving to DC for grad school to pursue a career in policy. She is interested in economic policy aimed to reduce poverty, address wealth inequality, and help communities achieve greater economic mobility. In her free time she enjoys reading, attending music festivals, and spending time with friends and family. 


Kaufman_headshotCatherine Evans Kaufman is a second-year MPA student with a field of study in strategic communication. While pursuing her degree, she works as the associate editor of The Washington Quarterly, an international policy journal hosted by the Elliott School. Prior to editing for TWQ, she worked in DC as a paralegal in international trade. Catherine earned a BA degree in writing, rhetoric, and technical communication from James Madison University with minors in humanitarian affairs and interdisciplinary honors studies.



Ben_Headshot (1)Ben White is a first-year MPP candidate at the Trachtenberg School. Originally from Northern California, Ben graduated from UCLA where he double majored in Political Science and Communications Studies. Ben went on to earn a commission in the United States Navy and flew helicopters as a Naval Aviator until a cancer diagnosis cut his career short. Ben has spent the last few years working with several cancer focused nonprofits across the US and is interested in health policy. In his free time, Ben enjoys cooking and spending time outside with his dog, Izzy.



unnamed-4Christina Prinvil is a first-year MPP candidate concentrating in social policy. Originally from South Florida and of Haitian decent, she graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts dual degree in Political Science and Economics, and a minor in Latin American Studies. Christina is interested in influencing policy that seeks to fill the gaps within our current systems to support and empower people in underrepresented communities in a sustainable manner. When she’s not working, Christina enjoys working on DIY projects. 



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Sean Parker Is a second-year ENRP candidate at the Trachtenberg School with a focus on emergency management and GIS. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A in Public Communications. After graduating from undergrad, Sean moved to Portland, Oregon where he worked on numerous environmental initiatives that included promoting a state cap-and-trade program and renewable energy job creation. When he’s not studying, Sean likes to bike around the city while pretending he knows his way around but, in reality, he is usually lost. 


Vanella, Julia_headshotJulia Vanella is a first-year Master of Public Policy candidate whose interests lie at the intersection of health policy and social policy. She is originally from Southern California and graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in History and a minor in Political Science. Julia previously worked at the U.S. Small Business Administration, where her love for policy grew and inspired her to continue her education in the policy field. When she’s not studying, Julia loves to visit museums, scope out new burrito shops, and hang out with friends.


unnamed-8Brett Litzler is a first-year MPP candidate at the Trachtenberg School. Originally from the Cleveland area, he graduated from The Ohio State University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a minor in Public Policy. His academic interests include social and regulatory policy.









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