Washington, DC 2018-06-12T11:53:13+00:00

WASHINGTON, DC

PARTNERING WITH

In monthly sessions held at the Catholic Information Center, Leonine Fellows are led in discussion by Catholic thought leaders from around the country to grapple with some of the most important questions at the intersection of faith and public life.

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WASHINGTON, DC

PARTNERING WITH

In monthly sessions held at the Catholic Information Center, Leonine Fellows are led in discussion by Catholic thought leaders from around the country to grapple with some of the most important questions at the intersection of faith and public life.

2017-2018 WASHINGTON FIRST-YEAR LEONINE FELLOWS

JOEL ALICEA
Cooper & Kirk, PLLC.


Joel Alicea is a lawyer at Cooper & Kirk, PLLC. He received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University, where he studied political theory, and his law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School. At Harvard, Joel served as President of the Harvard Federalist Society and as an editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. After law school, Joel clerked for Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Portland, Oregon, and he recently finished clerking for Justice Samuel A. Alito on the U.S. Supreme Court. Joel has written extensively on constitutional theory, with a particular emphasis on originalism.
ANNA ANDERSON
American Principles Project


Anna Anderson is the director of Religious Freedom at the American Principles Project (APP) in Washington, D.C., a program designed to build a winning political coalition around social conservatism. Prior to this role she served as the major gifts officer at APP, as well as editor of the Patheos blog Love Among the Ruins, a collection of essays devoted to analyzing culture through the lens of John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Anna received her Bachelor's degree in American Studies from Hillsdale College. While at Hillsdale she was a member of the Varsity Shotgun Team, claiming three Division III National Championship titles and competing in the 2015 National Junior Olympics. She is an alumna of the Alliance Defending Freedom Areté Academy and is a former National Rifle Association Youth Shooting Sports Ambassador. Anna currently writes and speaks on issues surrounding religion and culture, and has written for several publications including First Things, The Imaginative Conservative, The Federalist, Townhall, and The National Pulse.
THOMAS ATTRIDGE
Standard Property Company


Thomas 'Tommy' Attridge grew up not far from Washington in Annapolis, Maryland.The youngest of three boys, and a fourth generation Washingtonian, he left Annapolis for college to attend Villanova University where he pursued a degree in Communication, with a minor in Spanish. Following graduation, he returned to the D.C. area to work in real estate acquisitions. While working full-time he completed his Masters of Professional Studies in Real Estate at Georgetown University. Now at Standard Property Company, Tommy is responsible for sourcing and purchasing multi-family properties in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.Tommy enjoys boating, travelling, and the company of family and friends in his spare time.
MICHELLE BALCH
The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament


Michelle Balch is the Director of Religious Education at The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, in Washington DC. In 2009, she completed her BA in Art History from the University of Dallas and later served as a Salesian Lay Missionary (SLM) in the Amazon basin of Eastern Bolivia. As a SLM she taught English as a second language, ministered to rural communities and helped translate for medical missions. Later in 2015, she earned a Masters in Theological Studies with a focus in Biotechnology and Ethics at The Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family. During her graduate studies, she worked at the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops as a pro-life intern. Michelle enjoys spending time with family and friends, and loves many outdoor activities especially skiing and sailing. Presently, Michelle is looking forward to her upcoming pilgrimage to Kolkata, India where she will work with the Missionaries of Charity.
CAROLINE BAZINET
Precision for Medicine


Caroline's reversion to the Catholic faith began with her choice to study the natural sciences, a precursor to understanding Faith and Reason as the Church does. At Princeton, she earned a B.A. in Molecular Biology, a minor in Public Health, and a deep appreciation for her cultural and religious heritage. Since graduation, she has built a diverse resume of work and cultural experiences with a stint with as a factory foreman at Anheuser-Busch's Columbus, OH brewery, and her current position as a healthcare data analyst and product manager at Precision for Medicine in Bethesda. In her spare time, she enjoys making elaborate millinery, reading F. Scott Fitzgerald, and exploring the relationships of art, form, and science.
CAROLINE BERNARD
Airbus Experience Center


Caroline Bernard holds a Master of Theological Studies from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute at The Catholic University of America where she was the recipient of the Susan M. Shaughnessy Award. She has also studied philosophy at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Communication at John Hopkins University. Caroline was formerly a National Program Coordinator at Paradisus Dei, a ministry dedicated to helping families experience the superabundance of God. She is currently the Special Events Coordinator for the Airbus Experience Center in Washington, DC. Caroline is originally from the Seattle area and in her free time volunteers as a member of the Junior League of Washington.
PATRICK BOHLIN
Riverbed Education


Patrick is a native of New Jersey and phi beta kappa graduate of the University of Dallas, where he received his B.A. in political philosophy. He has experience working in healthcare consulting, and now works in the study abroad industry.
CAITLIN BURKE
House Committee on Education & the Workforce


Caitlin Burke is a Legislative Assistant for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce where she supports the Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee. Before coming to the Hill, Caitlin worked at the American Enterprise Institute and completed a fellowship at the Heritage Foundation. Originally from Phoenix, Caitlin graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University’s Design School. While at ASU, she was president of the university’s pro-life student group. Caitlin spends her free time running, reading, hiking, and playing the piano. She also enjoys volunteering for Little Lights Urban Ministries.
BOB BURKETT
Department of Labor


Bob Burkett is originally from Carmel, Indiana and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He is a former Jesuit Volunteer, John Jay Fellow, and Congressional staffer. He currently works as a Legislative Assistant at the Department of Labor.
ANNA CAPIZZI
Catholic News Service


Anna Capizzi is the Special Projects Editor at Catholic News Service. She holds a master’s degree in moral theology from Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University, where she worked as the graduate assistant. Her master’s thesis is titled “Accompaniment and a Christocentric Anthropology of the Family.” She also has interned with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development within the office of Domestic Social Development and the Environmental Justice Program. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language and literature and secondary education, she served as a lay missionary with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students for three years.
SONDRA CLARK
Heritage Action for America


Sondra oversees the outreach activities of Heritage Action and supports the work of the grassroots and marketing teams. Before joining Heritage Action, Sondra worked at Nestle, The Heritage Foundation, and oversaw digital fundraising and GOTV efforts at the Republican National Committee. Sondra is a contributor to the Daily Signal and has a Masters in Public Relations from Georgetown University.
ROBIN WRIGHT CLEARY
Sidley Austin, LLP


Robin Wright Cleary is a litigation associate at Sidley Austin, where her practice is focused in the areas of privacy and cybersecurity. Prior to joining Sidley, Robin clerked for the Hon. Bobby E. Shepherd, U.S. Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Hon. Susan O. Hickey, U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Arkansas. Robin hails from Arkansas, where she grew up in the Anglican tradition. While clerking in El Dorado, Arkansas, Robin completed an RCIA class, and after an additional year of prayer and reflection, she joined the Communion in September 2016. Robin lives in Washington, DC and is a parishioner of St. Thomas Apostle Catholic Church in Woodley Park. She is married to Richard Cleary, Jr., who is an attorney at Williams & Connolly. Before attending law school, Robin served as a legislative correspondent for U.S. Senator and Minority Whip Jon Kyl.
RYAN COLBY
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty


Ryan Colby joined Becket in May 2014 as a Communications Assistant shortly after completing an internship with the Heritage Foundation. Before making his way to D.C. Ryan attended the College of Charleston where he earned a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Political Science. While soaking up the sun in Charleston, South Carolina Ryan was highly involved with various student clubs and activities. He served on the leadership team for the Catholic Student Association, wrote for the school newspaper, and helped start a disc jockey enterprise. During the summers away from campus Ryan was a production intern for TheBlaze and Fox News where he learned to cut and edit video, create graphics, pre-interview guests, and develop historical documentaries. Following graduation Ryan moved to D.C. and interned with the Heritage Foundation's web develop team where he learned both JavaScript and C++ programming languages and helped implement much of Heritage's web content. When that internship came to an end Ryan desperately wanted to work for a power house non-profit organization and Becket was the ticket. As a media relations associate Ryan implements Becket's web content, helps coordinate interviews, tracks media analytics, and assists with the distribution of press releases. If Ryan is not found doing any of these he's probably helping with video production. When Ryan is not in the office he is busy playing pick-up basketball or honing his voice for karaoke nights. Ryan is also a sucker for romance comedies and is currently battling a late night addiction to sweets.
CAROLINE COOK
Consovoy McCarthy Park, PLLC.


Caroline Cook is an associate at Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC, and her practice is focused primarily on constitutional law and appellate litigation. She is also an adjunct professor for the Supreme Court Clinic at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. She is a former law clerk to the Honorable Diane S. Sykes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Caroline earned her B.A. magna cum laude from the University of San Diego and her J.D. with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was actively involved in the Federalist Society, co-founded and led Law Students for Life, and served as Managing Editor of the Law Review. A native Oregonian, Caroline loves hiking, skiing, and watching Oregon football.
KYLE CRAFT
EverFi


Kyle Craft Kyle Craft was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. He attended the University of Notre Dame where he studied Finance and Psychology and played soccer. After college he worked as a research analyst for a mutual fund in Salt Lake City, UT before moving to DC to work in poverty policy at the think-tank AEI. Currently he works as a sales support manager at the online financial education company EverFi.
ANDREA DELEE
Saint Jerome Academy


Andrea DeLee Andrea is the Director of the Montessori Program at Saint Jerome Academy. She graduated cum laude from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family with a Masters in Theological Studies. Eager to offer young children the opportunity to contemplate truth, beauty, and goodness and to draw closer to Christ and His Church, Andrea is certified in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and received her Association Montessori International Diploma from the Montessori Northwest Institute. Committed to sharing the riches of the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition, Andrea is a member of the curriculum committee of the DC Young Catholic Professionals Group. In addition to the reading the classics and watching good films, Andrea enjoys being outdoors, playing the piano, singing in choirs, and making pilgrimages.
LAURA DEMARIA
The National Association for County Community and Economic Development


Laura DeMaria is the Executive Director of the National Association for County Community and Economic Development (NACCED), an affordable housing and community development advocacy organization which represents nearly 100 local governments across the US. A native of North Carolina, she is an alum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the American University School of Public Affairs, where she earned a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. Laura is passionate about building relationships in order to help organizations and people achieve their missions, and in turn create value, meaning and growth. She serves on the Arlington County Community Services Board and on the Board of L'Arche of Greater Washington DC. Laura contributes monthly articles to Catholic Stand Magazine and you can find her writing online at www.laurademaria.com and follow her on Twitter at @LauraRDeMaria.
KIMBERLY DILLINGHAM
Education Advisory Board


Kimberly Dillingham is a senior research analyst at the Education Advisory Board (EAB), where she has worked for almost four years. Originally from Long Island, NY, Kim graduated from Dartmouth College in 2013, where she studied Political Philosophy & Ethics and was a member of varsity women's soccer team. Kim met her husband Drew at the John Paul II National Shrine in 2014, and they were married exactly two years later on October 22, 2016 (JPII's feast day). Kim and Drew love to travel and have been to Israel, Greece, Poland, Ireland, Bermuda and spent five months living in Rome while Drew studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Kim and Drew are very excited to welcome their first child in April 2017. When she is not reading everything by Bishop Robert Barron, Kim enjoys outdoor sports, board games, and anything involving peanut butter.
JEFFREY DINWOODIE
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission


Jeffrey Dinwoodie is a Senior Counsel to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. In this capacity, he serves as the lead advisor to Chairman Clayton on matters involving the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, Office of Municipal Securities and Office of Credit Ratings, and he also advises on enforcement matters. Jeff previously practiced law at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, where he advised domestic and foreign financial institutions on a wide range of regulatory and enforcement matters, as well as complex corporate transactions. He has been a frequent speaker and writer on financial regulation topics. He earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from American University and a B.S. from George Mason University, where he was a pitcher on the college baseball team. Jeff enjoys traveling, history, reading, writing and, most of all, spending time with his wife Kim and daughter Rose.
SHIZA FRANCIS
Federalist Society


Shiza Francis is currently the Assistant Director in the Office of the Executive VP at the Federalist Society. In this capacity, she works closely with the lawyer’s division, external relations, and development. She assists in handling the day to day activities of the Executive VP, Leonard Leo. She is a recent graduate of Villanova University with a B.A. in Political Science and minors in Philosophy and in Theology. While in college, she was a Hertog Political Studies Fellow and a Supreme Court intern. Outside of work, she is involved with the Augustinian Scholars Program at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C.
GONCALO FORJAZ DE LACERDA
US National Cancer Institute


Gonçalo Forjaz is from the Azores, Portugal, and has been living in the U.S. with his family since August 2016, when he joined the Surveillance Research Program at the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a Fulbright Visiting Researcher. Gonçalo has several years of experience in the areas of cancer registration and descriptive epidemiology. Gonçalo received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Évora, Portugal and his Master of Science degree in Human Oncology from the University of Porto, Portugal. He has jointly worked with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the African Cancer Registry Network to establish cancer registries in the Portuguese-speaking African Countries, namely Angola, Mozambique, and Cape Verde. Gonçalo is a committed catholic in his home country, having integrated several Church movements such as Caritas, Faith and Light, and Jesuit’s Christian Life Community. Upon his return to the Azores, Gonçalo will work with the Portuguese Justice and Peace Commission to improve the dialogue between Church and Society.
WILLIAM GRIBBIN
US Department of Housing and Urban Development


William Gribbin is a speechwriter for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson. He worked at The Heritage Foundation as writer for former Sen. Jim DeMint, and has written for various leaders in Congress and across the conservative movement. He received his BA from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA. A lifelong resident of Washington, DC, in his free time he enjoys crabbing on the Chesapeake and exploring abandoned buildings in the countryside.
AURORA GRIFFIN
Catholic University of America


Aurora Griffin attended Harvard University, from which she graduated in the top five percent of her class. There she served as President of the Catholic Student Association and led the resistance to the satanic black mass. She was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and received her MPhil in Theology at Oxford University. She authored "How I Stayed Catholic at Harvard," a popular handbook for Catholic college students at secular universities. She served on the Presidential Transition Team and in a counterterrorism social media unit at the State Department with the new administration. She now works at the Catholic University of America, and will matriculate to Stanford Graduate School of Business in Fall 2018.
STEPHANIE HERBERT
U.S. Department of Justice


Stephanie Herbert is an intelligence analyst with the US Department of Justice, where she works criminal cases involving foreign governments. Before joining DOJ in 2010 she got her M.A. in Politics from the Catholic University of America, where she studied constitutional law and American political decision making. She graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Dallas. She is a soprano with the Cathedral of St. Matthew Schola Cantorum, a member of the Dominican House of Studies DC Frassati Fellowship, a Cooperator with Opus Dei, and enjoys deep conversation, books, bourbon, hikes, and hosting parties. She is a native of a small town in Wisconsin.
WILLIAM J. HAUN
Shearman & Sterling, LLP


William J. Haun is a lawyer in the Washington, D.C. office of Shearman & Sterling LLP, where his practice focuses on antitrust and complex trial and appellate litigation. Mr. Haun served as a law clerk to Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to Judge Claude M. Hilton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. In private practice at Hunton & Williams LLP, Mr. Haun represented prominent clients--including elected officials, business leaders, and constitutional law scholars--in respective amicus efforts before the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Haun also successfully represented business clients in complex litigation matters crossing multiple federal and state courts, as well as in state, federal, and international government investigations. His writings on administrative and constitutional law include a book chapter, white papers, and articles in Forbes, National Affairs, National Review Online, Public Discourse, and law reviews. He holds a J.D. from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, and a B.A. in political science from American University.
EMILY LATAIF
The White House, Office of the Staff Secretary


Emily is currently working for the White House Staff Secretary and Policy Coordinator as an executive assistant. Previously, she was a fellow at the John Jay Institute in Philadelphia and before that, a research assistant for the House of Representative's Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, a congressional investigation into the aborted fetal tissue trafficking industry. She graduated from the University of Dallas with a degree in English Literature and studied abroad in Rome, Italy. At UD, she was an editor at the campus newspaper and founded the school's chapter of the Anscombe Society. During college, she interned at the Heritage Foundation, the Susan B. Anthony List and the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Emily is from Rome, Georgia.
THOMAS M. JOHNSON, JR
Federal Communications Commission


Thomas M. Johnson, Jr. is the General Counsel to the Federal Communications Commission. He was formally the Deputy Solicitor General for the State of West Virginia. Before joining the office, he practiced appellate and constitutional law and administrative law as Of Counsel at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Prior to working at Gibson Dunn, Mr. Johnson clerked for the Honorable Jerry E. Smith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Houston, TX. Before that, he attended Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude. Before Harvard, he received a bachelor of arts, magna cum laude, in Government from Georgetown University, where he concentrated in political theory.
MARGAUX KILLACKEY
The James Wilson Institute


Margaux Killackey currently serves as Programs Manager at the James Wilson Institute, founded and directed by Hadley Arkes, which seeks to renew a proper understanding of Natural Law in today's jurisprudence. Margaux received her BA in philosophy from Christendom College in 2015. She went on to be a Fellow at the John Jay Institute and made Washington, DC, her home in early 2016. A firm believer that good action is difficult to affect without good philosophy, and that good philosophy is difficult to grasp without good community, Margaux is grateful for the opportunity to learn, grow, and serve with the Leonine Forum. She ultimately hopes to teach philosophy at the high school level. Originally (and proudly) from New Jersey, Margaux enjoys hosting, talking endlessly with her roommates, running, practicing penmanship, and all manner of tea.
STEVE LINDSAY
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit


Steve Lindsay is a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Steve received his J.D. from Yale Law School and an A.B. in politics from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. At Yale, he was President of the Catholic Law Students Association, a Vice President in the Federalist Society, an Articles & Essays Editor for the Yale Law Journal, and a teaching fellow in constitutional law for Professor Akhil Reed Amar. Between graduating from college and beginning law school, Steve was a Teach For America corps member and taught third graders at Harlem Link Charter School in New York City.
MARGARET MACLEOD


Margaret MacLeod has served her country in India, Pakistan, and Japan. Before beginning a career in international affairs, she earned degrees in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and Sustainable Development from Columbia University. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the lesser known museums and historical sites of Washington.
MEREDITH MCGUIRE
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


Meredith is a Ph.D. Candidate in Cell Biology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where her research is focused on lipid metabolism in pancreatic cancer. She received a federal NIH fellowship (F31) to fund her doctoral work. At Hopkins, she leads a chapter of The Thomistic Institute, which seeks to provide a forum for scientists to engage the complex questions they have about life, faith, and the nature of science with the same level of logic and rigor they apply to their scientific endeavors. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in biology from St. Vincent College (Latrobe, PA) and presently resides in Baltimore.
ALYSON MILLER
Berman and Company


Alyson is currently Assistant Controller at Berman and Company, a public affairs firm in Washington, DC. She earned her Bachelors in Accounting from Montana State University and CPA license while working in Banking and Financial Services. She earned her MBA from George Mason University. Alyson is a convert to Catholicism and an active parishioner at St. Mary’s in Old Town Alexandria. She is also a classically-trained soprano and enjoys sharing her voice in both the Church and at arts and cultural events in the Washington, D.C area. A native of Montana, she enjoys visiting her home state to see family, ski, and shoot skeet.
PORTIA MILLS
Great Eagle Markets, Inc.


Portia Mills is founder and principal for Great Eagle Markets, a B2B marketing consulting firm focused on driving growth for technology companies. She has worked with a variety of sectors including government, aviation & aerospace tech, business-to-business software, risk management and security, and oil and gas. Portia, a dual American-Canadian citizen, was born and raised in Washington, D.C., is multi-lingual and holds a BA from Cornell University, an MA in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University, SAIS.
SARAH MOSS
Northern VA Community College


Originally from San Francisco, Sarah Moss moved to Washington D.C. in 2011. After graduating from the University of Dallas with a BA in history, Sarah worked at the CIC as the head of Development. In 2013 she moved to Virginia with her husband Eddy to welcome their first son, James, and to begin financial coaching for local businesses and individuals. Currently, she manages the Moss home, raises two boys, and studies nursing. In her free time, Sarah enjoys running and being outside with the family.
AARON RANSON
United States Navy


United States Navy
REBECCA SEARS
Alliance Defending Freedom


Rebecca Sears currently serves as Media & Marketing Strategist for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), where she assists the Center for Academic Freedom team in the Washington, D.C. office. Before ADF, Ms. Sears worked as an assistant for the 4% Growth Project at the George W. Bush Institute, where she also assisted the economic director, Amity Shlaes, for the Economic History departments at NYU and The King’s College. A native of Arizona, Ms. Sears received her B.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at The King’s College in NYC. Before graduating, Ms. Sears served as a Marketing intern at Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal.
BLAKE SEITZ
U.S. Congress


Blake Seitz works as speechwriter for Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah). Prior to that, Blake was assistant editor at the Washington Free Beacon. He was educated at the University of Georgia, earning a BA in political science and an MPA in public administration and policy. His writing has appeared in National Review, National Review Online, and The Weekly Standard. Blake was born and raised in Dallas, Texas.
MAGDALENA J. SEOL


Magdalena J. Seol is a founder of GDA, a strategy advisory firm based in Seoul dedicated to global development and public impact problems. Prior to this, she served as an Assistant Secretary to the President of South Korea, managing the globalization arm of key agendas related to climate change and low-caron economic growth. Before this, she supported changes and innovation in both the business and social sectors during her career as a management strategy consultant. She also worked with the OECD (on innovation in public governance), UNDP (on the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development), and GCF (on country readiness programs). She received her B.A. in International Relations from Seoul National University (summa cum laude), followed by further graduate studies in International Development Studies at Oxford University as the Oxford Clarendon Scholar and the British Chevening Scholar. She earned her MPA (Business and Government Policy concentration) from Harvard Kennedy School. Most recently, she served in the Office of the President of the World Bank Group as an Oval Office Fellow from Harvard Kennedy School.
MUHAMMED SYED
Department of Defense


Muhammed Syed is currently working at the Department of Defense. Prior moving to Washington D.C., Mr. Syed was the Director of Programs at the Claremont Institute, where he coordinated and managed the Claremont Institute’s prestigious Publius, Lincoln, and Marshall Fellowships. He is also a PhD candidate at Claremont Graduate University where he is writing his dissertation on civil-military relations and foreign policy. Mr. Syed was born in Al Kut, Iraq, before moving to America with his family. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II. Mr. Syed converted to Catholicism in the 2006. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Connecticut, an M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis, and an M.A. in Politics from Claremont Graduate University. Mr. Syed grew up in Connecticut, and is a passionate New England Patriots fan.
AMANDA TINDALL
Youth Leadership Foundation


Amanda Tindall is a dedicated educator and current director of the Youth Leadership’s Program for Academic and Leadership Skills. She attended Hillsdale College, where she studied English and journalism, working at The Washington Post: Express and the Toledo Free Press. In 2016, she joined the Youth Leadership Foundation and directs the PALS Program, atutoring and mentoring program for girls 3rd-12th grade in the DMV area. PALS aims to develop character in its students through on-on-one mentoring and a curriculum based in a Christian anthropology. Since her start at PALS in 2016 the PALS student body has grown three-fold through the addition of 3 school partners in D.C. and Prince George's County.
COLLEEN TRAUGHBER
U.S. Department of State


Colleen Traughber is a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State, currently on detail as a Pearson Fellow to the U.S. Senate. In previous assignments, she worked in the Office of Peace Operations, Sanctions, and Counterterrorism, in the Office of the European Union and Regional Affairs, at the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, and at the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen. Prior to the State Department, Colleen was a Boren Fellow in Amman, Jordan, a graduate research assistant at the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at the Fletcher School, and a Fulbright Scholar at the Free University in Berlin. She holds a MA in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a BA from Carleton College.
DEREK WEBB
Sidley Austin, LLP


Derek Webb is an Associate at Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, DC where he focuses on Supreme Court and Appellate litigation. He earned his B.A. in philosophy from Yale University, Ph.D. in political theory from the University of Notre Dame, and J.D. from Georgetown Law School. He was a law clerk to Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and a Supreme Court Fellow in the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice.
DANIEL WEST
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit


After studying economics as an undergraduate at Harvard, Daniel joined the United States Marine Corps as an infantry officer. As a platoon commander on the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Mesa Verde from 2011 to 2012, he led the Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel Force for the NATO aerial campaign over Libya and served as the ship's Catholic lay leader. He then served as Executive Officer of India Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines as it mentored Afghan forces to assume lead security responsibility and executed counter-narcotics missions in Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan from 2012 to 2013. After separating from active duty, he entered the JD/MBA program at Harvard Law School and Business School, serving as a teaching fellow in economics and government and an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He now works as a law clerk for Judge Laurence H. Silberman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

PROGRAM DETAILS

INTELLECTUAL FOUNDATION

During the first semester of the program, Fellows engage with a curriculum that emphasizes primary Church documents, practical secondary analyses, and gain an intellectual foundation on topics including: Faith and Reason, Christian Anthropology, the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching, Charity and Truth, Justice and Mercy, and Catholicism and the American Experiment.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION

During the second semester, Fellows explore how core Social Teachings of the Church relate to their professional and civic lives, including topics such as entrepreneurship, business, finance, culture and the arts, poverty, economics, immigration, ecology, public policy and civic engagement, bioethics, health care, religious liberty, and more.

Spiritual Development

Fellows have the chance to supplement intellectual endeavors with regular opportunities for Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, confession and spiritual direction.

Community Service

Understanding that we are called to love our brothers and sisters, Leonine Fellows have the opportunity to participate in monthly service activities as a group with The Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, DC.

Alumni Events

Fellows join a community of over 140 Leonine Alumni, and will have the opportunity to participate in regular Alumni events — including happy hours, lectures, roundtable discussions and exclusive access to premier seminars, dinners, and more.

PROGRAM DETAILS

INTELLECTUAL FOUNDATION

During the first semester of the program, Fellows engage with a curriculum that emphasizes primary Church documents, practical secondary analyses, and gain an intellectual foundation on topics including: Faith and Reason, Christian Anthropology, the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching, Charity and Truth, Justice and Mercy, and Catholicism and the American Experiment.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION

During the second semester, Fellows explore how core Social Teachings of the Church relate to their professional and civic lives, including topics such as entrepreneurship, business, finance, culture and the arts, poverty, economics, immigration, ecology, public policy and civic engagement, bioethics, health care, religious liberty, and more.

Spiritual Development

Fellows have the chance to supplement intellectual endeavors with regular opportunities for Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, confession and spiritual direction.

Community Service

Understanding that we are called to love our brothers and sisters, Leonine Fellows have the opportunity to participate in monthly service activities as a group with The Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, DC.

Alumni Events

Fellows join a community of over 140 Leonine Alumni, and will have the opportunity to participate in regular Alumni events — including happy hours, lectures, roundtable discussions and exclusive access to premier seminars, dinners, and more.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, there is no required cost to participate in the Leonine Forum. You will, however, have an opportunity to donate to help defray the substantial costs of the Forum.

Washington, D.C. applicants require a minimum of 3 years of professional and/or graduate school experience. In previous years, most Washington Fellows have had five-nine years of work or graduate school experience before joining the Leonine Forum.

The ideal letter of recommendation comes from a respected source who can speak to your professional achievement and personal character.

There will typically be a Leonine Alumni event every month ranging from happy hours, lectures, and exclusive access to premier seminars, dinners, and more.

Fellows will meet one evening per month during the academic year (October-June), usually on the first Wednesday of the month.

The basic format for each Session is as follows:

5:30pm  — Mass (optional)

6:00pm — Cocktail Hour/Conversation

6:45pm — Lecture/Q&A

7:30pm — Dinner begins

8:15pm — Roundtable discussion

9:00pm — Evening ends

Washington, DC Sessions take place at the Catholic Information Center located at 1501 K St. NW, Washington, DC 20005.

Priority will be given to applicants who intend in good faith to make it to at least 80% of the events (missing no more than two).

Yes. In the month leading up to each Session, Fellows will be given a small packet of reading material (40-80 pages) selected by the Session Leaders to read in advance. Tolle Lege!

The Leonine application involves two stages: Stage 1- the online application and Stage 2 – the interview. After completing the online application, all Fellows will be contacted regarding an interview date and time to be completed via Zoom.

The frequency of events requires participants to live in the Washington, DC metro area. If you live in the New York City area, please click here.

While there is no guarantee of acceptance, those who have shown continued interest in the Forum will receive additional consideration.

TESTIMONIES

“The Leonine Forum was an incredible experience. We learned directly from the top leaders at the intersection faith, culture, and public policy. I not only learned more about the deep philosophical tenets of the Catholic faith, but how to apply these tenets to complex public policy issues of this age.”

JULIA SLINGSBY • 2013 LEONINE FELLOW

“If there’s one thing this election has revealed, it’s that there’s a growing majority of Catholics, and young Catholics in particular, who are disaffected by the traditional tug-of-war of partisan politics and looking for new ways to reengage the world around them. The Leonine Forum is one intriguing option.”

CHRISTOPHER WHITE • CATHOLIC VOICES USA

“There’s no such thing as morally neutral law. Every piece of public policy embodies somebody’s values. If it’s going to embody true values, people need to know the truth. The Leonine Forum is teaching the next generation of leaders the truth about man and God, and the role of the state in respecting both.”

RYAN ANDERSON • HERITAGE FOUNDATION