Meet the Candidates


Below you will find candidate statements for WCSA's 2022-2023 Board. A virtual Meet & Greet will be held on Wednesday August 17 and elections will be held August 19-21, 2022. 



President – Amelia Faraco-Hadlock


Hi all! It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve on the WCSA board for the past several years, to have the opportunity to meet so many of you, and see firsthand the impact WCSA can (and should) have on our members.

I am proud of the things we have been able to accomplish during my time on the board (most recently as your WCSA Vice President and previously as one of your Co-Professional Development Chairs), including rebranding WCSA, hosting the first in-person summer conference in recent years, and growing the mentoring program. I have loved working to strengthen the WCSA community and ensure our members have access to the resources and support they need to thrive.


As we head into the next year, I am excited by the chance to be able to continue growing and fostering this community of strong women on the Hill as your WCSA President! If elected, I will work to ensure that WCSA is a welcoming and inclusive community that supports all of our members throughout their careers, including by launch new resources and crafting events to support and empower our members at all stages of their careers.


I passionately believe that WCSA can and should work to uplift our members and support you in becoming your best professional and personal self. I would be honored to have the chance to continue working towards these goals as your WCSA’s President, and humbly ask for your vote.



Vice President – Maura Weaver

My name is Maura Weaver, and I am running for the role of Vice President on this year’s Women’s Congressional Staff Association board. Building on the work we did last year when I served as Treasurer, I hope to continue to make WCSA more accessible for all women staffers on the hill. I will work to continue outreach between other staff associations to partner on events and tailor our events to the needs and wants of the membership. From a workshop on micro aggressions to cookie decorating and clothing swaps, we’ve hosted wonderful events that, if elected, I will work to put on throughout the year. I also hope to continue to expand access for district staffers, and expand the traditional role of WCSA to advocate for women on the hill. I hope you’ll consider voting for me!



Secretary – Sonia Norton

Having served on Capitol Hill over the last three years, I recognize the important role the WCSA community has played in setting women up for success in Congress. However, making it onto the Hill and thriving here remain elusive to many women, and gendered norms continue to marginalize women in this space. I am running for Secretary to build on WCSA’s momentum in increasing access to the information sharing, the networking, and the resources women need to rise on the Hill. In this role, I hope to build out collaborations between staff associations and to ensure WCSA members have open, consistent access to the full benefits of the organization’s work. As a WCSA Professional Development Co-Chair, I helped facilitate the Summer Mentorship program and was able to incorporate skills-building workshops for staffers pursuing a wide variety of paths on the Hill throughout my term. Throughout my career on the Hill, WCSA’s network of mighty women staffers has been crucial to my growth here.  I am excited to use my experience to lift more women on the Hill and to sustain and expand resources available to WCSA members as Secretary.



Treasurer – Caleigh Lynch

My name is Caleigh Lynch and I am running for the position of Treasurer for the Women’s Congressional Staff Association. I am currently a Constituent Services Specialist for Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, VA-10, and have been a part of their team for a little over two years. During my time as an undergrad, I served as the treasurer for two years in an organization with 145 members. Throughout my time as treasurer, I created a budget for the executive board and chairs while managing membership dues totaling over $65,000. I strive to be as available as possible and work to get reimbursements and payments out and back to members in a timely fashion.


This experience during my undergrad has equipped me with the knowledge and skills to lead as well as work as a team player. If elected into this position, I will work with other members of the executive board and chairs to facilitate fellowship and network throughout the Organization.



Communications Director – Maiesha Hossain 

I firmly believe that what you get out of an experience is dependent on what you put in, which is my approach to work, life, and especially WCSA. I have found that the more involved with WCSA I am, the more inspired and proud I am to be a woman on Capitol Hill. During my time with this organization, I have met the most empowering and supportive role models who have helped me realize new passions and interests, given indelible advice and guidance, and reinforced that we need more women involved on Capitol Hill as women will spark change and evolve the status quo for future generations. I am eternally grateful that I found this organization and want to help other women find the same support, community, and inspiration. This is why I am running for WCSA Communications Director. In this position, I plan to build on the incredible work of past members and promote WCSA further to communicate our message, grow our community, and amplify our impact. From working in communications for a nonprofit and various organizations, I have learned how to use social media, a website, correspondence, and active outreach to encourage engagement and awareness. In this role, I hope to implement social media campaigns spotlighting different members and opportunities, highlight resources, regularly reach out and listen to all members, and encourage involvement and connections within and outside our organization. I hope to collaborate with all members to make WCSA even more inclusive, indispensable, recognized, supportive, and empowering.



Events and Activities Co-Chair – Alison Feinswog

WCSA has been a wonderful community to meet and learn from incredible women staffers, and I hope to give back to the organization by continuing to serve as Events & Activities Co-Chair. Whether you have been working on the Hill for decades or started working virtually during the pandemic, I know we are all hungry for a chance to meet each other, build a community, and make genuine friendships.  Over the past year on the board, we have had to adapt to changing COVID-19 numbers and have found virtual, outdoor, and in-person activity options to ensure everyone feels comfortable and welcome. I have loved planning all types of WCSA events, including happy hours, a hike in Rock Creek Park, a Mall picnic, and a virtual cookie decorating party, but there are so many more ideas I hope to bring to fruition. I am looking forward to having in-person WCSA Wednesdays as a standard monthly get-together to keep members aware of upcoming opportunities and create a casual space to chat after a long day at work. We could also host a museum tour, a boxing class, a puppy stress relief event, or mini golf. Most importantly, I want to help create a safe space for women staffers connect and serve as a support system for our fellow colleagues.



Member Services Director – Anushree Jumde

I am expressing my interest in running for the position of Director of Membership Services. My name is Anushree Jumde and I work as District Director for Congressman French Hill in his Arkansas offices. I have been a WCSA member since March 2021 and have been extremely floored by the support and variety of activities hosted by WCSA. I would like to serve in this position to spread WCSA’s awareness to district staffers. I have actively participated in most virtual events and feel that WCSA goes to great lengths to create a balance between district and D.C. staff.


I have been involved with local women-focused groups in Arkansas and am a huge advocate for mentorship program. As a Director, I will work with the Board to expand the WCSA’s work in district offices to focus on the needs of women staffers. I am a team player and am always looking for opportunities within our office and beyond to help women/young girls in their career paths. I would be honored to run for this position again – I feel like my first term flew-by and now that I have a better idea of what it entails, I would like an opportunity to run for this position and expand upon last year’s efforts. My idea: to continue to spread awareness of WCSA in district offices.



Diversity Inclusion Co-Chair – Nandini Narayan

I currently work for Congressman Chris Pappas and have previously worked for Congressman Pete Aguilar, Congressman TJ Cox and Congressman Ro Khanna, all three embody the diversity in California. They have all taught me, not only does representation matter, but diversity leads to more inclusive policy. As a WCSA Diversity and Inclusion Director, I would focus on planning events and panels that empower women to reach for their highest goals and not limit themselves. Women need to be part of all policy conversations that shape our future. And the key to achieving that is building a pipeline. I have seen how diversity pipelines can lead to diverse representation in California. I would be a person that anyone could reach out to for guidance and really focus on making Capitol Hill more inclusive, so it represents America. I hope to have your support!



Outreach and Community Service Co-Chair – Sarah Callander

I am inspired to run for re-election for the WCSA board because of the work WCSA has done to foster community among congressional staff. Having worked in both district and D.C. offices and many other roles, my passion will always be engaging and helping people. Currently, I am a junior legislative assistant for Senator Leahy and I most enjoy connecting constituents with Solutions.


The past couple of years have proven to be an extremely challenging period – especially for women Hill staffers who continue to face difficult circumstances with little formal support. As someone who has experienced significant loss in my family, I know how isolating working on the hill can be. As staffers, our conversations often revolve around politics but not always about improving the workplace or supporting each other in meaningful ways. WCSA is a much-needed resource that can provide a community to all women staffers.


I am proud that I have worked on WCSA events from professional networking to fun activities such as a Galentine’s Day cookie decorating party and clothing swaps. I hope to earn your vote as a WCSA Community Outreach Co-Chair in order to better connect WCSA with community service organizations, involve all women congressional staff, and support them in whatever they Need.


Professional Development Co-Chairs


Emma Zafran

My name is Emma Zafran and I kindly ask for your support serving as the Women’s Congressional Staff Association Professional Development Co-Chair. Over the last year, I have loved serving as Professional Development co-chair organizing events that uplift and support women staffer across the aisle and chambers.  I seek this position once again so that I can continue to help women staffers navigate the complexities, challenges, and power dynamics of working as a woman on Capitol Hill. Over the course of my professional and academic career, I’ve dedicated myself to the advancement of women. As co-chair for a second time, I would bring this personal passion to the role to ensure women staffers have the confidence and tools to succeed in their roles.

 

After completing my master’s degree in Gender and Public Policy from the London School of Economics, I now work as a senior leg staffer on the Hill where I bring unique a perspective of both policy and real-world experience advocating for women. In my personal relationships, I am always the first person to remind my friends to advocate for themselves, their pay raises, and their careers.  I believe strongly in the power of relationships and am eager to translate my experience and passion for women’s professional success to the WCSA Members through new programming, workshops, and ideas.  I am especially looking forward to running the mentorship program once again so that we can continue to lift up new generations of staffers and advocate for each other’s success!

 

 

Medora Jones

Hi WCSA! My name is Medora Jones, and I am running to be Co-Chair of the Professional Development Committee. Since joining WCSA last spring, I have benefitted both professionally and personally from the opportunity to build relationships with other incredible women leaders. I’ve enjoyed meeting many of you over the past year, whether at the picnic on the mall or during our fabulous summer conference. As the Professional Development Co-Chair, I want to be sure to continue WCSA’s strong mentorship program, bring in bipartisan speakers to give advice for advancing on and off the Hill, hold an event all about salary negotiations and navigating finances, and create a safe space to discuss workplace problems faced by far too many staffers. I recently completed American University's nonpartisan We Lead program, which trains women to manage campaigns and run for office, and I hope to bring the knowledge I gained there to WCSA’s professional development activities. I am also excited to get to know y’all on a more personal level! When I am not working, I enjoy playing soccer, watching prestige tv like 90 Day Fianc√©, and spending time with my cat, Merlin. I would appreciate your support, and I believe we will accomplish great things together this year!


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