The President’s Commission on White House Fellows is pleased to announce the appointment of the 2023-2024 class of White House Fellows. Founded in 1964, the White House Fellows program offers exceptional young leaders first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the Federal government. Fellows spend a year working with senior White House Staff, Cabinet Secretaries, and other top-ranking Administration officials, and leave the Administration equipped to serve as better leaders in their communities. Fellowships are awarded on a non-partisan basis.
This year’s Fellows advanced through a highly competitive selection process, and they are a remarkably gifted, passionate, and accomplished group. These Fellows bring experience from across the country and from a broad cross-section of professions, including from the private sector, local government, academia, non-profits, medicine, and the armed forces.
Applications for the 2024-2025 Fellowship year will be accepted starting November 1, 2023. The application link and additional information is available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/get-involved/fellows/apply/.
Class of 2023-2024 White House Fellows
Lauren Cherry is from Cleveland, Ohio, and is placed at the Central Intelligence Agency. A Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, she most recently served in the Department of Defense Office of General Counsel advising on cyber, space, and sensitive military operations. She has previously advised U.S. and foreign forces on counter-piracy, maritime security, and counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East. Passionate about promoting civic education as a national security imperative, Lauren is an adjunct law professor at Georgetown University, a Fellow at Georgetown’s Center on National Security, and a member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security. Lauren serves on the board of Homes Not Borders, a non-profit supporting D.C.-area refugees. She holds a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago, an M.A. from the U.S. Naval War College, and an LL.M. from Georgetown University.
Monica Dus is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is placed at the Department of the Navy. She is a tenured professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. There she leads a research laboratory that studies the interplay between food and genes, teaches genetics to undergraduate students, and is involved in public engagement. Her scholarly and science communication work has been recognized with awards such as the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Sloan Research Fellowship, the NIH New Innovator Award, and the NSF CAREER Award. She has organized museum exhibits, published SugarBuzz, a children’s comic book about food and the brain, hosted her own science podcasts (How to Science and Neuroepic), and written science for the public. She holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, and a post-doctorate in neurobiology from New York University, NY.
Martha Esparza is from Phoenix, Arizona, and is placed at the Office of the United States Trade Representative. She is a physician focused on providing care for medically underserved, uninsured and refugee patients in a primary care setting. She recently completed residency in family medicine as a chief resident, where she served as a health policy scholar and collaborated with the Pima County Health Department on education and prevention of opioid deaths. She has been involved in health research and is published on interventions in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, promatora model diabetes prevention programs in older Latinas, and clinical biomarkers in diabetes. Her experience also includes program evaluation in Ready To Learn pre-kindergarten literacy programs at PBS and Georgia’s State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Martha earned an M.D. from The University of Arizona – Phoenix, an MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and B.A. from The University of Arizona.
Ryan Fraser is from Pennington, New Jersey, and is placed at the Department of Commerce. Ryan earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Rowan University, and an Executive Master of Professional Studies in Emergency and Disaster Management from Georgetown University, where he published scholarship on disaster recovery. He is a New Jersey Transit Police (NJT) Captain and the Commanding Officer of the NJT Office of Emergency Management. Ryan is responsible for leading emergency and disaster response across the state and contributed to recovery from Hurricane Sandy and supported rescue efforts during the “Miracle on the Hudson.” He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, teaching graduate classes in Emergency and Disaster Management. Before his career in law enforcement, Ryan was a professional ice-hockey referee for eighteen seasons, officiating over 1,000 games. Ryan is also a local Fire Commissioner and volunteers his time in support of Special Olympics, NJ.
William G. Godwin is from Jackson, Tennessee, and is placed at the Office of the National Cyber Director. William is an attorney, real estate broker, and former President of the Gary City Council. He resides in Gary, Indiana, where he founded Godwin Realty Company, a brokerage company serving Chicago, Northwest Indiana, and Southwest Michigan. In 2019, he was elected to serve on the Gary City Council as 1st District Councilman. Previously, he served as External Affairs Manager for Communities In Schools of Chicago, Associate Vice-Chancellor of Workforce & Economic Development at City Colleges of Chicago, and an Associate at McDermott Will & Emery LLP. He completed the General Course at The London School of Economics and earned a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, M.A. from Chicago Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in Sociology, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University where he was a Truman Scholar.
Anna Gunn-Golkin is from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and is placed at the Office of the Second Gentleman. She is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Space Force, having most recently served as the Commander of the 3d Test and Evaluation Squadron, leading a team of over one hundred Guardians in the development and execution of first-of-kind missions to protect and defend space capabilities. Anna taught astrodynamics and rocket propulsion at the U.S. Air Force Academy and served as both a Flight Test Engineer and Program Manager for multiple aerospace systems that enable missions of the highest national priority. She is deeply committed to STEM outreach. Anna received a B.S. in Astronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an M.S. in Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and she is a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Test Pilot School.
Yuwynn Ho is from Carlsbad, California, and is placed at the Office of the First Lady: Joining Forces Initiative. He is a judge advocate and foreign area officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He previously served as congressional liaison for the Department of Navy’s Legislative Affairs Office. He was also adjunct professor at the Naval Academy, commanding officer for recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot-San Diego, and defense attorney. He served at ISAF Headquarters and the U.S. Embassy while deployed to Afghanistan. Prior to military service, he worked at Sun Microsystems and Wilson Sonsini. He volunteered with the Innocence Project, and served as military mentor for the U.S. Senate Youth Program. He is a 2023 Presidential Leadership Scholar. Yuwynn came to the U.S. from Malaysia at age 11 to pursue the American Dream. He received his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, J.D. from U.C. Hastings College of Law, and LLM from the Army JAG School.
Michael Hole is from Darlington, Indiana, and is placed at the Domestic Policy Council. He’s a physician for homeless families and incarcerated youth, public policy professor, researcher with 70-plus publications, and executive director of The Impact Factory, a social-entrepreneurship hub at UT Austin. The 2023 Austinite of the Year and a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree, Michael is a nine-time founder of organizations strengthening Americans’ health and finances. Formerly a case manager and Spanish interpreter, Michael led campaigns to fund a Ugandan school and Haitian orphanage. He serves CVS Health’s advisory board and chairs a nonprofit that eliminates medical debt. A ninth-generation Hoosier and first-generation college graduate, Michael attended Butler University, where he’s now a board trustee. He earned M.D. and MBA degrees from Stanford before pediatrics residency at Harvard. Michael is a Presidential Leadership Scholar, Council on Foreign Relations term member, and captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
Craig Johnson is from Medford, Oregon, and is placed at the Office of Cabinet Affairs. He is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard. Craig’s most recent assignment was teaching in the Government Department at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where he advised the LGBT affinity council and was an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team. His past operational assignments support maritime law enforcement and anti-terrorism operations in U.S. ports. Craig is a four-time member of the U.S. military basketball team, former White House Social Aide, and Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Craig earned a B.S. in Operations Research from the Coast Guard Academy, an M.A. in Defense and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. An avid kitesurfer and skier, Craig enjoys spending his free time in the ocean and mountains.
Kamal Menghrajani is from New York, New York, and is placed at the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Kamal is a cancer physician who treats patients with leukemia. While on faculty at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, she conducted cancer research focused on early diagnosis and prevention. She has spearheaded health equity efforts for vulnerable populations in global contexts, including Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Uganda. As an entrepreneur, Kamal has co-founded startups to address unmet needs in cancer treatment and deploy AI for rapid cancer diagnosis. She helped grow the non-profit Nourish International, which engages student leaders as social entrepreneurs in international development work. Kamal is also passionate about using journalism as a tool for health education. Having completed her M.D. at University of North Carolina and her M.S. in Biostatistics at Columbia University, Kamal trained in medicine at the University of Michigan and as chief fellow at MSK.
Beau Muniz is from Orlando, Florida, and is placed at the Office of the White House Chief of Staff. Beau was a consultant at Bain and Company where his work has included a collaboration with MIT to develop environmental sustainability programming. Before Bain, he was an engineer at GE Appliances, where he developed products and digital startups, leading to two U.S. patents. He received his MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, where he was elected Vice President of Honor and helped pass the most significant change to the honor code in 180 years, addressing inequalities in the expulsion of students. Beau serves as a mentor for FIRST Robotics where he has volunteered over a thousand hours to inspire students in STEM. He also received an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Louisville and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering as a first-generation college graduate from the University of Florida.
Sin Pheiffer is from Ashburn, Virginia, and is placed at the National Security Council. Sin is a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy. While serving as a Surface Warfare Officer, she deployed around the world aboard Navy destroyers, supporting combat operations in the Middle East and orchestrating Freedom of Navigation Operations and Oceania Maritime Security Initiatives in the Indo-Pacific. As a Foreign Area Officer, she led the coordination of the Pacific Fleet’s maritime operations, activities, and investments in Southeast Asia and served as Aide-de-Camp to Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, where she had Congressional and national-level impact on our most pressing national security challenges. She most recently served at the American Institute in Taiwan, Taipei, working to bolster Taiwan’s materiel impacts in warfighting. Sin holds a B.S. from Tulane University and a M.A. in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Mariah Sklyr is from Chicago, Illinois, and is placed at the Department of Veterans Affairs. As Deputy Executive Director of the Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care, Mariah focused on broadening the health care workforce by incorporating culturally adept providers, thereby fostering a patient-centric system that effectively addresses diverse needs and circumstances. Previously, Mariah served as a Maternal Child Health and Child Protection Social Worker where she partnered with the most vulnerable, institutionally neglected populations to engender systems of shared accountability to ensure they have structural opportunities to thrive. As a member of the Wisconsin Maternal Mortality Review Team, Mariah reviews every maternal death in the state to determine preventability and recommend policy and procedural changes that center patients and mitigate risk for poor outcomes. She earned an M.A. in Social Work from the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work and a B.A., Cum Laude, from Marquette University.
Bryan Smith is from Mundelein, Illinois, and is placed at the Social Security Administration. Bryan is a heart failure cardiologist at the University of Chicago and a health equity expert whose work focuses on health disparities in cardiovascular disease. He serves on the Chicago board of the American Heart Association, where he is co-chair of its Health Equity Advisory Committee, and as a spokesperson, he provides trusted medical information through television, radio, and print media. He founded the University of Chicago Heart and Vascular Center Mentorship Program for minority high school students interested in medicine, and he is an Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency focused on DEI efforts. He has authored numerous publications, and his research addresses racial disparities in the management of heart failure. He received an M.D. from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and a B.A. in biology from Harvard University.
Elizabeth Verardo is from Centerport, New York, and is placed at the National Security Council. Liz is a Major in the United States Army and has served multiple combat deployments as an Apache helicopter pilot. Most recently, Liz was the senior aviation advisor for a Stryker Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Carson, CO, and served as Operations Officer for the Division’s Air Cavalry Squadron. Outside of operational assignments, she taught American Politics and American Foreign Policy as an Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy’s Department of Social Sciences. Liz is an active Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations and 2014 Pat Tillman Scholar. She earned a B.S. in American Politics from the United States Military Academy, an M.A. in Defense and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and an M.A. in Global Affairs from Yale University’s Jackson School of Global Affairs.