Category: Fellows, Press Releases and Announcements

Title: Meet the Spring 2022 Fellows

Dear Members of the GU Politics Community,

It’s the start of a new semester, and you know what that means — a new class of Fellows at the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service!

Each semester, we bring in leading practitioners to explore with students how to do politics better. The Spring 2022 Fellows bring decades of experience in politics, government and journalism to the Hilltop, and come from different places on the ideological spectrum. But while each Fellow has their own theme and area of focus, they share a common goal to work with students to advance the common good, bolster democratic institutions, and lead with a service-oriented passion for a purpose larger than oneself. 

So, without further ado, meet the Spring 2022 GU Politics Fellows! I hope you’re as pumped about them as we are. They’re excited to get to campus and start working with you!

Spring 2022 GU Politics Fellows - YouTube Thumbnail

Watch the Fellows announcement video

Meet Ashley Etienne, Alyssa Farah Griffin, Dafna Linzer, Wesley Lowery, Kristen Soltis Anderson, Elliot Williams.

Ashley Etienne

Fmr. Communications Director to the Vice President (Biden-Harris Administration) and Fmr. Communications Director to Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Ashley Etienne served as Communications Director to the two highest-ranking women in American history — Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The first woman and person of color to hold that position for the Speaker. Ashley has also served as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Cabinet in the Obama-Biden Administration and also led communications on President Obama’s signature My Brother’s Keeper initiative. Ashley’s discussion group is called ​​A Seat at the Table: The Politics of Power.


Alyssa Farah Griffin

Fmr. White House Communications Director (Trump Administration)

Alyssa Farah Griffin served as White House Communications Director under President Donald Trump, as Press Secretary to Vice President Mike Pence, and as the Press Secretary for the United States Department of Defense. She is the only person in history to have served as the top spokesperson for the President of the United States, the Vice President, and the Secretary of Defense in one administration. She is also the youngest Pentagon Press Secretary in history. Alyssa’s discussion group is titled The Future of America’s Democracy in the Midst of the “MAGA” Movement.


Dafna Linzer

Fmr. Managing Editor for Politics, NBC News and MSNBC

Dafna Linzer was most recently the Managing Editor for Politics at NBC News and MSNBC where she was responsible for editorial across broadcast, cable and digital platforms. Prior to this role she built and launched MSNBC’s digital program bringing the newsroom into the digital age. She was a senior investigative reporter at ProPublica, national security correspondent with The Washington Post, and a senior editor on the Associated Press’s foreign desk. Dafna’s discussion group will focus on Trust in Government.


Wesley Lowery

Correspondent, 60 Minutes+

Wesley Lowery is a correspondent for 60 Minutes+, the streaming version of CBS News’ iconic broadcast 60 Minutes. A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author, Wes is one of the country’s foremost journalists on issues of race, law enforcement, and social justice. Over the past decade, Lowery has extensively chronicled police shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement and interviewed leading newsmakers on these topics. Wes’ discussion group is about The Media in This Moment.


Kristen Soltis Anderson

Republican Pollster and Founding Partner, Echelon Insights

Kristen Soltis Anderson is a nationally respected Republican pollster, commentator, and author of The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America (And How Republicans Can Keep Up). She is a founding partner of Echelon Insights, an opinion research and analytics firm. Kristen is host of SiriusXM’s “The Trendline with Kristen Soltis Anderson” on their nonpartisan P.O.T.U.S politics channel. Kristen’s discussion group is on Polling, Polarization, and the Value of Listening in American Politics.


Elliot Williams

Fmr. Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Justice Department (Obama Administration)

Elliot Williams is a CNN Legal Analyst and a regular SiriusXM guest host. He served as deputy assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the Department of Justice, and he spent several years as assistant director for legislative affairs at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Elliot is also a principal in The Raben Group’s Government Affairs Practice Group. Elliot’s discussion group is called Politics and the Law Square Off. Which Wins?

The GU Politics Fellowship offers students a rare peek behind the curtain into the way DC actually works — brought to them by insiders actively in the arena. Students will be challenged, informed, and inspired through weekly discussion groups, office hours, and small group conversations.


Want to get involved with our Fellows?

  • Attend their discussion groups | For eight weeks only, our Fellows host weekly 90-minute, off the record discussions. You’ll talk about big ideas and the specific details needed to put them into practice… and be shocked by the special guests and experts they’ll bring. For the time being, discussion groups are only open to Georgetown campus community members. Read their discussion group topics.
  • Visit them in office hours | Imagine being mentored by politicos at the top of their field. Hang out with our Fellows one-on-one to chat about anything from news of the day, to getting your start in public service, to your burning questions about behind the scenes moments in politics you can’t hear anywhere else. This opportunity is open to all Georgetown students and faculty. Office hours begin the week of January 24th.
  • Join their Student Strategy Teams | Collaborate closely with one of the Fellows by joining their team of five students who craft discussion group topics, help with research and campus outreach, and partner with the Fellow to brainstorm fresh ideas to make politics work better. Learn more and apply.

Be sure to mark your calendars for our GU Politics Fellows Fest— the first chance to meet these leaders virtually, learn more about their backgrounds, and hear what they have planned for the semester. In keeping with current University guidelines, the open house will be held virtually on Thursday, January 20th from 4-5:30 PM — but don’t worry. You’ll get a chance to meet all of the fellows in person as soon as COVID protocols allow. 

We look forward to a great semester of constructive dialogue, popping filter bubbles, and strengthening democracy.

Hoya Saxa,

Mo Elleithee (SFS ’94) 

Executive Director 

Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Policy