Senior White House Correspondent, CNN
MJ Lee is a Senior White House correspondent for CNN based in Washington, DC, where she has broken news on some of the most consequential policy issues facing the Biden administration, including the nationwide baby formula shortage, student loan debt forgiveness, and public health emergencies like monkeypox and COVID. She has traveled abroad on Biden’s key foreign trips, covering the president’s relationship with world leaders and his position on the global stage. Previously, Lee was a political correspondent based in CNN’s New York bureau, where she covered the 2020 presidential campaign, as well as the national #MeToo movement and its implications on Capitol Hill and in government. MJ’s discussion group is titled Political Reporting in a Time of Chaos.
Member of Congress (D-VA), 2019-2023. Member of the House Select Committee on January 6; Vice Chair, House Armed Services Committee
Elaine Luria represented Virginia’s Second Congressional District from 2019-2023. She served as the Vice Chair of the House Armed Services Committee and as a member of the House Committees on Homeland Security and Veterans’ Affairs as well as the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol. In Congress, Luria focused her work on increasing the defense budget to meet challenges in the Pacific, granting access to care for toxic exposed veterans through the PACT Act, and for funding advanced nuclear technology. Luria served two decades in the United States Navy, serving at sea on six ships and culminating her Navy career by commanding a combat-ready unit of 400 sailors. Elaine’s discussion group is titled Bipartisanship in a Post-January 6 World.
Director of Communications for Governor Larry Hogan; former director of communications for Speaker Paul Ryan
Michael Ricci has worked in political and government communications for 17 years, most recently as communications director for Governor Larry Hogan and the State of Maryland. He has extensive experience in crisis communications and management, including overseeing Maryland’s public relations response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to working in Annapolis, he was a longtime leadership aide on Capitol Hill, serving in senior roles in the speakerships of John Boehner and Paul Ryan. He was selected by The Daily Record as a 2022 Influential Marylander. Michael’s discussion group is titled Comms in Crisis: Navigating Disasters, Disillusionment and Disinformation.
Founder, Convergence Media; Former RNC Chief of Staff
Mike Shields is a founder and partner at Convergence Media and a political commentator at CNN. He has more than 20 years of strategic experience at the highest levels of national campaigns, Capitol Hill, and influential outside groups. He previously has served as Chief of Staff at the Republican National Committee, Political Director at the National Republican Congressional Committee, president of the American Action Network and the Congressional Leadership Fund, and as a top aide to several members of Congress, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The American Association of Political Consultants named him “Most Valuable Player” of the 2012 elections. He currently serves as a political strategist to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Mike’s discussion group is titled The Role of Political Parties in The Era of Polarization.
Political Editor, NewsNation; Contributing Editor, The Dispatch, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Former Politics Editor, Fox News Channel
Chris Stirewalt is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on American politics, voting trends, public opinion, and the media. He is concurrently a contributing editor and weekly columnist for The Dispatch and political editor at NewsNation. Before joining AEI, he was political editor at Fox News Channel, where he helped coordinate political coverage across the network and specialized in on-air analysis of polls and voting trends. A well-known political commentator, Stirewalt wrote about his personal experience in the 2020 election for the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of “Broken News: Why the Media Rage Machine Divides America and How to Fight Back” (Center Street, 2022), a new book on media and politics. Chris’ discussion group is titled Broken News; Broken Politics.
Georgia Democratic Senate Runoff Director, 2020-2021; Partner, Arc Initiatives
Jonae Wartel is an organizer, trainer and innovative leader with nearly 15 years of experience training leaders, empowering communities and inspiring change. She is currently a Partner at Arc Initiatives, a public affairs and communications ﬁrm based in Washington, D.C. Most recently, she served as Senior Advisor for the Georgia Senate Runoff election. Previously, she served as the 2020-21 Runoff Director and led the Democrats’ efforts to elect Senators Warnock and Ossoff. During the 2020 election cycle, she served as Vice President of Elections and Advocacy at More than a Vote, a coalition of athletes combating voter suppression and systemic racism. She has held leadership roles with Stacey Abrams’ 2018 gubernatorial campaign, the Democratic National Committee and Organizing Corps, an initiative focused on training organizers for the 2020 presidential election in battleground states. Additionally, she served in management roles on the 2008, 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns. Jonae’s discussion group is titled Ground Game: An In-depth Analysis of the Power of Organizing and How it Will Impact the 2024 Elections.
The GU Politics Fellows offer students a rare peek behind the curtain into the way politics and public service actually work. 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, our Fellows host weekly 90-minute, off-the-record discussions with members of the Georgetown community. 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. 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 news of the day and how to get your start in public service or answers 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 23.
- 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.
Mark your calendar for our Meet the Fellows Open House — the first chance to meet these leaders in person, learn more about their backgrounds and hear what they have planned for the semester. The Fellows open house will be held on Thursday, January 19, 2023, from 4:00-5:30 PM ET in Lohrfink Auditorium.