LBJ Women's Campaign School (2024)

LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5 (2024)

Meet Cohort 5

This fifth class is made up of 61 leaders from around the country — lawyers, teachers, nonprofit leaders, business executives, entrepreneurs, community activists, and change-makers who are determined to serve their community in the political arena.

The program kicks off in May 2024, with monthly trainings through November.

 

Melissa Ait Belaid, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Melissa Ait Belaid

As a community advocate and organizer, Melissa Chapman-Ait Belaid has dedicated herself to transforming local schools into inclusive centers of relevant education and facilitating dialogue around crucial local issues like women's health and infrastructure. As the leading fundraiser in her campaign for the Board of Trustees in the Princeton Independent School District, she underscored the importance of community engagement and field efforts in campaigning. She is committed to amplifying her impact in public service, serving with the Collin County Democratic Party, building capacity in campaign management and precinct chair operations.

Idalia Maria Amaya, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Idalia Maria Amaya

Idalia Maria Amaya, a Dallas native and daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, is a passionate advocate for local civic engagement and social justice, specifically on pressing issues like immigration and voter rights. She leverages her background in humanitarian aid and social work to bridge cultural divides and foster connections to create a more inclusive community. Amaya holds dual master's degrees from Columbia University and is an alumna of The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Human Ecology.

Alexandra M. Anderson, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Alexandria M. Anderson

Alexandria Marie Anderson is a dedicated queer servant leader known for her compassionate and empathetic approach to leadership. Retired from her career as a professional USA Nike sprinter, she is committed to advocate for and uplift the voices of marginalized communities. Her inspiring leadership has driven success within the nonprofits she champions and as a wellness entrepreneur. She lives her life by a simple mantra: "To whom much is given, much is required."

Genevieve Armendariz, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Genevieve Armendariz

Genevieve Armendariz is a woman on a mission to change the world. As the founder and executive director of The Limitless Mentorship and Scholarship Program, she provides resources and educational opportunities to empower girls and women, increase diversity, and support underserved communities. As a member of the Carmel Valley Rotary Club and a passionate advocate, she uses her life experiences as inspiration for her work.

Mitrah Avini, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Mitrah Avini

Born and raised in Austin, Mitrah Avini comes from a long line of Texans with a history of commitment to public service. She completed her undergraduate education at Yale University, where she studied philosophy and political science, before earning a master’s degree from Oxford University with a focus on government and policy. The Asia Society named Avini an Asia 21 Young Leader for her commitment to public service.

Lauren Biegel, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Lauren Biegel

Lauren Biegel is a Texas native working to create effective policy and leverage multimedia communication. Since earning her bachelor’s degree in social policy analysis from Rice University in 2021, she has worked as an advocate for multiple nonprofit organizations at the Texas Legislature while engaging stakeholders across the state. Her passion for effective, data-driven policy is second only to her love for her dogs, Ollie and Layla.

Krista Brinser, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Krista Brinser

Krista Brinser was born and raised in Texas, and through her career and public service has dedicated herself to improving the quality of life of those around her. With a wealth of experience in higher education and active involvement in local organizations, she is highly sought after for her skills as a communicator, team builder, and nonprofit professional. She is a 2013 graduate of Baylor University and a member of the Junior League, and has been recognized as an Under 40 Honoree by the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce.

Rashawn Caruthers, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Rashawn Caruthers

Rashawn "Shawnee" Caruthers is an educational advocate and podcast host who has spent the past 18 years helping learners and education leaders rethink the purpose of school through a community lens. A Surge and Equity Fellow alum and a board member for many education organizations, Caruthers's public service began when she recognized she had the desire to ensure equitable learning opportunities for all learners.

Shelby Clark, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Shelby Clark

Shelby Clark is a campaign manager, economic developer, marketing strategist, and destination developer with a passion for building community and empowering leaders to create lasting change. Recognized as one of Colorado's Top 50 Gen XYZ Young Professionals by ColoradoBiz Magazine, she has dedicated her career to working with businesses, nonprofits, governmental entities, and political candidates on strategic communication. She uses her diverse experience and commitment to interpersonal relationships to drive impactful projects forward.

Regina Cochran, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Regina Cochran

Regina Cochran is a dynamic leader and social impact strategist dedicated to driving positive change within communities. With over two decades of experience, she has excelled in roles including community organizing, advocacy, and strategic planning. She leverages her expertise and commitment to social justice and equity to empower leaders and organizations in achieving their missions. Cochran has advocated for meaningful change by serving on numerous boards and committees, and her innovative approach and insight have earned her recognition as a trailblazer in her field.

Jasmine Colvin, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Jasmine Colvin

Jasmine Colvin is an expert in partnerships, advocacy, and community engagement who is passionate about improving conditions and quality of life for historically underserved communities. With over 10 years in public service, Colvin's work has focused on community building, local government administration, and education quality.

Dr. Carmen Cruz, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Dr. Carmen Cruz

Dr. Carmen Cruz is a first-generation Latina with a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from Washington State University (WSU), a master's in educational leadership and Doctor of Education from The University of Texas System, Stephen F. Austin, and certificates from Rice University and Cornell University. She is the co-founder of 1ST-Gen Scholars, a nonprofit organization that gives students early STEM access and teachers professional development, and has more than 20 years of experience working in K-12, higher education, and the federal government. Cruz's nonprofit partnered with The DoSeum Museum in San Antonio, Texas, and co-created the STEM Exhibit "Dream Tomorrow Today." She is an author, editor, and reviewer for Sage Publications and other organizations, and is also a proud wife and mother of four children. She is passionate about empowering the next generation of leaders and committed to supporting the future of education.

Nuria Diallo Padro, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Nuria Diallo Padro

Nuria Diallo Padro, MBA, M.Ed., MSW, is an award-winning community advocate, trauma-informed servant leader, and social entrepreneur known for building and sustaining community through virtual collaboration, resource-sharing, strategic communications, and relevant programming. She is a program director advancing health equity at a leading mental health organization and has over 20 years of service on nonprofit boards. Recognized for her innovative approach to service during a global pandemic and statewide disaster, Diallo Padro is the 2021 recipient of the National Service “Make a Difference” Award, a Governor's Volunteer Award in the state of Texas.

Annemarie Donnelly, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Annemarie Donnelly

Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Annemarie Donnelly is a public education and social justice advocate. Upon graduating from The University of Texas, she began her career as a middle school English teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. Inspired by her students and their families, Donnelly returned to her home state to work as a community organizer and support families across Texas to share their own education stories. She continues to work in organizing and advocacy and now supports organizers and activists across the U.S. to make real change in their communities.

Mona-Lizet Elshenawy, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Mona-Lizet Elshenawy

Mona Elshenawy is a public engagement manager whose award-winning marketing and public relations agency specializes in health care, transportation, diversity, and government sectors. She holds an M.A. in anthropology/sociology from Texas Woman’s University and completed study abroad at The American University in Cairo, Egypt. Throughout her career, Elshenawy has worked as a community engagement and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practitioner for large health care systems and government entities in North Texas, including Texas Health Resources, Children’s Health, as well as the U.S. House of Representatives. Her passion for public service and civil rights advocacy stems from her personal experience growing up in a multicultural and multi faith immigrant household in Dallas.

Antoinette Flores, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Antoinette Flores

San Antonio native Antoinette Flores, M.A. Ed., is a 19-year veteran special education teacher, behavior specialist, and trauma informed care trainer. She is a graduate of Texas State University and received her master's degree from the University of the Incarnate Word. Flores is a sister of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority Inc., and a recent graduate of the Latina Leadership Institute-SAHCC, where she has demonstrated a passion for volunteerism and advocacy. She serves her community as an advocate for disability rights and looks forward to serving as a board of directors for the nonprofit Student Parents Empowered.

Victoria Garcia, LBJ Women's Campaign School, Cohort 5

Victoria Garcia

Victoria Garcia is a mother, military wife, and public servant who is committed to bettering her community. She served as a transportation and public safety commissioner for the city of San Fernando, and in 2024 was elected to the San Fernando City Council. Garcia graduated from UCLA with a degree in anthropology and Chicana/o Studies, then earned a law degree from Stanford Law School and a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. She works as a construction law attorney and also volunteers for her church's children's ministry, among other civic organizations. Garcia's educational and professional experiences afforded her the opportunity to see and experience a very different world than the one she grew up in, and she now works toward affording those same (and more) opportunities to those in her community.

Natalie Nadine Garza, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Natalie Nadine Garza

San Antonio native Natalie Garza has more than a decade of expertise in community and policy advocacy, voter registration, local and state governance, and campaign strategy and operations. She is committed to advancing progressive policies to empower ordinary residents and citizens, particularly through youth voter registration initiatives across Texas. She also serves on the City of San Antonio's Linear Creekway Parks Advisory Board, and advocates for investment in multimodal transit.

Faye Geremia, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Faye Geremia

Faye Geremia is a proud first-generation Filipina American from Houston, Texas, who works in political fundraising. She has worked on numerous political campaigns and has served on the staffs of local and state officials. She is deeply committed to breaking down barriers and empowering underrepresented voices — particularly for women and people of color — in our government.

Mia Gonzales, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Mia Gonzales

Mia Gonzales is a proud San Antonio native inspired by the public servants in her life to pursue a life of service to others. With the dedication and support of her professors and mentors at St. Mary's University, she has achieved numerous successes: she participated in the Eugene Scassa Summit of the Americas' Model Organization of American States; became the first St. Mary's student to be awarded the At-Large Scholarship provided by The Sumners Foundation; attended the Fund for American Studies' D.C. Academic Summer Internship Program; presented research at numerous conferences; and won internships in governmental and nongovernmental offices.

Francesca François Haas, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Francesca François Haas

Francesca François Haas is a devoted wife and stepmother, 2025 Juris Doctor candidate, and dedicated volunteer with a lifelong passion for public policy and advocacy. She began her journey and pathway to legal advocacy while attending the University of St. Thomas, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a concentration on law and public policy. She currently attends Thurgood Marshall School of Law, a historical black university (HBCU), where she is an associate editor on Law Journal for Gender, Race, and Justice. She has been an active volunteer in the Junior League of Houston for over 10 years.

Dionna Hardin, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Dionna Hardin

Dionna Hardin, a graduate of Norfolk State University, has been a committed public servant for over a decade. Eclectic professional experiences have prepared her to help nonprofit organizations and political campaigns succeed in their missions. Hardin is passionate about meeting everyone where they are while working to consistently bridge the gaps that hinder underrepresented communities.

Erisa Hysi, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Erisa Hysi

Erisa Hysi is a social justice and community empowerment activist with a special interest in international law and women’s rights. She has embraced a career dedicated to public service at the grassroots level, empowering marginalized communities through legal aid, advocacy campaigns, and community organizing. She believes it is incumbent on public service professionals to build a fairer world in which equal rights and opportunities exist for everyone.

Park Arneson Pressly Inglefield, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Park Arneson Pressly Inglefield

Park Inglefield graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science in political science and a minor in psychology. She participated in Northeastern's renowned cooperative education program, working as an intern in the Boston office of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and the Barbara Lee Political Office, as well as participating in the Emerge Massachusetts Fellowship program. Inglefield has served as campaign manager for Lorissa Wright, a Gen-Z candidate for the Florida House of Representatives, and has worked with the National Democratic Training Committee’s Curriculum Team. She currently serves as the North Carolina deputy state director at Rise.

Sarah Mae Jennings, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Sarah Mae Jennings

Sarah Mae Jennings is a licensed attorney and policy advocate who is passionate about criminal legal system reform. She is a proud graduate of Texas Law, where she is an adjunct professor and a mentor for law students. She previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon and a public defender in New Orleans.

Arelia Johnson, Ph.D., LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Arelia Johnson, Ph.D.

Arelia Johnson is a native Houstonian and a former educator who has spent the last four years working with and providing technical assistance to county governments.

Vanessa Lynn Johnson, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Vanessa Lynn Johnson

Vanessa L. Johnson is an accomplished educator with more than 25 years of experience in education, human resources, training, and employment law. Her public service journey began after her introduction to community development while working as a staff attorney for Texas C-BAR (Community Building with Attorney Resources). She has since served on the boards of various nonprofit organizations and is currently an advocate for policies and standards that will make indoor air safer.

Grace Kelly, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly has served as a Peace Corps volunteer (Republic of Georgia, 2015-17), legislative director with the Texas House of Representatives, operations manager for a statewide nonprofit, longtime policy researcher, campaign manager of a successful statehouse race, faculty member in public policy and administration, and a dependable leader in public organizations. She holds a master’s degree in public service and administration from the Bush School at Texas A&M, and helps people fight bad actors with her skills in policy analysis and strategy. She loves spending time with her church family, volunteering in the local community, and snuggling with her two fluffy cats, Callie and Hobbs.

Esmeralda Ledezma, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Esmeralda Ledezma

Esmeralda Ledezma, a native Texan and daughter of Mexican immigrants, has dedicated her life to community organizing and public service after watching her mother and sister fight injustice in their workplace. Since age 15, she has worked in movements fighting for health care access and labor rights and against food insecurity, and brings a youthful perspective to every space she enters, including the Texas House of Representatives. Ledezma is committed to ensuring all communities have a seat at the table and can raise their voices. A proud Houstonian, she received her B.A. in sociology and Mexican American studies from the University of Houston.

Christopher Ludiker, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Christopher Ludiker

Christopher Ludiker is an award-winning author and combat veteran dedicated to lifelong learning and public service. His zeal for public service has been widely recognized and remains at the forefront of his leadership technique, government work, and volunteer service.

Teresa Lusk, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Teresa Lusk

Teresa Garza Lusk, a Latina conservative speaker, author, minister, and host of the Teresa Lusk Show, is dedicated to combating liberal ideologies while inspiring individuals in faith, family, business, and politics. With a master's degree in professional counseling, she empowers others to embrace their purpose, drawing from her own journey detailed in acclaimed faith-based books. Lusk's work extends beyond her writings; through her show, she has interviewed Texas state senators, members of Congress, and other influential figures, amplifying diverse voices and fostering meaningful dialogue.

Erika E. Manuel, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Erika E. Manuel

Erika E. Manuel has spent the majority of her career as a distinguished military and civilian federal-sector professional. She has received numerous acknowledgements and awards related to her servant leadership to women, veterans, and diverse communities. Manuel is a subject matter expert on government contract policy, and is committed to procurement equity and inclusive enterprising for all.

Jacqueline Martinez, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Jacqueline Martinez

As a former dual-language teacher for 13 years, Jacqueline Martinez, M.Ed, is an education advocate and content creator. She has built a pro-public education constituency of more than 54,000 followers on social media, using digital platforms to amplify voices in the education community and foster civic engagement. She believes teacher representation is crucial to create and shape education policy, and has made it her mission to empower educators and normalize teacher advocacy. Martinez has two bachelor’s degrees — a B.A. in English literature from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas and a B.S. in health promotion from the University of Texas at El Paso. She earned a master’s degree in education leadership and policy from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Cathy McHorse, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Cathy McHorse

With over a decade of experience in early childhood education and community advocacy, Cathy McHorse currently serves as an early childhood consultant specializing in fostering strategic collaborations to improve outcomes for young learners. She has spearheaded initiatives securing millions in funding for child care relief and early childhood system recovery. She continues to champion early childhood causes through leadership roles on various state and local boards, striving to create lasting impacts on early childhood policies and programs.

Natalie McKinnon, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Natalie McKinnon

Natalie McKinnon is a public servant leader who has spent the past 16 years as a prosecutor ensuring justice for all members of the community who came into contact with the criminal justice system. In 2020, she was awarded the "Allies for Hope" from Hope Alliance, a local women's center, in recognition of her fight against domestic and sexual violence. As a leader, McKinnon trains others in her profession across the state of Texas. Her dedication to stand up, speak out, and do the right thing for members of her community makes her a fierce advocate.

Maria Florentina "Masi" Mejia, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Maria Florentina "Masi" Mejia

Masi Mejia is committed to diversifying the field of natural resources and inspiring the next generation of land stewards. She has spent more than 10 years working to eliminate people’s barriers to connect with the natural world, and has been recognized as Conservation Educator of the Year. She has served on boards including the Texas Association for Environmental Education; the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society; Keep Laredo Beautiful; and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department's Urban Advisory Outreach Committee.

Carolina Mueller, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Carolina Mueller

Carolina Mueller is a tenacious cook, gardener, potter, weekend rancher, and food systems practitioner. With more than a decade of experience working in food service to nonprofits and farms, she approaches her work from a systems perspective. Mueller is passionate about bridging big-picture policy and people’s lived experiences, and believes in the power of what we can accomplish when we work together.

Karyne Nguyen, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Karyne Nguyen

Karyne Nguyen is an award-winning business leader and people practitioner, focused on leading organizational change and cultivating inclusion and belonging in all aspects of organizations. By melding a visionary mindset and heart for impact, she meaningfully serves people and communities through her career, volunteerism, and public service. Nguyen’s journey is inspired by her parents, Nhan and Danh, who emigrated from Vietnam and passionately worked to achieve the American dream for their family.

Marcia Perry Dix, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Marcia Perry Dix

Marcia Perry Dix is an award-winning entrepreneur with a distinguished track record spanning three decades in marketing, media, and public relations, working to bridge the gap between government and communities through impactful communication strategies. Her leadership at Perry Media embodies her dedication to cultural competency, community engagement, and the empowerment of minority and women-owned businesses. Her professional brand is defined by her unwavering commitment to fostering transparent dialogue and advancing societal progress through innovative outreach campaigns.

Mary-Lou Popescu, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Mary-Lou Popescu

Forged in the fire of a post-authoritarian regime, Mary-Lou Popescu brings a deeply comparative and systemic lens to her practice as a social impact executive strategist, her dedication to public service, and her story as a first-generation immigrant in a new industrial revolution. Working at the intersection of public policy, exponential technologies revamping society, and strategic communications, she has consulted for the past decade, specializing in using social impact as a blueprint — not a footnote — for business to Fortune 500 leaders, non-profits humanizing technologies, NGO leaders, and impact entrepreneurs. She is an award-winning systems strategist recognized by organizations such as the Clinton Foundation's Clinton Global Initiative, and Organizing for Action. Her mentoring and advising experience includes the Women's March Youth Empower, the American Association of University Women, and The University of Texas' Bill Archer Fellowship.

Dulce Ramirez, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Dulce Ramirez

Dulce Ramirez’s expertise focuses on directing complex operations, formulating policies and political strategies, and managing budgets. Ramirez has helped to shepherd more than 30 original legislative bills into law, and has developed policy specialties focused on postpartum maternal mental health, sustainable transportation, women veterans, aging and disability resources, ensuring college affordability, protecting Title IX, reforming sexual assault policies, emergency management, and immigrant rights. She is a New American Leaders alum, and formerly served as the political director for the Young Professionals Network at Latinas Lead CA, which strives to elect more Latinas into office at the local and state level. Her experience includes the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, the United States Senate, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, the President’s Advisory Committee on Educational Excellence, and the U.S. Department of Education. She is a first-generation college graduate and the proud daughter of immigrant parents raised in Southeast Los Angeles.

Gustavo Ramirez, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Gustavo Ramirez

Gustavo Ramirez is a combat veteran whose dedication to our country and a better future has shaped his ambitions for public service. His steadfast passion and dedication have defined his character and leadership approach, leading him to serve in the Marine Corps, serve the state of Texas, and ultimately further serve the nation.

Ameena Rasheed, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Ameena Rasheed

Ameena Rasheed is an entrepreneur and digital fundraising strategist dedicated to civic engagement. Outside her professional endeavors, she serves as a member of the Junior League of Houston, the League of Women Voters Houston's Board of Trustees, and the Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals.

Claire Reynolds, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Claire Reynolds

Claire Reynolds is an attorney with more than 20 years of experience, focusing on public affairs and communications. Her goal in public service is to leverage her skills to create opportunities for members of marginalized communities to advocate for their own interests.

Courtney Richard, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Courtney Richard

Courtney Richard is from Houston, Texas, and is an author, entrepreneur and mother of four. Richard started an entertainment company years ago with the goal of giving entertainers knowledge and providing a platform for them to share their stories. Today she is on a mission to encourage people to get involved in their community and give back. Richard has volunteered to work local elections and worked as an election day clerk and judge. She believes that everyone should participate in the voting process, and should have equal opportunity to do so.

Victoria Munt Rogers, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Victoria Munt Rogers

A 36-hour bus ride to Washington, DC in 2017 inspired Victoria Munt Rogers to demand change in her community. She co-established Island Democrats in a predominantly Republican area to provide a democratic foothold for like-minded people and fellow democratic organizations. Her newest co-endeavor, Community Action Towards Success (CATS), is a dynamic 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing training, mentorship, and networking opportunities to local women aspiring to run for office.

Melissa Renee Saeñz, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Melissa Renee Saeñz

Melissa Renee Saeñz is a scholar and activist of Mexican American studies who is passionate about motivating others to engage civically, and aims to apply this dedication to a career in public policy. She is the first person in her family to earn a college degree — a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio. As an educator and a recognized scholar of humanities and education, Saeñz highlights the importance of culturally relevant teaching and inclusiveness of all cultures in her children's book, "A Story about Skin Color Crayons."

Simone Sanders, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Simone Sanders

Simone Sanders is a servant leader with over 25 years of experience working in the community through the state of Texas, higher education institutions, nonprofit organizations and service on community-based boards. She has been an advocate for race, community, and education, serving on boards since the age of 16. A seasoned professional, she gained work experience in government relations, marketing, event planning, strategic planning, and working with nonprofits.

Lakia M. Scott, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Lakia M. Scott

Lakia M. Scott is a scholar, educator, university administrator, and social justice advocate dedicated to exploring ways to improve educational access, equity, and opportunity for underrepresented groups. As a first-generation college graduate, she deeply values education; she spent nearly 20 years of her life teaching in K-12 schools and at the college/university level, where she focused on sociocultural foundations, language education, literacy, and research methods. A Texas native, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from two public HBCUs (Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University), and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where her research emphasis was on urban education.

Alexandria Smith, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Alexandria Smith

Alexandria Smith is a passionate leader and military veteran. A native of Dallas, Texas, she developed a love for public service at a young age, leading her to earn a commission as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, where she served for seven years including a tour in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). In the nonprofit sector, she has worked to help empower military veterans during their transition from the military to the civilian sector, and continues to volunteer as a member of the Junior League of Dallas. Smith holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia and a B.S. in political science from Texas Christian University.

Micah Somerville, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Micah Somerville

Micah Somerville is an esteemed professional educator renowned for her fervent dedication to public education. With a passion for fostering inclusive environments where students can flourish, she champions social justice reform and strives to transform her community into one that values equity and inclusivity for all. Through innovative teaching methods and a profound belief in the transformative power of education, Somerville endeavors to shape future leaders and contribute positively to the educational landscape.

Candace L. Sublett, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Candace L. Sublett

Candace Sublett is a seasoned project manager, organizational strategist, and entrepreneur with over two decades of experience across the telecommunications, retail, and insurance sectors. Driven by her passion for marginalized communities, she advocates for women's leadership development. She establishes collaborative partnerships and spearheads community initiatives through her nonprofit and internships to ensure access to professional growth and leadership opportunities for generations to come.

Soira Teferi, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Soira Teferi

Soira Teferi is a public servant experienced at working with community leaders to address their community’s concerns. Her career has spanned legislative work at the federal, state, and local levels.

Isabella Lee Tibbetts, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Isabella Lee Tibbetts

Isabella Lee Tibbetts is indigenous Quechua, born in Ecuador but raised in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon. She is an activist, mother, artist, and community organizer with a wide range of passions including the environment, social justice, indigenous rights, and politics. Her deep-rooted passion stems from the birth of her oldest child during the COVID pandemic — which made her realize she must do all she can to ensure her children (now 2) and generations to come will have a safe and clean environment.

Missy Mae Walter, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Missy Mae Walter

Missy Mae Walter is dedicated to empowering young individuals in her community and equipping them with the skills needed to navigate life successfully. She holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Abilene Christian University, a master’s in public administration from Wright State University, and a master’s in human resource development from Abilene Christian University. She has also trained at the Washington School of Protocol, Yale Campaign Management School, and the JoAnn Davidson Leadership Institute. Over the past 17 years, Walter has taken on leadership roles advocating for children and families through charitable work including: 100+ Who Care of Warren County; the Kettering Rotary STRIVE mentorship program at Kettering Fairmont High School; the Kettering Mayor's Party with a Purpose; and as a CASA for Montgomery County Juvenile Court. In 2022, she was inducted as a lifetime member of the Association of Ohio Commodores, affirming her commitment to service in the Dayton, Ohio, region.

Michelle Watts, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Michelle Watts

Michelle Watts was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, and earned her bachelor's degree in political science at Texas Tech University. Since graduating college, she has leveraged her passion and dedication to public service in her job in various roles in both the constituent communication and budget and policy division at the office of Gov. Greg Abbott.

Kendall Webb, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Kendall Webb

Kendall Webb is an award-winning Arkansas native with a passion for supporting and encouraging center-right women to enter public office and other leadership roles. A 2024 graduate of Mercer University, she spent her college career volunteering on campus and interning for various private, nonprofit, and government entities in Washington, DC — most recently a fellowship with the Women’s Public Leadership Network. She has worked on several campaigns, focusing on voter contact strategy and female voting behavior, and is an alumnus of the Leadership and American Presidency Program at the Ronald Reagan Institute and Fund for American Studies.

Jadyn Winsett, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Jadyn Winsett

Jadyn Winsett is a student at the University of Houston studying economics with a minor in law, values, and policy. Dedicated to amplifying the voices of the unheard, she brings experience from internships in both Washington, DC, and Houston, as well as a background in the University of Houston's Student Government Association. The eldest of three daughters from a single-parent household in San Antonio, Texas, she embodies resilience and determination.

Brandi Wolfe, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Brandi Wolfe

Brandi Wolfe is a domestic violence advocate, attorney, wife, and mother with a passion for helping those who have experienced oppression find their voice. Born in West Virginia, she combines her experiences growing up in a small town and her academic passions to reach out and advocate on behalf of those in need. Wolfe champions her cause by furthering research, advocacy and involvement with protective orders all across the state.

Kate Wei Wu, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Kate Wei Wu

Kate Wei Wu, Ed.D., is an award-winning international educator, national campaign manager, philanthropist, community activist, and professional speaker who has spent the past 20 years helping leaders and organizations create international collaboration and social impact. Recognized for her interdisciplinary knowledge, innovative people-centered approach, and strategic insight, Wu spearheaded the first "Telling Our Stories" Asian/Chinese American national campaign, gaining international name recognition among Chinese American communities. She is a former professor and director of a Chinese language and culture program, and served as an interpreter/coordinator for International Visitors and Leadership Program of the U.S. Department of State. She is an alum of Peking University, Texas A&M University, Kansas State University, Rice University, and Harvard University.

Dalia Zamora, LBJ Women's Campaign School Cohort 5

Dalia Zamora

Dalia V. Zamora is a master educator, therapist, health care professional, and advocate whose career has centered around improving life outcomes for children. She holds a master’s degree in special education and experience utilizing methods of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA therapy) in both a clinical setting as a health care professional, and in a school setting as a certified special education teacher, where she has helped children with autism acquire life skills, train in functional communication and behavior management. She also has experience providing trauma-informed, therapeutic care to children who have experienced trauma and abuse.