Class Notes | August 2012

Jamaal Barnes (NC ‘09) just took on a new role at Harvard University and is currently the Assistant Director of Admissions at Harvard Graduate School of Education. He looks forward to chatting with Trumans who are interested in social impact in the education sector.

Katie Blaisdell (HI ‘08) is excited to start a joint degree program in public policy and divinity at Harvard in a couple weeks!

Ibrahim Elshamy (NH ‘09) is beginning Stanford Law School this fall after returning from a year living in Cairo where he researched grassroots political organizing.

Judy Herbstman (IL ’06) is starting an MBA/MPA at NYU this fall.

Brett Keller (AR ’07) is interning with JSI on a maternal and child health program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as part of a dual degree in public health and public policy. He is there until January 2013 and would love to meet other Trumans in East Africa.

Andrew Lee (CO ‘06) just left his job at Zynga in May. He really enjoyed his one year there after the JamLegend acquisition. Since then he has helped raise over $500K for Save the Children, but as a startup guy, he really wanted to get back into building a company. Although he learned a lot (really smart and talented people), he just didn’t see himself creating value while working on a virtual farm (literally!). As to next steps, he just finished up some travel for a month as a mentor for the Founder Institute (Denver; Chicago; Santiago, Chile; Bogota & Medellin, Colombia) and is now starting a fellowship in Sitka, Alaska (a town of 8,000 people) for seven weeks. While in Alaska he will be doing a project (basically thinking of my next startup), but I’ll also be working for the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a senior advisor and helping the SBA work better with high-growth startups.

Megan Reif (WY ‘95) is joining the faculty at the University of Colorado Denver this fall, where she will teach Master’s and Undegraduate courses on Middle East politics, democratization, political violence, and research methods while continuing her research on election violence and fraud in new democracies, particularly in the Muslim world.

Rob Sand (IA ’05) married Christine Lauridsen on June 2 in Madison County, Iowa. Catherine Neale (VA ‘05) and Pooja Agarwal (MO ‘05) were in attendance–and many other Trumans would have been if they could just take a break from saving the world! Amazingly, Christine allowed Rob to be in Liberty, MO, for an entire week shortly before the wedding so that he could serve as a Senior Scholar at TSLW. Rob and Christine live in Des Moines, where Rob is an Assistant Attorney General prosecuting white collar crime and Christine works in business development. They welcome Truman visitors!

Moira Smith (AK ’97) will begin a new job as General Counsel at ENSTAR Natural Gas Co., a natural gas distribution, storage, and transportation utility, on September 4.

Ellen Sutherland (GA ‘98) married Bryan Irby on April 30, 2012 at the Anne Arundel County Courthouse in Annapolis, Maryland, and became Mrs. Ellen Irby. Julie Curti (WI ’06), her TSA mentee and friend, was involved in the wedding festivities. The couple had a small reception (in the form of a crawfish boil) at the bride’s uncle’s home in New Orleans followed by a wonderful honeymoon to the Galapagos Islands and Peru. Ellen is an Assistant Counsel in the Office of the Legislative Counsel of the United States House of Representatives. She drafts legislation about science and telecommunications issues and has served as the TSA Mentor Program Coordinator for the last several years. Bryan is a programmer/analyst providing support for NASA’s Astrophysics Science Division.

Ellen Sutherland


Julie Trinder (CA ’01) and Angela Clements (NE ’01) celebrated the birth of their daughter, Rowan Kathryn Trinder-Clements, who was born on October 16, 2011. See

Jeffrey Wright (WI ’08) graduated from Oxford University as a Weidenfeld Scholar with an MPhil in International Relations in July 2012.

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