Kentucky Takes the White House

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Barry Hussein yesterday announced the 2009/10 WHITE HOUSE FELLOWS and two of the selected have Kentucky ties!

Kellee James, 32. Hometown: Chicago, IL. Kellee James is an Economist at the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX).  Her responsibilities include research, state-level public policy outreach and business development at the United States’ first greenhouse gas emissions exchange and cap-and-trade system. Prior to joining CCX, Kellee worked for the World Bank as part of its technology group, as well as for the Inter-American Foundation where she evaluated agriculture, tourism and microfinance projects in Brazil, Mexico and Honduras.  Kellee is a co-founder and Board member of Levantamos, a non-profit that works to develop partnerships between Americans and Brazilians of African descent.  She also currently serves on the Board of Net Impact, a membership organization of over 12,000 MBA professionals committed to sustainability through corporate responsibility; and is a Fellow with the Truman National Security Project, a leadership training institute.  Kellee is a lifelong equestrian, and has trained in the discipline of show jumping under the direction of a former U.S. Olympian.  She received her MBA and MA in International Development from American University in Washington, D.C., and completed a BA in Spanish and International Studies from the University of Kentucky.

Sarah Johnson, 29. Hometown: Lexington, KY. Sarah Johnson is a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows, where she pursues research at the nexus of biology and planetary science. For the past two years, Sarah has helped develop a life detection instrument for a future mission to Mars; prior to that, she completed field seasons in Antarctica, Australia and Madagascar, conducted research at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and worked at mission control for the NASA Opportunity and Spirit Mars Rovers. Her publications address topics ranging from global warming on early Mars to biodiversity in inaccessible ecosystems on Earth, and in 2007 she published a paper announcing the discovery of the world’s oldest living organism. Sarah also co-founded Common Hope for Health, a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating healthcare deficiencies in Kenya, and she serves as a consultant at United Nations climate change negotiations. She is a Goldwater, Truman and Rhodes Scholar, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. She holds a B.A. in mathematics and environmental studies from Washington University in St. Louis, a second B.A. in philosophy, politics and economics and an M.Sc. in biology from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. in planetary science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The White House Fellows Program was created in 1964. It’s highly competitive—there’ve only been 600 of them in 45 years—and seeks to identify promising future leaders, bring them to Washington and give them “first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government, and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs.”

Soooo… congratulations, Kentucky!



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