Alumni Achievement Award

Every year, the Graduate School of Political Management gathers to celebrate the success of our alumni.  We honor those who exemplify GSPM’s values through their career accomplishments, contributions back to their communities, GSPM, or GW.


2024 Alumni Achievement Award Winners 

Emily Berret

Emily Berret, GSPM Class of 2013, Senior Advisor to House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries

More info about her

Emily Berret currently serves as a Senior Advisor to House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries. Previously, Emily led the transition team for House Democrats following the 2022 mid-term election. Emily served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Speaker Nancy Pelosi since 2021 and as the Director of Operations for the Speaker and Democratic Leader since 2013. Prior to her service in the Capitol, she served in the Obama Administration in roles in the White House Office of Management and Administration and the Council of Economic Advisers. Emily received her Master’s degree from The George Washington School of Political Management ’13 and Bachelor’s degree from Alvernia University ’11. She also is an alum of the Washington Center Internship Program ’09 and ’10. Emily received the Washington Center’s Alumni Impact Award in 2019 and Alvernia University’s inaugural Four Under Forty Achievement Award in 2019.

Jules "Jay" Hurst

Jules “Jay” Hurst, GSPM Class of 2022, Legislative Director and Defense Advisor to Speaker Mike Johnson

More info about him

Jules “Jay” Hurst serves as the Legislative Director and Defense Advisor to Speaker Mike Johnson. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve. He has previously served as a liaison between the US Army and Congress, a Strategist serving on the Department of the Army Staff, and as a Project Manager for DoD AI systems. He has deployed to Afghanistan four times as the Senior Intelligence Officer for a Joint Special Operations Task Force. He holds master’s degrees from Georgetown and George Washington University, and has published broadly on autonomous systems, great power competition, and warfare.



2023 Alumni Achievement Award Winners

Erin Houchin

Erin Houchin, GSPM '12, U.S. House Representative

The Honorable Erin Houchin’s career clearly exemplifies the values and mission statement of GSPM. Her unrivaled passion for political management has been showcased over the course of her professional career. Congresswoman Houchin served as Southeast Indiana Regional Director for U.S. Senator Dan Coats and was a Governor’s appointee to the Indiana Commission for Women.

More info about her

Congresswoman Houchin has also held numerous leadership positions in the Republican Party, including: Vice Chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, 9th District Chairman for the Indiana Republican Party, and 9th District Chairman of the Indiana Federation of Republican Women.

In 2012, she graduated from The Graduate School of Political Management and is a proud alum of the political management program. Along with her passion for politics, Congresswoman Houchin is a successful small business owner and is the founder and President of Contend Communications. In 2014, just two years after graduating from GSPM, Congresswoman Houchin pulled off a stunning political upset when she unseated longtime incumbent Richard D. Young in the Indiana Senate’s 47th district. Congresswoman Houchin applied the skills she acquired from GSPM to pull off this astonishing political upset.

In 2022, Congresswoman Houchin withstood a tough Republican primary field which included former U.S. Congressman Mike Sodrel and rising political star Stu Barnes-Israel, who received significant endorsements from Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas. Despite the crowded and talented primary field, Congresswoman Houchin cruised to a convincing victory. She ultimately defeated Democrat Matthew Fyfe by a whopping 30 points to be elected to the United States House of Representatives.

Scott Souzzi



Scott Suozzi, GSPM '02, Commander, JAG Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret.).

Scott Suozzi’s experiences in the Navy, as an attorney, in advanced education, and in the nonprofit community show how he’s contributed to service, advocacy, and government leadership at many levels.

More info about him

Scott has dedicated his life to public service beginning at age 18 when he joined the U.S. Naval Academy. He finished his master’s degree in Legislative Affairs at GW concurrently during his 2nd and 3rd year of law school and served the remainder of his distinguished navy career as an attorney in leadership roles afloat and ashore.

Scott served as White House Military Social Aide to Presidents Clinton and GW Bush. He’s deployed to Iraq as an attorney for a Green Beret combat general. He served as a legislative fellow and advisor to U.S. Senator John Warner (VA) where he authored policy and legislation. He served as the senior legal advisor to the top commander of U.S. forces in the Western Hemisphere.

Scott could have completed his public service there and cashed in, but he didn’t. Scott is the role model who asks, how can I give back and add value? He continued down the path of academic advancement and nonprofit advocacy instead of in traditional legal roles with heftier compensation. He managed operations of the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins. He served as a philanthropic advisor to the Gary Sinise Foundation helping vets, first responders and their families. Today, he’s Director of Military Outreach for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a bipartisan nonprofit focused on the local impacts of robust diplomacy, international development and a strong national security and defense.

Previous Alumni Achievement Award Winners

  • Anne Rittman RancourtClass of 2010, Communications Director for the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Jordan BernsteinClass of 1997, Chief Operating Officer of Cassidy and Associates
  • Julius HobsonClass of 1980, Senior Policy Advisor at Polsinelli
  • Jennifer Giglio, Class of 2014, Vice President of Communications for the Washington Nationals
  • Rohini Kosoglu, Class of 2010, Domestic Policy Advisor for Vice President Kamala Harris
  • Megan Whittemore, Class of 2010, President of the Senate Press Secretaries Association (SPSA)
  • Rochelle Dornatt, Class of 1981, Former Chief of Staff for former Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and former Rep. Tom Sawyer (D-Ohio)
  • Ben Fallon, Class of 1998, Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Legislative Affairs at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • Raul Damas, Class of 2002, Partner at Brunswick Group; Former Senior Director of Worldwide Media Relations and U.S. Policy at Pfizer
  • Lindsey Schuh Cortés, Class of 2007, CEO of BlueLabs; Former Director of Strategic Partnerships and Deputy Political Director at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • Barrett Karr, Class of 2000, Government Relations Manager at Silver Lake; Former Chief of Staff for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
  • Elizabeth "Liz" Reicherts, Class of 2000, Vice President of Government Affairs at Siemens
  • Janelle Brevard, Class of 2001, Director of Communications and Government Affairs at the Institute of Museum and Library Services; Senior Advisor and Speechwriter to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
  • Stephanie Schriock, Class of 1997, President of EMILY's List; Former Campaign Manager for Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)
  • Paul Jung, M.D., Class of 2006, Senior Advisor to the Indian Health Service; Former Acting Director of the Commissioned Corps Headquarters at the Office of the Surgeon General
  • Traci Scott, Class of 1996, Senior Advisor for Strategic Communication at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Robert Hoopes, Class of 1992, President, VOX Global; Former Chief of Staff to Vice President Joe Biden during the 2012 Democratic National Convention
  • E. Ivan Zapien, Class of 1995, Founder of Zapien Ventures; Former Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Walmart de Mexico y Centroamerica
  • Karen Makishima, Class of 2001, Representative of the Kanagawa 17th District, House of Representatives, National Diet of Japan
  • Matthew Chase, Class of 1998, Executive Director, National Association of Counties
  • Todd Webster, Class of 1996, Vice President, Cornerstone Government Affairs; Former Chief of Staff for Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.)
  • Anne Caprara, Class of 2003, Chief of Staff for Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.)
  • Matt Rhoades, Class of 1999, Co-CEO of CGCN Group; Campaign Manager for the Mitt Romney 2012 Presidential Campaign

More Alumni Awards Presented from 2017-2021


GSPM Trailblazer Award Winners

GSPM and Vote Lead Impact recognized the successes of graduates who were honored as Trailblazers of the year, celebrating their efforts to inspire and motivate the next generation of political leaders and GSPM students. Awarded biannually from 2017-2021.

GSPM Trailblazer Award Winners


GSPM Guardians of Democracy

Seven GSPM alumni were selected as "Guardians of Democracy" in 2021, including Diego Area, Andriy Baziv, Samantha Brown, Lt. Col. Steven L. Coffee, Krysta Jones, Paulina Montañez-Montes and Austin Weatherford.

GSPM Guardians of Democracy