Inspiration for the Foundation
 The Washington Experience Program
JJDLF Scholar Selection Process
Important Dates
JJDLF "Washington Experience" Scholars
 Board of Directors
Contact Information
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Inspiration for the Foundation

The Jeffrey J. Dye Leadership Foundation (JJDLF) was chartered as a non-profit corporation on September 29, 1997 to perpetuate the memory and spirit of a dynamic individual who passed away suddenly in 1997 at the early age of 27. Jeff Dye was a passionate devotee of the American system of government who took great delight in participating in its political processes in order to stimulate positive changes in the lives of its citizens.

Jeff Dye was born in Austin, Texas on July 2, 1969 and lived in Texas until he was prepared to attend college. He was educated at The University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in Government and earned Dean's List status. While attending The University of Texas he worked in the state capitol on staff in the Lieutenant Governor's office and was also Statewide Volunteer Coordinator on the '92 Presidential campaign.

Jeff headed to Washington in January of 1993 where he served in U.S. Senate staff positions, with fundraising firms and on numerous campaigns, which were his true passion. After leading his party's successful efforts to regain control of the Senate caucuses in Tennessee and Vermont in the 1996 elections, he was named the youngest Executive Director in the history of the Tennessee Democratic Party early in 1997.

When he died abruptly and unexpectedly on April 21, 1997, he left a void at many levels. His contributions were commemorated in the U.S. Congressional Record in both the House and the Senate , and a Joint Senate Resolution was passed to honor his efforts in the state of Tennessee . A Senate Proclamation in the state of Texas also honored his life. These citations consistently praised his "passion, his commitment and his dedication to making the world a better place." His memorial service was held in the Mike Mansfield room of the United States Capitol. The intensity of the overflow crowd in attendance at that event was a testimony to the spark and the inspiration that he provided to others during his short life.

The Jeffrey J. Dye Leadership Foundation strives to perpetuate that spark in the lives of young students who represent our country’s leaders into the future.

Link to Congressional Record

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The “Washington Experience” Program

The JJDLFoundation has been offering the "Washington Experience" program since 1997.  Students from participating universities spend a semester in Washington D.C. during their junior or senior year working on a combination of affiliated D.C. educational institution courses, internship duties and a "real world" curriculum arranged by the Foundation that includes a personal mentor assigned by The Jeffrey J. Dye Leadership Foundation (JJDLF). Under the JJDLF mentoring program, the scholars focus on activities designed to build interpersonal skills and confidence as well as networking and research skills. The mentors also ensure that the students savor the bountiful cultural and historical experiences that can be found in Washington . In cooperation with the educational institutions involved, the Foundation funds the incremental student tuition, travel and living expenses.  


Students from the University of Texas at Austin and Middle Tennessee State University have successfully participated in the program. Upon arriving in Washington, the students participate in the Archer Center Program of The University of Texas, the American University "Washington Semester Program" , or The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars.  At the present time, the program is only active in conjunction with The University of Texas At Austin Archer Center.  Because of the richness and intensity of this program, these students are not assigned a JJDLF mentor.

Students that are assigned a mentor from The Jeffrey J. Dye Leadership Foundation work through a dynamic curriculum with their mentors in addition to their work with their academic and internship duties. Within this curriculum, the scholars select from various arrays to tailor the curriculum to their interests to a large degree. Examples of the activities the students select from include "Must See" places in Washington , community service events and softball games on the mall, but the curriculum also includes gaining interviews and becoming adept at the networking process.

By charter, the Foundation is educational and not political in nature. The focus is placed upon familiarizing the students with organizations, processes, effective strategies/tactics and then maximizing their exposure to a variety of viewpoints during their semester in Washington . Toward this end, the activities array includes choices such as "Attend a fundraiser/reception of a political party that is different from your own" and "Pick a current piece of legislation, research pro/con and be prepared to defend both sides to your mentor".  Upon completion of this program, the scholars receive a full semester of academic credit at their home universities.

This program only runs during the long Spring and Fall academic semesters. No program is offered during the short summer semesters.

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JJDLF Scholar Selection Process

The primary traits that we seek in our candidates for the "Washington Experience" program are a burning passion to stand up and make a difference and the demonstrated capabilities to turn that desire into performance. Each student candidate completes the application that gathers essential facts and contains a number of essay questions designed to give the student the opportunity to express their drive, insight and creativity. The students also submit academic transcripts and letters of recommendation from their dean or academic advisor.

A majority of the current Board of Directors independently reviews and ranks the candidates. These rankings are weighted along with the rankings submitted by the home university academic liaison and the final selections are the result. The JJDLF is an equal opportunity organization in its admissions process and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin or political affiliation. The selected students must also apply and be accepted by their chosen educational institution in Washington .

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Important Dates


Spring Semester

    05/01 – Deadline for students from The University of Texas at Austin - Archer Center to submit JJDLF applications


Fall Semester

    11/01 - Deadline for students from The University of Texas at Austin - Archer Center to submit JJDLF applications


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JJDLF "Washington Experience" Scholars

[55 Scholars Through Fall 2016 Semester]


We are very proud of our growing roster of  JJDLF scholars who have entered and successfully completed the "Washington Experience" program.

Annie Albrecht – Fall 2016 – Annie is double majoring in Plan II Honors and communications with a certificate in international business at The University of Texas at Austin. On campus, Annie has served as a representative in both Student Government and the Senate of College Councils. Annie is passionate about equality for women, particularly in the workplace and in higher education. While an Archer Fellow, Annie is interning at the National Women’s Law Center. She hopes to pursue a career in advocacy, communication, and public policy.

Caitlyn Valadez – Spring 2016 – A senior at The University of Texas at Austin, Caitlyn is majoring in government, created a minor studying the effects of higher education on immigrants through the Polymathic Scholars Program, and is obtaining a certificate in business. She has worked in the Office of Admissions for two and a half years as an Admissions Ambassador which ignited her passion for education. As an Archer Fellow, she interned at the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of Post-Secondary Education.


Grant Wiles – Fall 2015 – Grant is studying government at The University of Texas at Austin, and he created a minor in the psychology of politics through the Polymathic Scholars Honors Program. Grant first became politically involved in high school when he interned in State Senator Wendy Davis’s office. Through completing multiple political internships and managing the campus campaign organization for Wendy Davis’s gubernatorial race, he discovered his passion for organizing and campaigns. Grant interned for the CEO of the Democratic National Committee in Washington. D.C.

Beau Baumann – Spring 2015 – Beau Baumann is studying government at The University of Texas at Austin with a particular interest in law and Congress. Beau has held multiple internships, most recently with the Office of U.S. Congressman Michael McCaul. Having excelled academically, Beau has received Dean’s List honors multiple semesters. He interned in the U.S. House of Representatives in the Office of Speaker of the House.

Savannah Kumar – Fall 2014 – Savannah Kumar is in the University of Texas at Austin’s Plan II Honors program and is studying human rights and social justice. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of both the Amala Foundation and Eastside Community Connection. Savannah previously interned for State Representative Mark Strama during the 83rd Legislative Session, has worked as a debate consultant, and has studied HIV/AIDS education abroad in Ghana.  Savannah interned at the United Nations Information Centre.

Alisha Patel – Spring 2014 – Alisha Patel majored in Sociology Honors, Government, and Liberals Arts Honors with an interdisciplinary certificate in Human Rights and Social Justice at The University of Texas at Austin. She took the opportunity to intern with the nonpartisan political research organization Project Vote Smart. Alisha interned at the United Nations Information Centre during her Archer Fellowship semester.

Holly Heinrich - Fall 2013- Holly Heinrich is a senior Government major, with a minor in Communication at The University of Texas at Austin.  She was an intern for State Impact Texas, and has written about Texas politics and policy as an intern for the Texas Tribune and had an article published in the Texas edition of the New York Times. She has also interned at Texas Monthly, and has been published in that magazine. Holly interned four times at the Texas Capitol.  At UT Austin, she has served as State Governmental Relations Director for Student Government, and a weekly political columnist for the Daily Texan. She also wrote an article on Texas water policy that received an award from the Texas First Foundation.  Ms Heinrich will intern at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.


Cristina Flores - Spring 2013 – Ms. Flores is a Sociology Honors major at The University of Texas at Austin. She has already interned in the Office of the Governor, the Long Institute of Latin American Studies and at the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice.  She is also the Public Relations Officer for the Minority Women Pursuing Law organization.  Ms. Flores will intern at the White House Office of the First Lady


Lindsay Kubatzky - Fall 2012 - Lindsay Kubatzky is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin where he is pursuing a BA degree in Government with a minor in History. While attending school, Lindsay has interned for State Senator Wendy Davis and he volunteers at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum as a volunteer docent. During his time in Washington D.C., Lindsay will intern with the Political Department of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and further his aspiration of a career in public service after graduation


Anna Crockett - Spring 2012 - Anna Crockett is majoring in Spanish at The University of Texas at Austin, where she has been especially active with the University Democrats, and Central Texas Model United Nations. She has had a considerable amount of experience working on political campaigns, most notably the Bill White for Governor campaign during the summer of 2010. She also studied abroad in the fall of 2010 in Córdoba, Argentina, where she solidified both her Spanish skills and her passion for international affairs. She is currently a research assistant for the Comparative Constitutions Project investigating the constitutional assemblies of Brazil.  Anna will intern with the Woodrow Wilson Center.


Siddharth Dadhich - Fall 2011 - Mr. Dadhich is pursuing a double major in Finance and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. He formulated a study measuring the effects of race on Class B misdemeanor crime penalties. Additionally, he worked as a legislative intern during the 81st Texas Legislature and has been heavily involved in volunteer work through his service fraternity. Through his many efforts, he received the Tower Award for Outstanding Student Volunteer. As a member of the UT Panama Brigades, Mr. Dadhich worked on a sustainable development project in the Panamanian jungle. He will intern with the Senate Committee on the Judiciary this Fall.


Elaine SedenbergSpring 2011 – Ms. Sedenberg is interning at the Center for American Progress in the Science Progress Office as a Bill Archer Fellow.  She is a biochemistry major at the University of Texas at Austin and discovered her passion for science and technology policy while working at the UT Office of Technology Commercialization and during her Tisdale Fellowship this past summer in Washington D.C. working for the Technology CEO Council.


David DonattiFall 2010 – Mr. Donatti is double majoring in the Plan II Honors Program and History at The University of Texas at Austin with an interdisciplinary concentration in international relations and conflict.  David had previously been an intern with Senator Eddie Lucio of Texas’ 27th district and engaged in research with the Strauss Center for International Security and Law on climate change and African political stability. While in Washington, D.C., David worked with Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates, a public relations firm. 


Keshav Rajagopalan Spring 2010 – Mr. Rajagopalan is a Plan II Honors and Political Communications major at The University of Texas at Austin. During the 2009-2010 school year, he served as the Student Body President at UT.  He is an active member of the Friar Society and Texas Cowboys. As an Archer Fellow, Keshav interned at TechnoServe, a non-profit that assists people in starting small businesses in the developing world to help them, their families, and their communities rise out of poverty.


Roberto Cervantes – Fall 2009 – Mr. Cervantes is interning at the NBC News Political Unit during his stay in Washington this semester. He brought an impressive background to this endeavor, having been Associate Editor at The Daily Texan newspaper and having also interned in the U.S. District Court in southern Texas.  Mr. Cervantes is a Government major at The University of Texas at Austin.


Lorenzo Danielson – Spring 2009 – Mr. Danielson is a Government and Communications major at The University of Texas at Austin. He spent his spring semester as an intern in the office of Senator John Cornyn. Prior to his Washington Experience, he volunteered for numerous organizations including the American Cancer Society.


Kacy ShindlerFall 2008 – Before heading to Washington, Ms. Shindler had served as a Senate Messenger in the Texas Capitol and worked on a campaign for Matagorda County Commissioner.  She also drafted a grant proposal concerning water conservation for the Lower Colorado River Authority.  While in D.C. she will intern with the Democratic National Committee.  Ms. Shindler is a Political Communications major at The University of Texas at Austin.


Sadie Weiner – Spring 2008 - Ms. Weiner is in the Government / Plan 1 Liberal Honors program at The University of Texas at Austin.  She has experience as an intern in a law firm focusing on energy and public utilities and also at NARAL Texas.  She also spent a spring break as a rebuilding volunteer following Hurricane Katrina.  While in Washington she interned at Public Strategies and then went to work on a Senate campaign in North Carolina for the summer and fall.


Robert Garcia – Fall 2007 A Government/Psychology major at The University of Texas at Austin, Mr. Garcia interned at the Department of Education.  Mr. Garcia took advantage of a photo opportunity while in Washington.  He was invited to attend the Presidential signing of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.


Shwetha Chagala Spring 2007 Ms. Chagala is a PreMed and Government major at the University of Texas at Austin.  She was able to intern at the World Health Organization and also at a health policy non-profit organization called The Alliance for Health Reform that holds briefings on the Hill.  She described living and interning in D.C. as “the best experience of my life”.  Prior to her Washington Experience she had already served as an AMSA Global Aids intern and at The Volunteer Healthcare Clinic in Austin.


Yvette Owo Fall 2006 A double major in Government and Business Management at The University of Texas at Austin, Ms. Owo also made her opinions known as a columnist for “The Daily Texan” student newspaper, volunteered on political campaigns and worked as a legislative intern in the Texas Senate.  She has also served as a bilingual mentor for elementary students.  She interned at the National Multicultural Institute.

Daniel Honker – Fall 2006 Among his many activities, this Government major at The University of Texas has interned in the office of a State Representative in the Texas Legislature and also served multiple terms as a Management Intern for the City of Richardson, Texas. In Washington, he interned with the Government Relations office of a major energy company

Shelby Knox – Spring 2006 – While seeking a BA in Government at the University of Texas, Ms. Knox has already compiled an impressive list of accomplishments advocating for Women’s rights and effective sex education.  Her efforts have included appearing as a featured advocate on the MTV Fight for Your Rights program, testifying before the Texas State Board of Sex Education and appearing as the keynote speaker at the Georgia Coalition for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention. As a JJDLF Scholar, she interned at Advocates for Youth.

Emily CadikSpring 2006 – Being selected into the exclusive Plan II curriculum at the University of Texas with an emphasis on Government, participating in voter registration efforts and tutoring homeless children have kept Emily quite busy while in Austin.  She interned at People for the American Way in Washington.

Nien Hsu – Fall 2005 – Mr. Hsu invested his time in Washington wisely, interning at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and also spending some time at the Brookings Institution.  At the University of Texas, Nien is enrolled in the prestigious Plan II program with a focus on Government and Philosophy and also interned in the office of the Mayor of Austin, Texas.

Alana Parker – Spring 2005 – Alana Parker is a Government and Latin American Studies major from The University of Texas at Austin.  She served in a dual internship with The Organization of American States and The Wilson Center’s Latin American program.

Samuel Strauss – Fall 2004 – An internship at The University of Haifa in Israel where he taught English, and worked on website design and grant writing is among Samuel’s impressive accomplishments to date as he seeks a degree in Government/Political Communications at The University of Texas at Austin.  Keenly interested in Middle Eastern Policy, Samuel interned at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars while in Washington.

Yudith Vargas – Spring 2004 – Among other honors and activities, Yudith has been involved with mentoring high school students and incoming freshman at The University of Texas at Austin while she completes the requirements for her degree in Communications.  Yudith interned in Washington in the Office of the Deputy Secretary at the Department of Education.

Melissa Drosjack – Fall 2003 - Born to write, Melissa is pursuing a degree in journalism at The University of Texas at Austin.  Her impressive experience includes interning with Knight Ridder/Tribune News Services and Associate Managing Editor of The Daily Texan.  Having previously labored at the Texas Capitol Austin Bureau, Melissa spent her semester in Washington interning with The Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau.

Lauren Lien – Fall 2003 – While working on a degree in Government & Humanities at The University of Texas at Austin, Lauren also invested her time in activities such as Publicity Director for UT Amnesty International, a mission trip to Costa Rica, a “Feeding the Homeless” effort and served on a campaign for U.S. Congress.  Lauren interned in the office of Congressman Nick Lampson.

Sarah Byeseda – Spring 2003 – Sarah entered the Washington Experience as a Government major at The University of Texas at Austin.  She savored “the greatest experience of her college career” while contributing as a Congressional Affairs Specialist at the FDA.

John Miller – Spring 2003 – A double major in Pre-Law and French at Middle Tennessee State University, John had previously studied abroad in France.  He further expanded his experience base by serving in the office of Rep. John Tanner of Tennessee while in Washington.

Melissa Sellers – Spring 2003 – Pursuing a Bachelors degree in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin, Melissa interned in the Office of Presidential Correspondence in the White House.  She remarked that her “life-changing” semester in Washington made her “realize her true political passions”.

Ali KhederyFall 2002 – An ambitious Government, History and Economics major from the University of Texas at Austin , Ali had experience in the Governor’s Office as a Research Assistant before he left Austin to intern with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Washington .  He found the internship so fulfilling that he returned in the Spring of 2003 to complete further work there.


Heidi Boutros – Fall 2002 - Heidi is a participant in the renowned Plan II curriculum at The University of Texas at Austin and has gained impressive experience including visiting prisons in Russia for the Moscow Center for Prison Reform, documenting cases of bonded slavery in India for the International Justice Mission and co-authoring a Racial Discrimination Report for the U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, S. Africa.   Heidi interned with the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights.


Austin Bonner – Spring 2002 - A participant in the elite Plan II program with a focus in Government at The University of Texas at Austin, Ms. Bonner broadened her horizons by spending a semester interning in the office of Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin.


Nakiya Jones – Spring 2002 - An avid writer pursuing majors in Government and Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, Nakiya interned at Roll Call magazine where she was successful in having a number of pieces published during her tenure.


Scott Griswold – Spring 2002 - Scott took a semester away from his studies at Middle Tennessee State University , majoring in Accounting and Political Science, to intern first with the Senate Finance Committee and subsequently with Merrill Lynch through The Washington Center for Internships.


Irma Espino - Fall 2001 – An Economics/Spanish major from The University of Texas, Irma interned at The Brookings Institute during her Washington Experience.


Karen Kersey - Fall 2001 – Karen added solid experience to her educational background as a Spanish/Social Work major at The University of Texas at Austin by interning at The National Leadership Council on Immigration.


Anna Bell Farrar - Spring 2001 -  Anna was accepted in the first elite class of The University of Texas “Horns on the Hill” Washington Semester program and was sponsored by the JJDLF.  She interned at the Democratic Leadership Council.


David Dedman – Spring 2001 –  Interning in U.S. Congressman Bart Gordon’s office was an eye opening experience for David.  He is a political science major from Middle Tennessee State University and interned under the auspices of   The Washington Center for Internships.


Amber Dotson - Fall 2000 – Majoring in Political Science and English while attending Middle Tennessee State University, Amber worked through The Washington Center for Internships and gained great experience at a small lobbying firm in Alexandria.


Basil Tilmon - Fall 2000 – A Government major at The University of   Texas at Austin, Basil interned through American University at the Campaign for United Nations Reform and even had an opinion published in the Washington Post during his semester in Washington .


Jennifer Gardner - Fall 1999 – An outstanding student from Middle Tennessee State University with a keen interest in politics and broadcast journalism, Jennifer interned at Conus Communication through The Washington Center for Internships.   Adapting rapidly to the Washington environment, she even got a chance to do her stand-up at the White House before concluding her semester in D.C.


Lisa Minjarez - Fall 1999 – Lisa is a Government and Speech major from the University of Texas at Austin and began her internship at the Council for Court Excellence under the aegis of American University .

Tiffany Dale - Spring 1999 – Tiffany transferred to Middle Tennessee State University from the University of Tennessee to major in Mass Communications and Political Science.  At MTSU, she produced and co-hosted a weekly TV show dealing with campus and community issues and helped to found the MTSU chapter of  Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists.  During her internship in the office of Senator Fred Thompson under The Washington Center for Internships, Tiffany attended hearings and was instrumental in drafting several legislative memos to the Senator.  His Chief of Staff singled her out as being “extremely focused and very ambitious”.

Emily Novak - Spring 1999 – Always adventuresome, Emily spent one summer during high school living with a family in Japan and followed up the next summer by studying and living with a family in France .  At the University of Texas, Emily is enrolled in the elite Plan I Liberal Arts Honors Program and participates in numerous university and spirit organizations.  She studied at American University and interned in the office of Senator Max Cleland from her home state of Georgia .  The Intern Coordinator for Senator Cleland noted that “she showed outstanding leadership among her fellow interns” and she was therefore asked to train new interns in addition to her other duties.

Tracy Walraven - Spring 1999 -  A Political Science major with minors in Speech & Theatre and Criminal Justice Administration, Tracy has compiled an impressive track record with numerous awards and activities including Who’s Who in American High School Students and National Merit Awards.  Interning in the office of Congressman Bart Gordon, they noted that “we lost several key employees during Tracy’s internship and she was able to step right in and help us through the rough spots.  We knew we couldn’t live without her, so we decided to pay her.”  Thus, Tracy became the first JJDLF scholar to become a permanent part of the solution in Washington by joining the permanent staff of Rep. Gordon after she graduated early from Middle Tennessee State University .

Andrae Crismon  - Fall 1998 -  Coming from Middle Tennessee State University where he earned All-American honors in national mock trial competitions, Andrae interned for Congressman Bob Clement from his home state of Tennessee .  In his intern position, he participated in legislative projects and research for the Congressman in addition to his studies at American University .  According to the Chief of Staff for Rep. Clement, " Andrae met each of his tasks with enthusiasm and dedication.  It was a pleasure to have him in our office."  Andrae is a licensed minister who works with extended elementary school programs and is also a peer educator helping fellow students who have had traumatic experiences in his home state.  Upon returning to his home university, Andrae was elected President of the Student Association for the 1999/2000 school year.

Laurie Ishak  - Fall 1998 -  An outstanding student at Middle Tennessee State University , Laurie was President of the Intercollegiate Debate Association and won numerous debate and speaking awards before entering our “Washington Experience” Program.  She also was a volunteer with the Center for Abuse Prevention.  Laurie interned with the Vice President’s Office under The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars.  She participated in developing press releases, doing preliminary work for the Vice President’s events and researching information for the Vice President’s speeches.  "Laurie was a team player from the beginning.  She went beyond the call of duty and performed each function with finesse and without complaint."--White House Intern Coordinator

Lisa Juarez   - Fall 1998 - The University of Texas at Austin is Lisa’s home university where she is majoring in Sociology and Government.  Lisa interned with the Dewey Square political consulting firm and studied at American University .  During her internship, she learned the art of advertising for political campaigns.  She worked on the layout of several commercials, helped with opposition research and assisted in many damage control operations.  Lisa anticipated that the JJDLF Washington Experience program  “would allow me to witness the workings of Washington , D.C. , providing me with an invaluable opportunity to create contacts and begin networking”.  After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in policy making or lobbying.

Meera Pradhan  - Fall 1998 - Meera entered the program from The University of Texas at Austin and interned in the Department of Education under The Washington Center for Internships.  Upon completing her semester in Washington, she exuded that “I've learned more than I ever thought was possible, tested myself in new situations, and found a greater sense of commitment to my future than I ever could have found in books or classrooms at home.  There’s so much room for change, so much opportunity, and for the first time in my life, I can see myself somewhere in the midst of the real world.”

Emma Cano - Spring 1998 - Emma came to the “Washington Experience” program as a member of seven academic honor societies at The University of Texas at Austin.  She is a double major in Government and Philosophy, who is planning on attending law school after graduating in just three years from UT.  Emma plans to pursue a career as a judge.  “The hands on experience (of the “Washington Experience”) would give me the ability to move closer and closer to achieving my goals.”  Emma spent her semester in American University’s Justice program and served her internship at Ayuda Legal Aid where she was involved in immigration issues and was able to capitalize on her bi-lingual talents.

Scott Wollaston - Spring 1998 - A transfer student to The University of Texas at Austin from UCLA, Scott is a double major in Economics and History.  After graduation, Scott would like to pursue a career working in a mayoral office or a law firm after first spending some time on a campaign or in a financial organization.  Scott proclaimed that the JJDLF experience “...provided me with tremendous confidence and the willingness to stand up to competition that I would have withered in the face of ...” before attending the program.  Scott served his internship at the Voice of America within The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars.  Utilizing contacts made during the spring semester, Scott arranged to remain in Washington during the summer where he interned with a major brokerage firm.

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Board of Directors

Dennis R. Dye
Co-Chair & President
Dennis Dye graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1970 earning a BBA Degree with honors in Finance. He completed his MBA degree at The University of Texas at Austin in 1972. Progressive career positions since that time span the disciplines of financial analysis, planning & management and Computer Information Systems. Mr. Dye joined Compaq Computer Corporation in 1989 and became responsible for managing the development of computer software for global internal company use in the areas of customer information & support. The developed systems were implemented across 23 countries and thousands of users world-wide. He joined Garden Ridge Corporation in 1994 as Vice President and Chief Information Officer.  Mr. Dye departed Garden Ridge in 1998 to focus his efforts on the development of the foundation that bears his son's name.

Janell Bryans
Janell Bryans graduated from Houston Baptist University with degrees in Accounting and Finance. In 1984 she completed her MBA degree at The University of St. Thomas.  Ms. Bryans earned Certified Public Accountant status and membership in the Texas Society of CPAs. Her professional experience includes a number of years with Fitts , Roberts & Co, a CPA Firm. From 1986 until 2000, Ms. Bryans was associated with a major multinational energy company addressing the issues of taxation, rate analysis and information systems.   In addition to The Jeffrey J. Dye Leadership Foundation, her volunteer work includes the Epilepsy Foundation of Houston, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center , the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

Michael J. Fraioli
Mike Fraioli is president of Fraioli, Inc., a political consulting firm specializing in general campaign consulting and fundraising. In addition to working with candidates for U.S. House and U.S. Senate, he has also served as an advisor to national Democratic party organizations on major events and special projects. In 1985-86, he served as Director of the major fundraising entity of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, (DCCC). Mike previously served as PAC Director of the DCCC in 1983-84, and Deputy Political Director during 1981-82. He provided strategic and fundraising advice to Democratic incumbents and challengers. A native of Modesto, California , Mike came to Washington , D.C. in 1978 after working in the congressional campaign of Tony Coelho. From 1979 through 1980 he served as Legislative Coordinator for Coelho's first term in Congress.

Gregory Karmazin
Greg Karmazin has had nearly a twenty year professional career in public policy, legislative affairs and government relations.  Mr. Karmazin spent almost ten years working as a senior staff member in the Washington, D.C. office of a Congressman from Pennsylvania where he handled a variety of domestic policy issues.  He left Capitol Hill and worked as an executive and board member for a private industry trade association comprised of geospatial technology and high-tech companies for about five years.  Currently, Mr. Karmazin is a public policy and public relations consultant.  He was awarded a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Michigan and went on to earn a Master Degree in Urban Planning from the university.

Senator Rosalind Kurita
Senator Rosalind Kurita (D) Clarksville represents the 22nd Senatorial District in the state of Tennessee and is the Democratic Majority Whip.  Senator Kurita was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and is an Officer on the Senate Conservation & Environment Committee and Vice-Chair of the TennCare Oversight Committee.  She also serves on the Judiciary Committee, the General Welfare, Health & Human Resources Committee and the Workers Compensation Committee.  Senator Kurita was awarded the Toll Fellowship in 1999 by the Council of State Governments and was named Legislator of the Year by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  She is active in a number of charities including the Salvation Army and MADD and is a former board member of The American Cancer Society and Urban Ministries.  The only Registered Nurse in the Senate, she holds a B.A. degree from the University of Arkansas.

Kevin R. Mack
Kevin Mack has been the Executive Director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) since August of 1995. In this position, Kevin is overseeing a multi-million dollar fundraising operation as well as focusing on over thirty state legislative chambers nationwide. Before leading the DLCC, Kevin was involved with Democratic election campaigns for over a decade, with a focus on state legislative elections. He has managed several campaigns and advised dozens of candidates running for office. In 1994, Kevin Mack was hired to work at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in Washington, D.C. Here he served as a general campaign consultant in a twelve-state region that included 108 congressional districts and directed more than $1 million in campaign allocations. Kevin Mack graduated from Old Dominion University in Norfolk , Virginia with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science. He resides in Alexandria , Virginia with his wife and son.

Bennet Ratcliff
In 1998, Bennet Ratcliff launched the consulting firm Ratcliff Strategies.  Prior to creating his own firm, Mr. Ratcliff had joined the media consulting firm Squier Knapp Ochs Dunn in 1989 and became the senior vice president and a political strategist for that firm. His work includes television campaigns on behalf of the President, senators, governors, congressmen, various statewide elected officials, state legislators, and numerous business executives and professionals. A graduate of Princeton University , Bennet lives in Washington , DC.

Joanne Marie Rising
Joanne Rising is a Senior Legislative Assistant on the staff of U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy.  Previously, she was the Senior Legislative Assistant/Executive Assistant to U.S. Congressman Robert Andrews. Prior to her joining Congressman Andrews staff, she was a lobbyist for 5 years covering a multitude of issues including: anti-tobacco, community banking, drug substance abuse treatment for women and children, national service, and health care reform. She assumed the responsibility for developing the details of the JJDLF personal mentoring program and serves as the mentor coordinator for the "Washington Experience" program. Ms. Rising earned her BA in Political Science with a concentration in Communications from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 1993. A native New Yorker, Ms. Rising is the youngest of five children and she now resides in Washington DC.

Tara A. Scanlon
Tara Scanlon is a Partner in the transactional group at the law firm of Holland & Knight LLP. Ms. Scanlon's practice includes the sale and acquisition of commercial properties; commercial leasing; and the representation of various parties in commercial finance transactions including debt and equity investments, real estate or asset based financing, and the restructure of debt and security instruments. Ms. Scanlon is on the executive committee of Women in Retail Real Estate (WIRRE), is active in the Suburban Maryland Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) and is a member of the Mid-Atlantic idea Exchange Planning Committee of the International Conference of Shopping Centers. A 1991 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, she is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia , Virginia and Connecticut. Ms. Scanlon Graduated from Hamilton College with honors in Philosophy in 1988.

Winthrop Wulsin
Winthrop Wulsin was educated at the London School of Economics, completed his BA at Connecticut College in 1991 and has been involved in politics and government since that time. He worked managing political campaigns in New York and Ohio before moving to Washington DC where he served as the senior domestic policy advisor to Congressman Tom Lantos (D-Ca). Winthrop now lives in Boston, Massachusetts where he is the finance director for a state wide ballot initiative working towards campaign finance reform.

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Contact Information

 The Foundation maintains this Internet website at that provides an avenue for electronic mail and the communication of background and current status information.

The Foundation can be contacted as shown below:

The Jeffrey J. Dye Leadership Foundation
14319 Jennave Lane
Austin, Texas  78728


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