Elect Her Facilitator Speakers Bureau

Elect Her–Campus Women Win facilitators bring their vast knowledge of women in politics and experience working on political campaigns to every Elect Her workshop. If the 4.5-hour training is not a good fit for your college or university, bring one of our expert facilitators to your campus for a keynote speech or workshop for a fee of $500.

For details, e-mail leadership@aauw.org. Additional travel costs may apply.

Elect Her Facilitator Speakers Bureau Members:

Tara Andrews

Tara Andrews, Esq., is owner & CEO of Joy Full Coaching, where she specializes in helping current and aspiring leaders – especially women and girls – pinpoint their desired destination with courage and clarity, overcome self-sabotaging behaviors, and tap into the incredible parts of their life they have dreamed of but not fully lived.

When Tara speaks, her goal is not to simply get your audience out of their seats. Tara delights in working side-by-side with leaders to craft and communicate a message that moves their people from where they are to where they truly need to be to maximize personal and organizational success. Combining her training and skills as a lawyer, licensed minister and certified coach, Tara is adept at using humor, illustrations, compassion and authenticity to reach even the most unmotivated audiences and speak effectively to even the most sensitive subjects. All in all, Tara is a triple threat in support of your success and the success of your people.

Tara is Board President of the YWCA Greater Baltimore, a member of Running Start’s Advisory Board and Secretary of the Baltimore City Board of Election Commissioners (a gubernatorial appointment). For her work, Tara has been honored with a Racial Justice Award by the YWCA Greater Baltimore and as a Future Legal Legend by Associated Black Charities of Maryland.

Tara earned her B.A. in sociology from Bowling Green State University and her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.


Clare Bresnahan

Clare Bresnahan specializes in developing advocacy and coalition building strategies that produce measurable results for non-profit and corporate organizations. As Programs Director for Women’s Campaign Fund and it Foundation, She Should Run, Clare oversees the operations, marketing, and outreach for She Should Run programs, including national and local partnerships. She will also manage the WCF PAC endorsement application process and the WCF premier Fellowship Program.

She comes to WCF/SSR from the Girl Scouts of the USA, where she served as the Public Policy and Advocacy Associate for their government relations office. Clare led GSUSA’s legislative and public affairs strategies for promoting healthy media images and oversaw grassroots and national partnerships elevating Girl Scouts’ advocacy efforts. Under her leadership, the Girl Scouts launched one of its largest advocacy efforts to promote healthier, balanced images of women and girls within the media and entertainment industry.

Clare graduated from American University with B.A. in Communications, Law, Economics, and Government (C.L.E.G.), and is a graduate of the American University Women and Politics Institute’s WeLEAD bipartisan leadership training program. She is also the co-founder of the Young Professionals Advisory Council for the Capitol Breast Care Center. This year, Clare will serve as the Institute Co-Director for the progressive training organization for political entrepreneurs, New Leaders Council.

During her spare time, she volunteers as an ESL teacher with adult immigrants and campaigns for young women running for office. Armed with a background in social justice and nonprofit advocacy and a passion for increasing diverse leadership in public service, Clare looks forward to someday running for office herself. While she loves DC, she is a proud Midwest native, who hails from the Queen City – Cincinnati, Ohio.


Tasha L. Cole

With more than a decade of experience in quantifiable and successful strategic outcomes, advance planning and political and community relations, communications expertise, Tasha Cole has established a profile that now includes Congressional, campaign and political experience. From raising money for college scholarships and internships for young people, to pushing for adequate staffing levels for nursing home workers, Tasha has opened doors of opportunities and changed the status quo.

Her hard work and exposure to national politics has translated into a valued network of activists, coalition groups, corporate executives, community leaders, newsmakers, and elected officials at every level of government.

Tasha graduated with honors from Florida A&M University with a degree in broadcast journalism and worked for several years as a documentary producer and television reporter for a statewide public affairs program and as a media relations consultant for non-profit organizations and associations. She is the proud recipient of numerous honors because of her work in communications, including an Emmy in public affairs for a PBS documentary on domestic violence centers and the Women in Communications Rising Star Award.

Tasha transitioned her communications background into a career in politics as the constituency outreach director for the Florida Democratic Party working on numerous statewide and presidential campaigns including the Gore/Lieberman 2000 Florida Campaign, the historic Recount Effort in 2000 and was the early vote director for the Kerry/Edwards Campaign in Florida.

She has worked on three national Democratic conventions including most recently as the director of political affairs for the convention in Denver in 2008. Tasha enjoys working with organizations and individuals who can and do advance efforts to improve our communities. One of her proudest accomplishments was working as the state director for SEIU in Florida and serving as a senior advisor for a statewide ballot initiative to reduce class size that was approved by more than 2.5 million Florida voters on Election Day in 2002.

Most recently Tasha worked as the Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson from Florida’s 17th Congressional District and began working on behalf of the District as the Communications Director for the former Representative from the 17th Congressional District, Kendrick Meek eventually serving as his Senior Advisor.  In both capacities, Tasha was responsible for the execution of events, meetings, workshops, seminars and programs to advance the legislative, community, and political priorities of the 17th Congressional District, the Members and the office.

During the 2010 election, Tasha was Deputy Campaign Manager for Kendrick Meek’s high-profile campaign for Florida’s open U.S. Senate campaign. As deputy campaign manager she was involved in every aspect of the campaign including operations, fundraising, scheduling, communications, staff management, working with the campaign consultants and political and candidate development.

Tasha serves on the Board of Directors for Running Start, a national organization whose mission and vision is to engage young women in politics. And she is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and the DC/Maryland/Virginia FAMU Alumni Association.

She is currently founder and principle of TLC Strategies, a boutique consulting firm providing integrated communications and strategic expertise to organizations and coalitions.


Kate Farrar

Kate C. Farrar, Vice President of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Campus Leadership Programs guides the strategy and management of AAUW’s nationwide college women’s leadership programs, college/university relationships, and STEM programs for girls. She is the proud co-founder of the Elect Her program with AAUW’s collaborator Running Start. Prior to assuming her current position, Farrar was the associate director of National Programs and Policy at Wider Opportunities for Women in Washington, D.C. where she led the Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Project (FESS), a nationwide project focused on policies and programs to move low-income families toward economic independence.

She also serves as President of the Women Under Forty Political Action Committee (WUFPAC), the only nonpartisan PAC in the country that supports young women running for office. Kate is a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale and was chosen as the sole U.S. representative at the 2014 Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Youth Political Participation Forum. She was awarded the 2011 Women’s Information Network (WIN) Young Women of Achievement and her writing has been featured in The Huffington Post and The Daily Muse.

Prior to arriving in Washington, D.C., Farrar lobbied the Connecticut state legislature on behalf of nonprofit organizations. She also served as a field organizer in Wisconsin for the 2004 Presidential campaign. Farrar earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Connecticut and a master’s in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.


Jessica Grounds

Jessica N. Grounds has devoted her life to empowering women to become political leaders.  She is the Executive Director of Running Start, a non-profit that she co-founded which inspires girls and young women to run for elected office.  Jessica is also the founder and principal strategist for Solid Grounds Strategy, a firm she created to consult women candidates who have never run for office before.  In 2010, she co-founded Women’s Campaign Consortium, a collaboration of female campaign consultants dedicated to serving women candidates.

Jessica’s background spans work within various sectors.  She is the immediate past President of Women Under Forty Political Action Committee (WUFPAC) and currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors.  From 2004 – 2009 she worked for Stones’ Phones, a Democratic campaign strategy firm. As the Senior Vice President, she consulted thousands of progressive candidates and organizations throughout the country.  She has worked on the ground for multiple campaigns including former California Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, Congresswoman Lois Capps, and congressional candidate Francin eBusby.  Jessica was the Training Lead for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign for the Iowa Caucuses.  In her many roles, Jessica has helped the campaigns of hundreds of women seeking elected office.

Jessica has lectured on campaign strategy, barriers for women’s political leadership, and has led candidate & leadership skills trainings for a wide variety of organizations and academic institutions.  They include: Johns Hopkins, American, Yale, & George Washington Universities; Women’s Campaign Fund, the Women & Politics Institute, National Association of Women Business Owners, Women’s Congressional Staff Association, Women in Government Relations, Human Rights Campaign, Women’s Leadership & Mentoring Alliance (WLMA), Women’s Information Network, National Democratic Institute, the State Department, the National Council of Women’s Organizations, the League of Women Voters, Public Leadership Educational Network (PLEN), National Young Leadership Conference, American Medical Association PAC, and the Women’s Campaign School at Yale.  Jessica completed a graduate program in Women, Policy and Political Leadership at the Women & Politics Institute at American University.  She has published research on gender differences in leadership style within Congress and has completed research on new trends in campaign messaging for women candidates.  Jessica and her work has been profiled in numerous publications including: Roll Call, The Hill, ELLE, Glamour, The Washington Post, Georgetown Business Magazine, Spike the Watercooler, Daily Muse, and Forbes.com.  She recently completed an Executive Master’s in Leadership at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.

Jessica was named a Rising Star in Politics magazine and was honored to receive the Young Woman of Achievement Award from Women’s Information Network.  She serves on Board of Directors for the National Council of Women’s Organizations.  Jessica grew up in San Diego, California, and graduated from Pepperdine University.  She has lived in Washington, DC, since 2003.


Chonya Johnson

Chonya Johnson, America’s Ultimate Advocate, is a savvy entrepreneur, widely known for her work in politics as a Government Affairs Consultant, legislative aide and district director to several US Members of Congress.  Chonya Johnson has a genuine passion for helping people excel. Since 2004, Johnson has helped countless young people and individuals pursue their career and educational dreams through her signature “The Leader Within” program. She has organized book drives, youth summits and college seminars both Nationally & Internationally. Chonya Johnson totally believes “education and leadership development is essential for success in today’s society.”

Beyond her involvement with Executive Youth Leadership Summit at the United States capitol, Chonya has expanded her efforts in 2012, and authored three books the Leadership Factor: 8 Factors for Cultivating Young Leaders and Positive Affirmations for Success for increasing self-esteem and confidence on the go & The 5-Minute Advocate: Access Granted – Tips for Effective Advocacy & Engagement. She will launch her signature programs Spring 2013 the Inside Track to Ultimate Success System, America’s Ultimate Advocate & the Congressional Society for Executive Youth Leadership.

One of her proudest political accomplishments, is that she was a Washington Post endorsed candidate for the Board of Education in Prince George’s County Maryland in 2010. She is an official member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc, Circle of Champions, American Society of Training and Development, Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and other notable organizations where she frequently volunteers her services. She is a proud wife & mother.


Pamela O’Leary

Pamela is currently an Adjunct Professor at Trinity Washington University, where she teaches a class “Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations.” Last semester, she taught “Gender, Power, & Politics” at American University. She was recently the Executive Director of the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN), which trained college women for public policy careers. Prior to her current position, Pamela worked as a Women’s Research & Education Institute (WREI) Legislative Fellow, a member of Representative Carolyn Maloney’s fundraising team, Development Manager for the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum, the historic home of women’s suffrage, and as a Resident Consultant for Alpha Omicron Pi.  Currently she serves on the Board of Directors of Running Start and the United Nations Association of the Nation’s Capital Area.  Pamela is currently a consultant AAUW to launch the pilot of their new online mentoring program.

Pamela O’Leary grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in Environmental Science.  She earned an MA in Applied Women’s Studies from Claremont Graduate University, serving as a teaching assistant at Scripps College and completing a graduate internship at the Office of the Focal Point from Women at the United Nations.  She co-founded Hope for Justine, an international solidarity group supporting women’s human rights activists from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She has published articles on women’s leadership development, and is currently writing her first book about young women’s political leadership.


Katie Shorey

Katie Shorey works for Clifton Consulting LLC, a company dedicated to helping women advance within their careers. As Program Director, she helps build training programs and communication strategies for clients. Prior to joining Clifton Consulting, she was a program associate for the Partnership for Public Service, working on the Excellence in Government Fellows Program with the Center for Government Leadership. She also worked for Ray Group International as a Business Analyst, improving healthcare technologies for veterans. Her previous internships include Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), EMILY’s List, and Running Start.

Originally from Maine, Katie completed her B.A. in Government at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY where she was president of class council, Senator in student government, Peer Advisor in Career Services and a Student Ambassador.

Upon moving to Washington, DC, she became involved in many women’s organizations where she developed a passion for promoting leadership and women in politics. In 2009, she was accepted into the STAR Fellowship through Running Start and in May 2011 she completed the Women and Politics Institute’s WeLEAD program. She is a member of FemEx, a Citizen Forester with Casey Trees, and reunion organizer for her high school, Fryeburg Academy.


Rebecca Thompson

A progressive young leader with extensive experience in community organizing and leadership development, Rebecca M. Thompson is passionate about empowering people to affect change in their communities. Rebecca is the Senior Director for Engagement at the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, which mobilizes the caring power of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan to improve communities and individual lives in measurable and lasting ways.

Previously she served as the Director of Young People For (YP4), a strategic long-term leadership development program that identifies, engages and empowers the newest generation of progressive leaders to create lasting change in their communities. Prior to joining YP4, Rebecca served as the Program Manager for the District of Columbia Youth Advisory Council (DCYAC). Located in the Executive Office of the Mayor, the purpose of the DCYAC is to give a voice to the District’s youth in advising key leadership in the city about polices, programs and actions that affect youth.

Rebecca has spent her career fighting to break down the barriers that prevent low-income, first generation, students of color from accessing higher education. She served as the Legislative Director for the United States Student Association (USSA), the country’s oldest and largest national student organization. Founded in 1947, USSA is the voice of students on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and the Department of Education. She has provided trainings to students nationwide and has been featured on C-SPAN, in the Washington Post, and the New York Times discussing higher education access and affordability issues.

Rebecca has worked on numerous local, state, and national campaigns and is also dedicated to increasing youth civic engagement. She has undergone extensive leadership training including the Women’s Campaign School at Yale, the White House Project, and the Center for Progressive Leadership’s Michigan Political Leaders Fellowship, among others. She was also recently selected for the 2013 Class of the prestigious Michigan Political Leadership Program. Rebecca received a B.S. in Marketing from Northern Michigan University where she served as student body president. She currently lives in Detroit, MI.

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