CRD’s 2015 Spring Public Policy Fellows Share Their Experience

We turn the tables on our spring 2015 Public Policy Fellows, Lindsey Trischler (LT) and John Donoghue (JD), who answer questions about their experiences at CRD Associates. For more information about our Fellows program, please contact Senior Policy Associate Tiffany Kaszuba at (202) 484-1100.

What was your most memorable experience while working in Washington, DC?

LT:  I love how often I am able to attend briefings and meetings on the Hill. It’s an opportunity that not a lot of people get!  One day, I was waiting to go to a briefing about SGR repeal in the Capitol, and was waiting outside the room that just so happened to be where the Republicans caucus. When the meeting was over out came the party, including the leadership. It was cool to see people that you are used to only seeing on TV or in the paper in real life

JD:  Being a part of a joint Hill day meeting with Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton of Arkansas was an unforgettable experience.  I could not believe that I was in the same room with two Senators, let alone conversing with them. 

What was your most satisfying assignment during your fellowship at CRD Associates?

LT:  I worked on scheduling a Hill day for the Hemophilia Alliance to meet with members of Congress about 340B programs. Not only did I handle the scheduling, but I was able to accompany the group from my hometown of Cincinnati to their meetings. Hearing them speak about how the program helps them and their organizations was a very cool experience that brought everything full circle!

JD:  I have really enjoyed working on the various Hill days that CRD participates in and helps organize.  I learned so much through working with various groups and being a part of their experience on Capitol Hill.  The most satisfying part of working on Hill days, however, is seeing friends of CRD engaging the legislative process and making a difference in Washington.

What was your biggest “Ah-ha!” moment while working in Washington?

LT:  It’s hard to pick just one! I think overall, CRD has opened my eyes to the importance of federal support for medical research. Additionally, there are so many barriers that patients are facing in order to be able to receive treatments that they need. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to learn more about these problems and help to fight for solutions.

JD:  I had a lot of opportunity to monitor what was happening in Congress during my fellowship.  I was able to attend committee hearings and examine legislation.  The general attitude regarding Congress is pretty negative these days, but I was able to experience some of the good work that is being done on Capitol Hill.

How will your fellowship influence your career going forward?

LT:  Before interning at CRD, I was pretty certain that public relations was going to be my career path, but after being exposed to the government relations side I am hoping to go that route.  I have learned more than I ever imagined in the last three and a half months and I hope I can continue working to amplify the voices of advocates.

JD:  My fellowship at CRD has further strengthened my desire to pursue work with public policy in the future.  The research, writing, and analytic skills I gained over my fellowship have given me the tools to not only make the most of my undergraduate work in political science, but to excel long after my undergraduate studies have concluded.  It has been a pleasure working under the dedicated staff at CRD Associates and I look forward to taking my experiences with me in future endeavors.   

Lisa Ellington

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