The Board

For me, connecting with other women working on the Hill was a source of pride, relief, and validation.  Over the years, I’ve become passionate about helping women navigate those early years of their careers, which can often be a uniquely vulnerable time.
— Elizabeth Whitney, Board Secretary

Elizabeth Whitney

Chair, Curriculum Development Committee

Elizabeth has nearly fifteen years of federal policy experience; seven of those years have been spent working with municipal and cooperative clients on energy policy affecting public power utilities. Ms. Whitney launched Meguire Whitney in January 2017 after spending six years at Morgan Meguire, where she led work relating to the Clean Power Plan and other environmental regulation, spent nuclear fuel, RTO and ISOs, and Dodd-Frank implementation. There she represented clients in meetings with Congress, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, EPA, and FERC, as well as participated on clients’ behalf in coalitions.

Ms. Whitney was the Senior Legislative Assistant to Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), then-Chairman of the House Science Committee and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Chairman Gordon’s district is served entirely by public power, and Ms. Whitney worked closely with municipal and cooperative dvocates as a leading staffer for public power issues on the Energy and Commerce Committee. She advised Chairman Gordon on energy and environmental issues before that committee and worked closely with Science Committee staff on energy and environment initiatives.  In addition, she managed appropriations, budget and tax issues, financial services, and transportation for Chairman Gordon, and served as his liaison to the centrist Blue Dog Coalition.  She came to Capitol Hill in 2007 as an aide to Rep. Zack Space (D-OH), handling appropriations and transportation, among other issues.  She was a co-founder of the Women’s Congressional Staff Association, for which she was named “Congressional Staffer of the Year” along with her co-founders by Women in Government Relations.

Prior to her time on Capitol Hill, she was a Government Affairs Associate at the American Public Works Association.  There, she managed a federal grant from the U.S. EPA educating water utilities on environmental management practices. She began her career at the University of Michigan’s state government relations office.


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Holly Hoffman Kirkpatrick

Chair, Event Planning Committee

Holly is an attorney for the federal government working in the field of national security.  Prior to graduating from the George Washington Law School in 2017, Holly worked as a congressional aide in the U.S. House of Representatives as Deputy Press Secretary for Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ).  Previously in the Senate, Holly served as an aide to Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), first as Assistant to the Chief of Staff and then as Deputy Press Secretary.  Holly's political experience includes working for President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign in Ohio.  She began her career in Washington in Ford Motor Company's government affairs office.  

Holly is an alumnus of Vanderbilt University and is from Pepper Pike, Ohio.


Katherine Grady


Board Member

Katherine Grady works for the National Governors Association (NGA), the nonpartisan group of the nation's governors. In her role as Program Manager of NGA Consulting, Katherine serves as management consultant to governors and their senior staff providing guidance and best practices concerning the leadership and management of state government, and the organization, operation and staffing of the governor’s office. Working with these teams throughout the life cycle of an administration, she supports governors in their efforts to operate more effectively and efficiently.

Prior to joining NGA, Katherine worked for Accenture on their global government relations team. Katherine's career started on Capitol Hill, where she worked for the House Democratic Caucus and as staff to Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01).

Katherine is a graduate of Miami University, with degrees in both political science and international studies. She is also an alumnus of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.


Harmony Barbera

Chair, Fundraising Committee

Harmony serves as Manager, Federal Affairs at Pacific Gas and Electric Company. She is a seasoned lobbyist and government affairs professional with a strong record of legislative success on behalf of clients from a myriad of industries. A proven leader and accomplished communications professional with a large network both on and off Capitol Hill, Harmony was a Chief of Staff and Communications Director for California’s 50th District in her time on the Hill.

Sara Lonardo
Board Chair

Sara is currently Assistant Director of Communications for National Media at the Service Employees International Union. She previously served as Communications Director for Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and in multiple roles for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee under then-Chairman Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and the Education and Labor Committee under then-Chairman George Miller (D-CA). Sara grew up in Rhode Island and graduated with Departmental Honors and cum laude from Wheaton College (MA). She served as President of the Women's Congressional Staff Association for two years.


Elizabeth Murphy
Vice Chair

Chair, Scholarship Committee

Elizabeth (Liz) Murphy is a State Policy Director with Sandy Hook Promise. She previously served as Legislative Director for the Massachusetts Organization of State Engineers and Scientists (MOSES), where she represented the interests of the Commonwealth's scientists and engineers on Beacon Hill.

Liz spent five years doing both communications and legislative work on Capitol Hill, serving as Communications Director for two members of Congress and working on women's issues and the House Progressive Caucus Agenda. After the Hill, she joined The Sheridan Group, a small lobbying and advocacy firm representing nonprofit clients at the federal level, where she served as a Director for policy and advocacy. While at The Sheridan Group, she completed her M.P.P. at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, writing her graduate thesis on the relationship between paid paternity leave and maternal wages.

Liz received her B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from Bates College and is an active member of the alumni community. She lives with her husband and dog, Oscar, in Maryland.


Allison Estin Hull
Board Member

Allison is Director of Federal Government Affairs at Sempra Energy. She is an experienced attorney and government affairs professional with a demonstrated history of working in the power markets and utilities industry. She graduated from Binghamton University and attended the Syracuse College of Law before serving as a Legislative Assistant on Capitol Hill.

Carly Katz

Chair, Governance Committee


Carly Katz serves as the Director of Federal Relations at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). As VCU’s first-ever staff member based in Washington, DC, Carly is responsible for creating and implementing a comprehensive federal engagement strategy. She leads the university’s work with Congress and the Executive Branch, advocating for federal policies and programs related to issues including student success and scientific research.

Prior to her role at VCU, Carly worked at The Sheridan Group, a boutique lobbying firm where she developed and implemented strategic advocacy plans for clients in the fields of education, technology commercialization, health, and national service. Carly started her career on Capitol Hill, spending five years in the House of Representatives, where she most recently served as Legislative Director to former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01). During her time on Capitol Hill, Carly served as the lead staffer on a number of issues, developing particular expertise in education and health care, and led the work of Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) on the Education and Labor Committee.

Carly grew up in Virginia Beach, VA and graduated cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University.

Sarah Schmidt

Board Member

Sarah Schmidt currently serves as the Senior Director of Government Affairs at CVS Health. Upon leaving Capitol Hill and entering the private section in the fall of 2017, she joined the Aetna Government Affairs team. She has since been an integral part of the Aetna’s integration with CVS Health, which was completed at the end of 2018, and is now an employee of CVS, covering issues across the health care supply chain, from pharmacy and retail to Medicare, Medicaid and commercial health insurance.

Prior to joining the private sector, Sarah spent nearly six years on Capitol Hill, working in both the House and Senate. Most recently, Sarah served as Health Policy Advisor to Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. In this role she led all of the Senator’s health policy work on the Senate Finance Committee. She had an influential role in the debate in 2017 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, leading a working group of Republican Senators from Medicaid expansion states to develop amendments to protect the Medicaid populations in their states.

Prior to joining the Senator’s office, Sarah spent several years working in the House of Representatives handling health care for Congressman Michael C. Burgess, who at the time served as Vice Chairman of the Health and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Sarah has also previously worked for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and as well as a Washington,D.C-based consulting firm.

Sarah received her Masters of Public Health from George Washington University and her Bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She is originally from Cleveland, Ohio.