The Potomac School's Career Day 2018

Friday, December 14, 8:10–10:10 am

As a Potomac student, you are connected to a network of alumni who have interesting backgrounds and impressive career accomplishments. It's inspiring to learn about the many positive contributions of our alumni – both personally and professionally – and the various paths that they have taken since graduation.

In partnership with the Upper School Student Career Committee, The Potomac School Alumni Governing Council is hosting Career Day 2018. This program will enable juniors and seniors to learn about a variety of careers and engage in discussion with alumni who are leaders in diverse fields. As a student, you will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of interesting career panels that will help you better understand and envision the opportunities available to you in the years ahead.


"Get Out of the Building"

Rachel Dyke '03, Senior Director for Global Pricing, Flexport

Rachel Dyke '03 is a businesswoman who has been on the ground floor of two high-growth Silicon Valley start-ups. Ms. Dyke will share her story, outlook, and advice on the world of start-ups. She will describe how her career has benefited from diverse experiences and pursuits and discuss the importance of "getting out of the building." As our keynote speaker, she will offer actionable tips for understanding and evaluating a career path, job, or industry.  

Ms. Dyke has a bachelor's degree in international relations and a master's degree in engineering from Stanford University, where she also played varsity lacrosse.


Moderators: Mary Jane Lin and Megan Tierney (Room: E311)

Fine art, theater, music, culture, and beyond! Working in the arts encompasses so much – from creating art to curating it, from acting to managing a theater, from recognizing style trends to predicting and marketing them. These panelists will inspire you to consider how your passion for the arts and interest in lifestyle trends can be the basis for a rewarding career.

Susannah Haworth Dunn '02, Regional Art Coordinator, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)

Ms. Haworth Dunn graduated from Potomac in 2002 and attended Dickinson College, where she majored in art and art history. After earning her bachelor's degree, she moved to London and pursued her master's in contemporary art from Sotheby's Institute of Art. She began her work in the commercial art world by managing contemporary art galleries that focus on supporting emerging artists. She worked closely with artists on exhibitions and projects and helped them develop their careers and collector bases. She represented galleries at international art fairs, curated pop-up exhibitions, and engaged in exhibition collaborations with high-end retail brands, hotels, and members' clubs.

After over 10 years in London, Ms. Haworth Dunn returned to the DC metro area and began working for corporate real estate company JLL to support Capital One's Art Program. In her regions, she oversees a rotating exhibition program that curates 20 exhibitions a year and coordinates art installations for capital projects, including specially commissioned works across corporate offices.

She serves as a commissioner for the Arlington Commission for the Arts and chairs its Engagement Committee. She is also a member of ArtTable, a leadership organization for professional women in the visual arts.

Ella Jones '13, Stylist, Tuckernuck

Ms. Jones' journey into the world of fashion took root during her late undergraduate years at Kenyon College, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2017, with a bachelor's degree in studio art and a minor in art history. Her handling of color, form, and technique earned her the Robert H. Hallstein Memorial Award in Art in 2017, as chosen by the Kenyon art department's faculty. 

Ms. Jones spent a summer interning for Lani Inlander, a local and NYC-based personal stylist and the owner of Real Life Style. There, Ms. Jones immediately recognized a practical and dynamic connection between studio art, art history, and fashion. During her internship and subsequent job as a blogger and the social media director of Real Life Style, Ms. Jones completed two training programs in personal styling taught by Inlander and Rosana Vollmerhausen of DC Style Factory.  

Ms. Jones now works as a stylist in the flagship store for Tuckernuck, a popular retail start-up founded and based in Georgetown. She helps clients of all ages to look and feel their best through careful listening and techniques gleaned through her various experiences. In her free time, she accepts commissions for her artwork, which ranges from oil paintings to digital illustrations.

Mallory Shear '01, Professional Actor Combatant and Stunt Performer

Ms. Shear is a professional actor combatant and stunt performer. She holds certifications in numerous weapons with the Society of American Fight Directors, completed stunt training abroad with one of Ireland’s top stunt teams, and is an intermediate actor combatant with Fight Directors Canada. She has also worked on various independent films, such as the award-winning Out of Hell and Fox TV series Legends and Lies. Along with her on screen performances, she has served as a fight choreographer for Molotov Theatre Group, Pinky Swear Productions, and Venus Theatre. She was the assistant fight choreographer for a Helen-Hayes-nominated show with Flying V Theatre, and the stunt coordinator on the lauded short The Crochet Calamity. Ms. Shear has also performed fights with the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, and is one of the in-house fight corps with the Maryland Renaissance Festival each year. She had the great pleasure of choreographing the fight scenes in Neverwhere here at The Potomac School in 2015.

Ms. Shear did her undergraduate work at Bucknell University and went on to complete an internship with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, followed by a tour with a national children’s theatre. Ms. Shear then completed her master's at Catholic University. She is currently based here in DC.


Moderator: Trey Rachal (Room: E312)

Why do you react to marketing and advertising the way you do? Organizations depend not only on getting their message out, but also on marketing's effectiveness in maintaining their current client base – all while attracting new customers. Competition is fierce, and technology constantly presents new ways to connect people and information. Meet experienced specialists who will share insights about the opportunities and challenges that define these dynamic career fields.

Tom Arundel '90, Director of Digital Program Management, Marriott International

Mr. Arundel is the director of digital program management at Marriott International. He leads Marriott’s marketing agility team, which focuses on top-line growth through data-driven, personalized experiences. He is responsible for converting data into insights, customers, revenue, and loyalty.

Since Mr. Arundel joined Marriott in 2005, the company has seen explosive growth and has made innovations in the ways people think about travel. Marriott's recent purchase of Starwood Hotels made it the world’s largest hotel company, operating over 6,700 hotels in 122 countries and territories. Marriott now opens a new hotel every 14 hours.

Mr. Arundel’s digital career spans back to the mid-1990s, when he helped start the first Internet trade association and supported the launch of Microsoft’s first online city guide. He managed to ride out the dot-com bubble boom of 2000 and bust through several acquisitions by way of grit, determination, and luck. He believes that genuine curiosity and the courage to fail are the keys to success.

Mr. Arundel graduated from Potomac’s first twelfth grade class in 1990. He went on to Ithaca College to major in corporate communication with a minor in journalism. He received his M.B.A. from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business while working at Marriott. Tom lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Kara, and their two sons, who are 9 and 12 years old.

Jeffrey Billingslea '13, Sales Operations Analyst, Volkswagen of America

Mr. Billingslea is a sales operations analyst for Volkswagen of America, Inc. He works with both the dealer relations and customer loyalty teams for the brand. With dealer relations, he works directly with executive management to develop and execute all B2B strategic marketing communications and programs for the national dealer body. On the customer loyalty side of his career, Mr. Billingslea is responsible for the Volkswagen digital owner’s magazine, Volkswagen Life.

He graduated from The Potomac School in 2013 and attended Ohio University, where he studied political science and received certificates in political communications and social media. Throughout his undergraduate career, Mr. Billingslea interned in various roles with both Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (as a government and industry relations intern) and Audi of America, Inc. (as a field and sales operations intern).

Rachel Dyke '03, Senior Director for Global Pricing, Flexport


Ms. Dyke is the senior director for global pricing at Flexport, an international shipping firm. Flexport, based in Silicon Valley, combines software with physical transit infrastructure and human expertise to move cargo around the world and provide clients with real-time supply chain visibility. Ms. Dyke is responsible for pricing strategy and execution, including the development and operation of advanced pricing software. She runs a global team across the U.S., Asia, and Europe. Prior to joining Flexport in 2017, Ms. Dyke worked in solar energy development for eight years at Sunrun, which is now the nation's leading residential solar company. Ms. Dyke joined as Sunrun's sixth employee; during her time there, she oversaw product development and analysis from the company’s infancy to 100,000 customers across 65 utilities, more than 2,500 employees, over three billion dollars in assets, and an IPO in August 2015. Between working at Sunrun and Flexport, she traveled and worked as a whitewater raft guide in the mountains of California.

Ms. Dyke has a bachelor's degree in international relations and a master's degree in engineering from Stanford University, where she also played varsity lacrosse.



Moderators: Drew Johnson & Matthew Giuliano (Room: E223)

Every day, there seems to be another story of some college kid inventing an app or developing software in a dorm room, selling it, and cashing in big. Though that may happen for a lucky few, careers in programming and technology tend to follow different (if no less exciting) paths. Opportunities are varied, from cybersecurity work to network and database administration to software development to much more! Alumni involved in a variety of tech-related jobs will share their experiences working in this fast-paced and constantly changing arena.

Alex Alvarez '11, Senior Software Engineer, Boxed

Mr. Alvarez joined Potomac in the eighth grade. He thrived in Potomac's environment and immersed himself in all things math, science, music, and squash. After Potomac, he graduated with a B.S. in computer engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2014.

Mr. Alvarez started his career at Goldman Sachs and later tested his luck building an engineering organization at PeerIQ, an early-stage credit-risk financial tech startup in NYC. After several years with these ventures, he left the world of finance and now works as a senior software engineer at Boxed. He's excited to be transforming online wholesale spaces and shaping the future of groceries. His responsibilities include working with different engineering teams to plan, design, and implement critical software infrastructure and cultivating a cohesive and efficient software development environment. In his free time, Mr. Alvarez volunteers with TEALS and teaches tenth graders computer science at the Pan American High School in Queens, NY.

Vince Campanale '12, Software Engineer, Curiosity Media

Mr. Campanale studied systems engineering and computer science at Washington University in St. Louis. During his time at school, Mr. Campanale found he enjoyed programming. He now works as a software engineer at a 25-person education tech company in Rosslyn, which focuses on building and improving, a Spanish-English dictionary, translator, and online learning tool. It is also one of the highest-trafficked education websites in the U.S. 

At work, Mr. Campanale does full-stack web development, building new features and iOS development for an internationally used app. Being an engineer at a small company means that Mr. Campanale gets to participate in product design and analytics in addition to his engineering duties.

Keenan Lidral-Porter '12, Full Stack Developer, Cisco

After finishing an associate’s degree at Northern Virginia Community College, Mr. Lidral-Porter attended Hack Reactor, a three-month software engineering immersive in San Francisco. He liked it so much that he stuck around another three months to teach its next class before joining Surf Air, a startup airline, as its fourth developer. After almost two years there, he left to join Cisco. He now writes software that helps onboard large enterprise customers and service providers to Cisco Umbrella, an Internet security platform.

Most of his time as a full-stack developer is spent writing API code, collecting and refining performance metrics, building out intuitive user interfaces, and learning more about security. In an attempt to pay forward what he's learned, he mentors recent graduates as they navigate the industry and search for their first job. He encourages everyone with an interest in computer science to follow it!


Moderator: Sarah Stahlman (Room: E222)

Although most people think of teaching when they hear the phrase “careers in education,” the truth is that this field encompasses much more than that. Teachers are indispensable, but so are those who develop curricula, serve as administrators in schools and universities, connect students with experiences abroad, and develop new technologies and methodologies to help students achieve their academic potentials. If you’re curious about what goes on behind the scenes to make effective teaching and learning possible, join this panel discussion.

Kareem Farah '09, High School Teacher, Eastern Senior High School

Mr. Farah is a probability and statistics and IB mathematics teacher at Eastern High School in Washington, DC. He earned his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and later received a master’s degree in secondary education at Johns Hopkins University. He started working with Eastern High School in 2016. Prior to this, Mr. Farah was a high school math teacher and grade-level chair at Kamaile Academy Public Charter School in Waianae, Hawaii.

Mr. Farah was awarded the 2018 DC Public Schools Award for Classroom Innovation. Instead of using the lecture model, Mr. Farah teaches mathematics through a blended model in which students access content through his self-made videos. The cornerstone features of his classroom are opportunities for students to work through content at their own pace and Mr. Farah’s ability to employ mastery-based grading to evaluate student learning.

In an effort to scale his classroom model, Mr. Farah launched a nonprofit, The Modern Classrooms Project. As its executive director, Farah trains and supports a yearly fellowship of teachers who seek to develop blended, self-paced, mastery-based classrooms of their own.

Maggie Nelsen '10, Program Associate, The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development

After graduating from Potomac in 2010, Ms. Nelsen attended Connecticut College as a political science and international affairs major with minors in history and sociology. Early in her career, Ms. Nelsen worked in policy and research on Capitol Hill, both in the U.S. Senate and at the Library of Congress. Thereafter, she worked as a research analyst for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), covering international development research related to government aid, public-private partnerships, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Eager to gain field experience, Ms. Nelsen moved to Malaysia for two years as a Fulbright grantee in education and youth development. While in Malaysia, she taught ESL to rural public high school students; conducted state-level youth leadership courses and national teacher training programs; and co-created a multi-year female empowerment program for adolescent girls in her state.

Upon returning to the U.S., Ms. Nelsen worked in grant management and higher education advisory projects for Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia, a small entity that develops institutional partnerships between George Washington University and universities in Asia. At the same time, she managed the graduate-level Asian Studies Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs. Today, Ms. Nelsen works in student affairs and academic program management at the  Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University. She is also earning her master’s degree there; she studies international education with a focus on gender in development in South and Southeast Asia.

Savannah Peery '12, Student Services Coordinator, Latin America & India Programs, CET Academic Programs

Ms. Peery’s passion for international education began at Potomac, when she participated in a summer service trip to Costa Rica. With a newfound love for Spanish language and Latin American culture (thank you, Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Jaeger!), she majored in international relations at Elon University, where she studied abroad in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua before graduating in 2015. She has since backpacked through South America, worked briefly in an Ecuadorian international school, and led Overland service programs for high schoolers in Costa Rica.

She now works as a Student Services Coordinator for CET Academic Programs, a study abroad provider in Washington, DC. She helps prepare students for academic opportunities all over the globe. Her current portfolio includes programs in Colombia, India, Brazil & China.


Moderator: Casey O'Leary (Room: E221)

Although engineering is a diverse and broadly defined field, all engineers have one task in common: problem solving. From designing more efficient spacecrafts to building better bridges, from streamlining electrical systems to improving the quality of air, water. and soil, engineers of all kinds constantly strive to develop new and improved techniques within their areas of expertise. If you enjoy researching complex problems and collaborating with others to implement innovative solutions, this panel is for you.

Darryl Gardner '94, Benchmarking and Performance Engineer for Storage, Facebook

Mr. Gardner is a benchmarking and performance engineer for storage at Facebook. He is responsible for insuring that Facebook's storage infrastructure is fast and efficient, so that the more than 2.2 billion people who use Facebook will have a smooth and responsive experience.

Prior to joining Facebook, Mr. Gardner was a storage lead at IBM, where he provided storage design expertise for software-defined storage, appliances, and integrated offering.  He optimized storage for analytics, big data, and cloud workloads, balancing performance, capacity, scalability, usability and cost.

Mr. Gardner holds a B.S. in computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master’s in software engineering from Drexel University. He graduated from The Potomac School in 1994, and his oldest son is a seventh grader in the Intermediate School.

Daniel Ha '11, Mechanical Engineer, Northrop Grumman

Mr. Ha was active in Chicago’s tech startup scene as a freelance product design engineer throughout college. A few accomplishments from this time include securing a patent for the federal Department of Transportation, successfully testing a new surgical instrument that he designed on cadavers, and creating a new eating utensil for a Michelin-rated Ramen restaurant in NYC. After graduating, Mr. Ha thought he would work at a design consultancy (i.e., ammunition group) to create the next hit consumer product. However, he applied to Elon Musk’s aerospace company, SpaceX, on a whim in his last month of school, and he got the position.

From there, Mr. Ha shipped off to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL. In his first week, a fueled rocket and spacecraft exploded on the launchpad during a test, demolishing his office, so he was sent to SpaceX’s second pad, LC-39A – the same pad that the Apollo program and Space Shuttles launched from. LC-39A was still being activated at this time, so he had the privilege of leading the design, testing, and integration of various launch-critical systems that are being used there now.

Currently, Mr. Ha is the lead integration and test (I&T) mechanical engineer at Northrop Grumman’s Space Systems Group in Dulles, VA. There, he directs the manufacturing, assembly, testing, and launch operations of the Cygnus spacecraft under NASA’s CRS contract to deliver cargo to astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Globally, four organizations are capable of carrying out this mission.

Mr. Ha graduated from Potomac in 2011. He attended Northwestern University, where he obtained a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a B.S. in manufacturing and design engineering.

Zach Meza '12, Infrastructure Software Engineer, OneWeb

Mr. Meza is a software engineer for OneWeb, a company that seeks to provide worldwide Internet access through a constellation of over 800 satellites. He works in OneWeb’s Fleet Management Segment, which is responsible for initializing, operating, maintaining, and (eventually) deorbiting OneWeb’s satellites after they are launched. In his role as a software engineer, Mr. Meza is responsible for developing software that is commensurate to the scale of the satellite constellation, which is much larger than any existing fleet. This necessitates software that is scalable, including automation that reduces manual processes and analytics that help predict failures and their potential resolutions.

At Potomac, Mr. Meza was interested in science, writing, music, and math, but was unsure about what he wanted to study in college. After graduating from Potomac in 2012, Mr. Meza attended Stanford University, where he earned a B.S. in computer science with a concentration in artificial intelligence. He now lives in Arlington with fellow Potomac alumnus Mark Kington '12, and stays in close touch with several other classmates (including esteemed fellow panelists Mr. Campanale and Mr. Lovegrove).


Moderators: Bridgett Hyde & Connor Smith (Room: E217)

From The Wolf of Wall Street to The China Hustle and beyond, movies, books, and TV shows have given us glimpses of what it’s like to work in the fast-paced, powerful world of finance and investment. But what is this industry really about? It's so much more than the stereotype of traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Learn what a career in finance actually entails
and how you might make a career in the world of money management and investment.

Jason Ellis '03, Managing Director, Audax Private Equity

Mr. Ellis is a managing director for Audax Private Equity, which is solely focused on building leading middle-market companies. Since its inception, Audax has invested over five billion dollars in 117 platform investments and 713 add-on acquisitions.

Previously, Mr. Ellis worked at the Cobble Hill Group. He received his B.S. from Duke University and graduated from The Potomac School in 2003.

Carl Fairbank '00, Founder & CEO, Breakout Capital Finance

Mr. Fairbank is founder and chief executive officer of Breakout Capital. Through a decade of work as an investment banker to the alternative finance industry, Mr. Fairbank has identified market inefficiencies and widespread industry practices that make it extremely expensive for many small business owners to secure funding. Such capital also carries additional costs, which are often not fully understood by business owners at the time of funding. Mr. Fairbank founded Breakout Capital in an effort to bring affordable and fully transparent funding solutions to small businesses with a wide range of credit profiles.

Breakout Capital eliminates the hidden costs that have significantly raised the cost of capital for small business owners. This enables Breakout Capital to offer an affordable solution tailored to each business. Prior to founding Breakout Capital, Mr. Fairbank worked as an investment banker at FBR & Co. and in the Corporate Strategies Group at Capital One Financial Corporation. Mr. Fairbank graduated from American University with a B.S. in business administration and economics. Mr. Fairbank is a recipient of the 2018 Commercial Finance Association’s 40 under 40 Award for business development and is a member of the Forbes Finance Council.

Benjamin Rose '00, Investment Advisor, Goldman Sachs

Mr. Rose is an investment advisor in the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs, where he advises foundations, endowments, nonprofit organizations, and family offices. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs’s Investment Management Division, Mr. Rose worked in a variety of roles throughout the firm, serving as an investment banker and later directly supporting the firm’s Chief Administrative Officer, who was responsible for the firm’s infrastructure globally. Mr. Rose earned a B.A. with distinction in history from Yale University, where he was also a member of its varsity lightweight crew team. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and he was awarded an HBS Leadership Fellowship to work alongside the senior management team following graduation at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Mr. Rose serves on the Advisory Board of the National Executive Service Corps, which recruits former executives to serve on consultant teams that deliver high-quality solutions to nonprofit organizations. He is also on the Alumni Governing Board for The Potomac School and the Foundation Board of Holy Cross Hospital.


Moderators: Tara McLaughlin & Grace Helsing (Room: E214)

In Washington, DC, there is no larger employer than the federal government. As the world grows increasingly interconnected, the way the United States interacts with other countries  – politically, economically, and culturally – is more important than ever. From Capitol Hill staffers to K Street lobbyists, special interest advocates to think-tank academics, World Bankers to local community organizers, government and foreign affairs professionals are shaping current events and helping to chart the path of history. Attend this panel to learn more about making an impact through a career in public service.

Brendan Carr '97, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission

Commissioner Carr was nominated to serve as a commissioner of the FCC by President Trump and was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on August 3, 2017. He was sworn into office on August 11, 2017. He brings over a dozen years of public and private sector experience in technology and communications law and policy to the position.

Most recently, Commissioner Carr served as the General Counsel of the FCC. In that role, he was the chief legal advisor to the Commission and FCC staff on all matters within the agency's jurisdiction. Previously, he was the lead advisor to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on wireless, public safety, and international issues. Before that, he worked as an attorney in the FCC's Office of General Counsel, where he provided legal advice on a wide range of spectrum policy, competition, and public safety matters.

Prior to joining the Commission in 2012, Commissioner Carr was an attorney at Wiley Rein LLP, where he worked in the firm's appellate, litigation, and telecom practices. He represented clients in both trial and appellate court proceedings, including complex litigation involving the First Amendment and the Communications Act.

Earlier in his career, he served as a law clerk for Judge Shedd of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Mr. Carr graduated magna cum laude from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, and obtained a certificate from its Institute for Communications Law Studies. He also served as a note and comment editor of the Catholic University Law Review. Commissioner Carr received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.

He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and two children.

Claire Figel '13, Staff Associate, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives

Ms. Figel was born and raised in Washington, DC, and attended high school at Potomac, where she played 12 seasons of soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. She graduated with honors from Bucknell University in 2017, receiving a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish. Ms. Figel returned to Washington to work in the U.S. House of Representatives for the Committee on Foreign Affairs, where she focuses on Western Hemisphere policy.

Spencer Gopaul '08, Commissioner, Commission on African-American Affairs 

Mr. Gopaul is currently serving on the District of Columbia's Commission on African-American Affairs. He advises the Mayor, the City Council, and the public on the views and needs of African-American communities with low economic, education, or health indicators in the District of Columbia. He also analyzes the decline of African-American residents as indicated by the 2010 United States Census. Mr. Gopaul believes that empowering historically and economically vulnerable populations can be a catalyst to stronger communities and a more well-rounded workforce. His experience as a commissioner has supported this belief, and he has been able to address community issues through the gathering, formulation, and application of relevant data.  

Sasha Cooper-Morrison '99, Program Analyst & Federal Project Officer, Office of Apprenticeship, Employment & Training, U.S. Department of Labor

Since June 2015, Ms. Cooper-Morrison has served as the Federal Project Officer for the American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI), which awarded 175 million dollars to 46 public-private partnerships across the country. These partnerships, which are between employers, organized labor, nonprofits, local governments, and educational institutions, will expand apprenticeships to new communities and new industries. In total, the 46 AAI grantees will train and hire more than 34,000 new apprentices in high-growth and high-tech industries, including healthcare, information technology (IT), and advanced manufacturing by 2020. In her role, Ms. Copper-Morrison is responsible for overall project management and coordination of grant activities for the Office of Apprenticeship National Office.

Prior to joining the Office of Apprenticeship, Ms. Cooper-Morrison served as the country desk officer for the Inter-American and Pacific Region at the United States Peace Corps headquarters, beginning in February 2012. She was the operating point of contact between over 140 staff members and volunteers spread across the Micronesia, Palau, and Vanuatu posts and the area’s Peace Corps headquarters. 

Before joining the Peace Corps headquarters team, Ms. Cooper-Morrison served as a rural economic development volunteer with the Peace Corps in Paraguay from May 2008 to July 2010. While there, she lived in the medium-sized rural town of Valenzuela, approximately two hours east of the capital, Asunción. She worked with La Asociación de la Mujer Rural, a local women's association, on sustainable development initiatives. 

A native of Washington, DC, Ms. Cooper-Morrison received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her master’s in business administration from the Kogod School of Business at American University. She speaks fluent Spanish and Guarani.


Moderators: Natalie Davidson & Madeline Leisenring (Room: E301)

From Thurgood Marshall to Sandra Day O’Connor, from Johnnie Cochran to Gloria Allred, from Perry Mason to Atticus Finch, lawyers –both real and fictional – have helped, hurt, inspired, and conspired. They’ve been the butt of innumerable jokes, and also many people’s saviors. But what is it really like to work in the legal field? If you’re inspired by the idea of harnessing the power of the law to serve others, or if you want to learn more about the diverse opportunities within the legal field, join this panel discussion.

Michael Coyne '00, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company

Mr. Coyne is an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, where he helps public and private sector clients within the travel and hospitality industry drive efficient growth and improved customer experience. Prior to joining McKinsey in 2013, Mr. Coyne was a corporate associate in the New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he focused on security offerings and mergers and acquisitions.  

Mr. Coyne graduated from The Potomac School in 2000. He received a B.A. in political science and international relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from NYU. He currently lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and son.  

Sarah Duncan '03, Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice

Ms. Duncan joined the Department of Justice in December 2014. As a trial attorney in the vaccine litigation group, Ms. Duncan represents the interests of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in cases filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Ms. Duncan's daily activities include working with medical experts in the fields of pediatrics, neurology, immunology, and epidemiology, taking cases to trial, negotiating settlements, and resolving damages in cases where petitioners are found entitled to compensation. 

Prior to joining the government, Ms. Duncan was an associate at Arnold & Porter LLP, where she worked in products liability litigation, representing pharmaceutical drug companies. 

Ms. Duncan received her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2011 and her bachelor's degree in history and science from Harvard University in 2007. She lives in Alexandria, VA, with her husband, Kiley; their daughter, Nell; and their puggle, Atticus.  

Andrew Kilberg '06, Associate, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Mr. Kilberg is an associate in the litigation department of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, a law firm with offices throughout the United States and the world. His practice at Gibson Dunn focuses on appellate, administrative law, regulatory, and otherwise complex and high-stakes litigation. He has drafted briefs and motions filed in appellate, trial, and arbitration proceedings, including in cases before the United States Supreme Court, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, and Ninth Circuit.

Before joining Gibson Dunn, Mr. Kilberg spent a year as a law clerk to Justice Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States. The year before that, he served as a law clerk to Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He received a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School in 2014, a M.Phil. in historical studies from the University of Cambridge in 2011, and an A.B. in history from Princeton University in 2010.

Most importantly, Mr. Kilberg graduated from Potomac in 2006, where he was a third-generation co-editor-in-chief of Common Sense and participated in Model Congress. Mr. Kilberg’s four siblings attended Potomac through eighth grade; a nephew and two nieces also attended through eighth grade; and he has another nephew and two nieces currently in the Middle and Lower Schools. Finally, he is hopeful that his two daughters will also become Panthers!

Teddy Nemeroff '97, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of State Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues

Mr. Nemeroff is a senior advisor in the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues at the Department of State, where his work focuses on international security issues in cyberspace. Mr. Nemeroff led the drafting of the administration’s Cyber Deterrence Strategy and has coordinated diplomatic responses to a number of recent significant cyber incidents. He also advises on cyber policy issues related to NATO, OSCE, and other regional security matters.  

A lawyer by training, Mr. Nemeroff was previously an associate at the Washington law firm of Steptoe and Johnson, and he clerked for the Honorable Sandra Lynch, Chief Judge of the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. Before becoming a lawyer, Mr. Nemeroff started a conflict resolution program at a non-governmental organization in South Africa and worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company in Boston. He attended Columbia Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, and Princeton University.

Mr. Nemeroff and his two younger brothers were all Potomac School lifers. He graduated from Potomac in 1997.


Moderator: Lily Holmes (Room: E304)

What is it like to work as a reporter in the era of “fake news,” social media, and unrelenting 24/7 coverage? How is journalism evolving as traditional media increasingly gives way to new media, and more news consumers choose sources that are in line with their own preconceived notions and opinions? Print, web, and TV journalists will share what it’s like to build a career in a rapidly evolving field where the format and delivery method of their content seems to change almost daily.

Summer Delaney '11, Digital On-Air Reporter and Producer, WPIX-TV

Ms. Delaney is a digital on-air host, reporter, and producer for PIX11 News, New York City's CW Television Network affiliate. Her videos are syndicated on Tribune Media's 42 local stations around the country, as well as on digital partners including AOL, Yahoo, and LittleThings. In addition to reporting across the greater New York City area, she traveled to the U.K. to report on the lead-up to the royal wedding this past May. 

Before her current role, Ms. Delaney spent two years working at Yahoo News, where she covered President Trump’s campaign and presidency, provided on-air breaking news and political updates, and interviewed the faces behind trending videos and human interest stories. She reported in the studio and in the field, which included trips to the 2016 Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention. She also produced interviews for Katie Couric and Bianna Golodryga and wrote articles for Yahoo's front page. 

Ms. Delaney has worked for Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs, ABC News, Atlantic Media, and WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, WV. After graduating from The Potomac School, she received her bachelor's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Mimi Dwyer '09, Reporter and Associate Producer, Vice News

Mimi Dwyer is a reporter and associate producer for Vice News Tonight on HBO, HBO’s nightly news show. She covers domestic news, particularly immigration and the courts, with a focus on investigative projects. She has covered topics from the immediate aftermath of an ICE raid to controversial forensic science to the civil rights of sex offenders. She once rode a dinghy 10 miles into the Gulf of Mexico without a GPS to find her camera crew on a shrimp boat.

Before coming to Vice, Ms. Dwyer was a researcher on Reuters’ investigative team, and a reporter-researcher at The New Republic
She graduated from Potomac in 2009 and from Brown University in 2013.

Jamie Lovegrove '12, Political Reporter, The Post and Courier

Mr. Lovegrove is a political reporter for The Post and Courier, a Pulitzer-winning local newspaper based in Charleston, SC. He lives in Columbia, where he covers the South Carolina State House, but he frequently travels – around the state, to cover political candidates on the campaign trail; and to Washington, to cover South Carolina's congressional delegation. In addition to writing for the newspaper, he regularly appears on podcasts and TV news shows to talk about South Carolina politics.

After graduating from Potomac in 2012, Mr. Lovegrove attended Northwestern University, where he double-majored in journalism and political science. He then spent a year covering the Texas congressional delegation for the Dallas Morning News from Washington before moving to South Carolina.

At Potomac, Mr. Lovegrove was an executive editor of The Current, where he first learned about the important role that journalists play in holding powerful people accountable. He was also infamous as the most excessively loud member of the student section at football and basketball games.

Nick Thieme '08, Researcher and Freelance Reporter

Mr. Thieme is a researcher and freelance reporter with writings appearing on and in PBS, Slate magazine, BuzzFeed News, Significance magazine, and Undark Magazine. Both his writings and his research focus on technology, science, statistics, and the law. Currently, he works at New America's Open Technology as a data journalist. Before transitioning into journalism, Mr. Thieme was an academic computer scientist doing theoretical and empirical research into machine learning methods for detecting cancer, algorithms for correcting images from the Hubble Space Telescope, natural language processing techniques, and epidemiological studies about tuberculosis. 


Moderators: Megan Sharkey & Sally Stouffer (Room: E204 Lab)

We’ve all watched TV doctors take control of the ER and order their teams to do things “stat!” as patients in crisis are wheeled in and hooked up to machines. But what is it like to be a real-life doctor, taking care of real-life patients? What are the opportunities and rewards of a healthcare career in a world where costs are high, time is tight, and medical professionals are stretched thin? Join these panelists as they discuss their paths toward facilitating health of the mind, body, and spirit.

Samee Gharagozloo '07, D.D.S., General Dentist, Neibauer Dental Care

Dr. Gharagozloo is a doctor of dentistry in Waldorf, MD. She prides herself on improving the health of her patients by providing them with excellent dental care in a trustworthy and ethical environment. Dr. Gharagozloo attended the University of Rochester and majored in political science. From there, she attended Georgetown University, where she received her certificate in post-baccalaureate pre-medical studies and finished at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry with a Doctorate of Dental Surgery. Dr. Gharagozloo is currently an active member of the Academy of General Dentists, the American Academy of Women Dentists, and the American Dental Association.

She is committed to continuing education in order to remain knowledgeable about state-of-the-art technology, procedures, and materials in dentistry. Dr. Gharagozloo also gives back by providing free dental care to her community through Missions of Mercy throughout the state of Maryland, and by hosting "free dental days" in her office. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, horseback riding, and spending quality time with her dog and two cats.

Pamela Kasenetz '99, MD, Internal Medicine, Arlington Medical Associates

Dr. Kasenetz is a practicing partner in Internal Medicine at the Arlington Medical Associates in the Shirlington neighborhood of Arlington, VA. She graduated from the George Washington University School of Medicine in 2008, and from the George Washington University Hospital Internal Medicine Residency program in 2011. After completing a B.A. in neuroscience with minors in English and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania in 2003, she spent a year researching sex chromosome disorders at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. 

Her parents still live in Alexandria, VA, where she grew up, and her brother, Eric (also a Potomac School alumnus!) lives in Bethesda with his family.

Dr. Kasenetz enjoys hiking and has trekked through Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, and France. She serves as a member on the Next Generation Board at the United States Holocaust Museum. When she has the time, she tries to stay active in community theater and has performed at The Little Theatre of Alexandria, in the Capital Fringe Festival, and in a few Discovery ID shows. 

Blair Farr Underwood '96, MD, Pediatrician, Georgetown Pediatric Outpatient Clinic

Dr. Farr graduated from Potomac in 1996, and went on to Princeton University, where she majored in English. After a life-changing experience working at a children’s hospital in Cambodia, she decided to switch gears and become a doctor. She attended Georgetown University Medical School and completed her pediatric residency at Georgetown in 2015.  She currently works in a specialty clinic at Georgetown for children with complex medical issues and runs a mindfulness group for new pediatric residents. 

She is also developing a pediatric website for parents, which gives her the chance to combine her love of medicine with her love of writing. Dr. Farr lives with her husband and two children (a son and daughter) in Washington, DC.

Megan Willems '84, MD, Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist

Dr. Willems is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist in a private practice in McLean. She entered medicine by way of the liberal arts; she majored in English and women’s studies at Columbia University. After attending a post-baccalaureate premed program, she went on to the Mount Sinai School of Medicine/NYU, and completed her residency and fellowship serving the East Harlem and surrounding communities.  

Specializing in the treatment of immune and infection-mediated causes of psychiatric symptoms, Dr. Bartsch Willems provides traditional psychotherapy and medication management.  However, she also employs a “functional medicine” approach: a model of care that seeks to identify the underlying root cause of symptoms and treats brain disorders as inextricably linked to all other organ systems in the body. On any given day, she may be reviewing functional imaging of a client’s brain, prescribing food-based interventions, or talking with legislators about mental health reform. She loves the variety her work affords and the way new models of recovery and cure are increasingly applicable to psychiatry. Her other professional interests include youth financial literacy and delivery of mental health services within the prison system.

She is grateful for her Potomac education, and she has had the privilege of being both a Potomac alumna and parent.  She resides in McLean with her two sons.  


Moderator: Cole Stitt (Room: E309)

When you’re driving around and see large, multipurpose “town centers” going up, do you ever wonder how such projects grow from ideas to actual brick and mortar buildings? What about all those cranes that pepper the DC skyline? If you’re interested in the way land in commercial and residential areas is bought, sold, and developed, this panel is for you. Learn how our presenters got their start in real estate and how you might turn your interest in buildings into a career in some aspect of this multifaceted industry.

David Brady '04, Principal, Avenue Land Company

Mr. Brady is a real estate entrepreneur and the founder of Avenue Land Company ("ALC"). ALC has purchased more than eight million dollars of commercial property since May 2017 and is actively seeking additional investments in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. ALC currently owns a 120-unit manufactured home community in Durham, NC; an 80-unit manufactured home community in Greensboro, NC; and a mixed-use apartment, office, and retail property in downtown Richmond, VA.

Mr. Brady has been closely involved in more than 1.6 billion dollars of commercial real estate transactions in a variety of capacities, including acquisitions, finance, and development. Mr. Brady received a master's in accounting from George Washington University and a master's in real estate development from Johns Hopkins University. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and graduated from The Potomac School in 2004.

Sean Sullivan '02, Senior Project Manager, Boston Properties

Mr. Sullivan joined Boston Properties in 2015 as a senior project manager. Prior to joining Boston Properties, Mr. Sullivan served as a development/asset management associate with Merlone Geier Partners in San Francisco; an investment sales associate for CBRE in Tokyo, Japan; and a summer associate with Beacon Capital Partners.

As senior project manager, Mr. Sullivan has many responsibilities; among others, he guides the design effort, which includes the coordination of design consultants and interface of the design team with other engineers and special consultants. He participates in the due diligence process and evaluation of proposed developments, and he maintains the project budget and ensures that it is achieved. 

Mr. Sullivan received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in 2006, and his M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management in 2013.

Elena Sylos-Labini '98, Director of Development, Aimco

For the past eight years, Ms. Sylos-Labini has led development efforts at three different organizations. The last six years have been most notable, as she has worked with Aimco on its Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern portfolio, focusing particularly on the DC metro area. Over the course of her tenure at Aimco, she has completed over 48 million in renovation work.

Projects Ms. Sylos-Labini has completed have included full-scale redevelopments and capital enhancements in the DC metro area, Philadelphia, Nashville, Atlanta, and South Florida. Ms. Sylos-Labini has managed all phases of redevelopment including market and positioning analyses, financial analyses, budgeting, design, the entitlement process, and participation in the construction and lease-up transition process. More recently, Ms. Sylos-Labini has been working as a consultant for a mixed-use development project in Fairfax City.



Moderators: Holland Hiler & Thomas Ferris (Room: E305)

“Show me the money!” That iconic line from Jerry Maguire is often the first thing that people think of when they hear the phrase “careers in sports.” While high-profile athletes, coaches, and owners are the public faces of a team, dedicated experts in behind-the-scenes roles play an equally essential part in keeping sports franchises healthy and profitable. Often lost amid the passion of rooting for our favorite teams is the reality that professional and college sports are businesses. Attend this discussion to learn how your passion for athletics could become a career in the world of sports.

Mike Carney '01, Executive Director, Business Strategy & Analytics, Washington Nationals

Mr. Carney leads the business strategy and analytics department for the Washington Nationals Baseball Club. He joined the Nationals in 2015 after nearly a decade working in management consulting in Chicago and DC for Accenture Interactive and A.T. Kearney. Mr. Carney has worked in a broad array of industries and functions, including finance, telecom, retail and merchandising, and sports marketing. He spent several years in Chicago while attending Northwestern University for undergraduate studies and Chicago Booth School of Business for MBA studies, focusing on strategy and entrepreneurship.

In his role as the head of business strategy and analytics for the Nationals, Mike focuses on managing revenue and leading strategic projects for the organization.

Erin Cummings '12, Athletics Communications Assistant, Georgetown University 

Ms. Cummings is currently interning at Georgetown University as an athletics communications assistant. She works in the athletics department and is the sports information director for Georgetown field hockey, men's and women's tennis, and the women's rowing team. She is receiving course credit for this year-long internship in her masters program at the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies. She is in her first semester of Georgetown's sports industry management program and plans to graduate next May.

Ms. Cummings enrolled in the program after coaching collegiate soccer for two years at Williams College in western Massachusetts. At Williams, she was the assistant and goalkeeper coach, and she compiled an overall record of 40–2–3. During the 2016–2017 season, the team made it to the Round of Eight in the NCAA tournament, and in the 2017–2018 season, the team won its second Division III National Championship in three years. After two years of coaching, Ms. Cummings decided to explore the administrative side of athletics by enrolling at Georgetown.

Alex Kolt '06, Assistant Football Coach, Georgetown University

Mr. Kolt joined Georgetown's coaching staff in 2011, as the assistant offensive line and tight ends coach. He returned to the offensive side of the ball in the spring of 2017, after serving as the defensive line coach from 2013–16. During his time coaching the defensive line, he coached six All-Patriot League selections, 1 All-ECAC selection, and 1 All-American. He has served as the team’s recruiting coordinator since 2013.

A native of Arlington, VA, Mr. Kolt graduated from Hampden-Sydney College with a B.A. in history and a minor in rhetoric in 2010. He earned an M.Ed. in sports leadership in 2011, at Virginia Commonwealth University. He currently resides in Arlington with his wife, Nicole.

Upper School Student Networking Committee

Natalie Davidson
Thomas Ferris
Matt Giuliano
Grace Helsing
Holland Hiler
Lily Holmes
Bridgett Hyde
Drew Johnson
Madeline Leisenring
Mary Jane Lin
Tara McLaughlin
Casey O'Leary
Trey Rachal
Megan Sharkey
Connor Smith
Sarah Stahlman
Cole Stitt
Sally Stouffer
Megan Tierney

Alumni Governing Council Networking Committee

Chair: Rory Byrnes '01


Caroline Dalton '03
Delara Derakhshani '04
Claire Figel '13
Ann Addison Freniere '78
Matt Giuliano '19
Sally Hamby '66
Pamela Kasenetz '99
Candace Kent '04
Derrick Plummer '99
Lara Ramsey '91
Scott Richardson '03
Ben Rose '00
Steve Shashy '04
Blair Farr Underwood '96
Daija Yisrael '19

Laura Miller, Director of Alumni Relations
Alex Thomas, Advancement Associate for Alumni Relations