DC Internship Hall of Fame

Washington Intern Hall of Fame

Students that complete the internship at our Washington Office can expect great things to come. Many of our interns have successfully obtained positions working for Members of Congress, and as university administrators. For those wishing to work in our nation's capital, being in Washington DC gives you an advantage and larger accessibility to the Washington job market. The following is a short list of those who have interned and have used their experience in DC to the fullest:

Chris Cummins

Christopher Cummins, Summer 2015

Christopher is currently studying International Relations and Political Science with a Minor in Geography. He is a participant of FIU’s Model United Nations Program, the university’s most prestigious and competitive academic team and was named Head Delegate during the 2015 spring semester. Christopher served as an intern for Congressman Joe Garcia’s re-election campaign in the fall of 2014. Christopher also succeeded as a walk-on for FIU’s D1 football program and was honored for FIU’s Fall Academic Club and named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Upon graduation in spring 2016, Christopher plans to pursue a career in public service.

Pamela Pamela

Pamela Pamela

Pamela is currently a Defense Fellow at the Department of Defense. She hold a Master’s Degree in Global Governance and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and International Relations, with a Certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, from Florida International University. Pamela has conducted research for United States Southern Command on various security issues regarding the Latin American region and most recently the role of social media in predicting and preventing biological threats. She studied abroad in Torcuato Di Tella University in Argentina and Université Catholique de l'Ouest in France, and participated in NGO projects such as TECHO’s community development in Bogota, Colombia. Pamela co-authored a chapter in a book exploring Latin American prison systems, published in April 2015. Born in Venezuela, her interests include the Latin American Region, predictive analytics, transnational crime, rule of law, and Countering Violent Extremism.


P.J Campbell, Summer 2014

P.J. is the Political Affairs Director for the FIU College Democrats. P.J. is currently pursuing his Bachelors in Journalism and minoring in Political Science. He interned with Congressman Joe Garcia in his Washington D.C. Office as well as his Miami district office. While interning with the Congressman in Miami, P.J. doubled as the FIU Biscayne Bay Campus Student Government Association's Director of Governmental Relations. In this position, P.J. worked with the City of North Miami and Miami-Dade County to strengthen FIU's ties to local government. Before coming to D.C. in the summer of 2014, P.J. was in Tallahassee working as a Legislative Intern for the Speaker Designate Rep. Jose Oliva. After Tallahassee P.J. went to Washington D.C. to work with the FIU Federal Relations team to help advance FIU's federal priorities in our nation's Capital. After receiving his undergraduate degree, P.J. plans to move to D.C. to pursue a graduate degree and continue his career in public service.

Julie Pic

Juliet Haydar, Spring 2014

As a native Miamian, Juliet graduated from FIU with honors in the fall of 2013 with a degree in International Relations. She got her first taste of the Nation’s Capital as a public policy fellow at a lobbying firm and then went on to intern with U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart. Fluent in English, Spanish, and French, Juliet interned at the French Consulate in Miami during her last semester at FIU. Juliet plans on going to graduate school and pursuing a career in public service and government. 


Javier Hernandez, Fall 2013

Javier graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in International Relations along with a minor in Economics with honors. During his time at FIU he was the Public Relations Officer for FIU’s chapter of the Sigma Iota Rho (International Studies) Honor Society. Javier interned at the Americans for Immigrant Justice, he supported the work of legal counsel. As an intern for the City of Sweetwater, Javier worked on surveying residents from newly annexed portions of the city. During his time at the City, he also became intimately aware of FIU's own collaborative vision for UniversityCity. Since returning to Miami, Javier has worked with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce as a Consultant and now works on Florida Congressman Joe Garcia’s reelection campaign as part of their communications team.


Nassir Aboreden, Summer 2013

Nassir Aboreden began his studies at FIU in 2010 and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Economics with honors. As a delegate on the FIU Model United nation’s team, he received numerous awards that helped propel the team to their 5th place national ranking. He was a member of the College Republicans, Golden Key Honor Society, and served as the campaign manager for multiple SGA senate campaigns. He has experience on Capitol Hill as an intern and served as a Field Director during the 2012 elections. Following the his internship he began attending the College of William and Mary School of Law.  

Sanjeev Udhnani 

Sanjeev Udhnani, Spring 2013

Sanjeev graduated from FIU in 2012 with degrees in Finance and International Business Honors. While at FIU, Sanjeev had roles with a number of different student organizations including Vice President of the Student Government Association and Vice President of the Interfraternity Council. Sanjeev previously held internships with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the FIU Office of the Treasurer. During the Summer of 2013, Sanjeev will be cycling from San Francisco to Washington D.C. to raise awareness for people with disabilities.

charles garabedian

Charles Garabedian, Fall 2012

Charles was born and raised in Miami, Florida, graduating from FIU with a Bachelor in Criminal Justice in the Spring of 2012. While at FIU he was the Communications Director for the FIU College Democrats, where he helped lead the organization's social media strategies and voter registration efforts. Quite active in his community, Charles has been a long-term volunteer, fundraiser and counselor for both the Police Athletic League and the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. He is attending the University of Florida Levin College of Law and hopes to one day become involved in the political arena.


Patrick O’Keefe, Summer 2012

Patrick is currently the Vice President of Marketing for Clutch Prep, a top start-up in Miami. He is also completing his capstone project for his Master's of Arts in Mass Communication with a Specialty in Online Communications at the University of Florida. Patrick is a former Student Government President at the Modesto Maidique Campus. After his Federal Relations internship, Patrick worked as the Orlando Field Representative for the College Republican National Committee and as a Marketing Consultant for Vocus.


Alex Uriarte, Spring 2012

Alex is currently a Policy Assistant for America Achieves, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. Alex graduated from FIU with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations. Alex actively participated in the community during her tenure at FIU, as an emergency respondent for the Miami-Dade Red Cross and a case manager for the International Rescue Committee during the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, where she assisted in relocating and integrating over 120 refugee families.  



Ernesto Alfonso, Fall 2011

Ernesto is currently working for the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer.  After graduating FIU, he was awarded the prestigious State Department Pickering Fellowship to attend graduate school at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where he obtained a Masters in International Affairs.  Ernesto graduated from FIU in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and a Minor in Economics.  He was awarded membership to the selective Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, and is a recipient of FIU's Outstanding Academic Achievement in International Relations Award. In the summer of 2010, he led an Honors College service-learning research project in the Peruvian Amazon focused on cultural revitalization efforts in a Yagua indigenous community.


Christin "Cici" Battle, Summer 2011

Christin “Cici” Battle hails from Miami, Florida by way of Denver, Colorado. Cici is a vivacious higher education professional who is passionate about policy, mentorship and international engagement. She currently serves as the Statewide Youth Engagement Coordinator for the Department of Juvenile Justice in the Office of Prevention and Victim Services. It is her responsibility to promote the process of intentional and meaningful involvement of youth through programs, family and community submersion while engaging them in the decision-making, policy development and reform efforts to decrease their immersion into the juvenile justice
system. Prior to joining DJJ, she served as a Gubernatorial Fellow in the Department of Education, in the Division of Florida Colleges and in the Department of Juvenile Justice, in the Secretary’s Office. Ms. Battle earned her Master’s Degree in Higher
Education Administration with a focus on Educational Policy and her Bachelor’s in Psychology with an emphasis on Leadership Development from Florida International University.


Zacory Ruiz, Spring 2011

Zac is currently preparing to attend law school in the Fall of 2013. Before attending FIU, Zac was a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Infantry and served two combat tours to Iraq. Zac graduated from FIU in the Fall of 2012 with his degree in Finance, a minor in Mathematical Sciences, and a certificate in International Bank Management. 



Taylor Prochnow, Fall 2010

Taylor Prochnow is currently the Executive Assistant to the Economic Program, the Social Policy & Politics Program, and the Capital Markets Initiative at Third Way, a think tank in Washington, D.C. Previously, she served as a research associate for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and an administrative assistant at Edelman Public Relations. She earned dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and International Affairs, with a certificate in Public Policy. 




Sabine Augustin, Summer 2010

Sabine Augustin was the Federal Relations office intern for Summer 2010. She graduated May 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Education. While attending FIU she served on the Haiti TaskForce, Student Government Association, United States Student Association, Christians in Action and Sisters in Christ. She will be graduating from Clark Atlanta University in May 2015 where she is pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Educational and Public Policy, where she also served as the President of the Public Administration Student Association.  As a federal employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs she ensures our country’s veterans are treated with top-notch care through the Office of Quality Management. Sabine began her political career interning for Florida Representative Ronald Brisé of North Miami. She is the founder of a middle school mentoring group, FaithGurlZ. She sits on several community and non-profit boards, such as, serving as the Executive Assistant for Pinky Promise (a group teaching women how to honor God with their life with over 20,000 women internationally).  Her ultimate goal is to become a community changing congresswoman.


Jacqueline Peñalver, Spring 2010

Jackie is a Financial Analyst CoStar Group, a fast paced publicly traded company in Washington, D.C. where she manages several department and business unit budgets and supports Investor Relations. In this role is she able to contribute to all aspects of finance including stock trade, earning calls, financial modeling, forecasts and mergers and acquisitions. In 2014 she was awarded the Outstanding Performance Award for her success in managing the financials of some of the largest departments and market verticals of the company. Jackie is currently serving her 2nd term as a Commissioner on the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women where she chairs the Women in Business Committee. Previously she was at the Budget Office at Customs and Border Protection as a Budget Analyst where she worked to optimally allocate and manage funding for various programs during strict agency-wide budget reductions.




Nick Autiello, Summer 2009

 Nick Autiello completed the Federal Relations internship after his freshman year at FIU.  While at FIU was elected Student Body Vice President and was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. During his final year, he was a member of Governor Charlie Crist’s Senate campaign staff, running the St. Petersburg campaign headquarters. After completing his degree, he worked on a gubernatorial campaign in Montana and spent several months studying Mandarin at Tsinghua University in Beijing before moving back to Washington, DC, where he held positions at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and spent two years working at a tech start-up focused on anti-counterfeiting and identity authentication technologies. Currently, he is pursuing a Master’s degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics.



Zlato Buchs-Fagundes, Fall 2008

Zlato is currently a digital marketing manager at WiT Media, a creative ad agency based in NYC.

Prior to joining WiT Media, Zlato was the founding program manager of the Aspen Institute Arts Program. In this role, he assisted in curating and producing forums to connect artists, advocates, educators, foundations and government officials to develop policies to strengthen the arts’ contributions to society. Zlato also served as program assistant at Ballet Tech: New York City Public School for Dance and as a research analyst at StateNet, a legislative research firm based in Washington, D.C.

He received his B.A. summa cum laude in Political Science from Florida International University in Miami, Florida in 2009. Zlato is a former dancer having trained at the School of American Ballet and dancing professionally with Carolina Ballet.

Little known fact – in 2008 Zlato Fagundes was named an Honorary Colonel of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.




Damaris Rubio, Summer 2008

Damaris currently works in FIU’s Office of the Provost with the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Damaris graduated with a degree in Finance and a minor in Economics.   She served as the Vice President of Finance on the Invitational Scholars executive board for two years, and is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Scholars and the National Association of Parliamentarians. Damaris received her Masters of Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing in 2011 from FIU. 


James Wyatt, Fall 2007

James is currently pursuing a Master's/Ph.D in Political Theory and Comparative Democracy Development at the University of Syracuse . He graduated with a double major in Political Science and Philosophy. He was a member of FIU's Philosophy Honors Society and was a brother of Phi Gamma Delta. During the summer of 2007 James was inducted into the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program at Florida International University - the first Political Scientist accepted to the program since it began at FIU. His research examined changing electoral patterns in the Northeast and studied the relation between culture and voting behavior. 



Rania Kajan, Summer 2007

Rania graduated through the FIU Honors College with a B.A. in Political Science and English, and with concentrations in Public Policy and Middle-Eastern Studies. Rania went on to earn a JD at the University of Florida, followed by an LL.M. in International Law from NYU Law.  She subsequently completed a NYU-sponsored fellowship at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague.  Presently, she is serving as a staff attorney at the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, GA. 


Alexander Cumana, Spring 2007

Alexander currently works with the Center for Progressive Leadership's New Leaders Program in Washington, D.C. Alex worked in the Mayor's Office of the City of Hialeah for two years, beginning as an intern and advancing to a political aide. He was a brother of Phi Gamma Delta and  President of the Democracy Matters chapter at FIU. Alex is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and has worked in several political campaigns, most notably the Gubernatorial campaign of Rep. Jim Davis. 



Victoria Llerena, Fall 2006

Victoria is currently a staff attorney with the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser’s Office.  She graduated from FIU with dual Bachelor’s degrees in English and Political Science.  Upon graduation Victoria worked for the Florida House of Representatives for three years before attending St. Thomas University School of Law where she graduated with honors.  During her time in law school she successfully argued before the Third District Court of Appeal on behalf of the Public Defender’s Office and spent a semester with the Miami-Dade County School Board.



Mari Cabrera, Summer 2006

Mari Lourdes Cabrera is the Director of Development and External Affairs of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI), a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting the positive advancement of the diverse US Hispanic community in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, as well as in the international community.

Previously, Cabrera worked for Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart in his Washington, DC office, where she served as one of his legislative assistants and legislative correspondent. In that capacity she provided the Congressman with memos and vote recommendations, conducted research, drafted floor speeches and talking points, and met with constituents and advocacy groups on issues dealing with Education, Housing, Government Reform, Postal, and Election Reform legislation. She also served as the principal staffer responsible for all correspondence and managed the writing of all letters, ensuring that all constituent mail was answered in a timely manner.

Before moving to Washington, D.C., Cabrera worked for Florida International University for university's Division of Development and served as the staff assistant to the Annual Giving Department.

Cabrera holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Florida International University, with a second concentration in Political Science.



Adriana Pereira, Spring 2006

Adriana is currently FIU's Director of State Relations. Adriana graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication and a Master's in Public Administration from American University. Adriana worked on Capitol Hill for Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart for three years and served as his Communications Director.  She interned for Florida State Representative Anitere Flores. During her undergraduate years, Adriana was very involved in the Student Ambassador Program, the Student Alumni Association, and the Student Government Association.  


Tyrik McKeiver

Tyrik McKeiver, Fall 2005

Tyrik “Ty” McKeiver is a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary and Senior Advisor for Outreach and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.  In this capacity, he contributes to diplomatic efforts that help strengthen relations with U.S. state and local government criminal justice and law enforcement agencies that deliver foreign assistance globally.

Prior to this he worked in Washington, D.C. for several years in the Executive and Legislative branches of government and in the private sector.  As a former congressional staffer and policy advisor for Senator Bill Nelson and the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security under the leadership of Chairman Bennie G. Thompson, he has a breadth of knowledge as it relates to public policy development, oversight, and implementation. In his capacity on Capitol Hill, Ty handled a wide range of issues to improve coordination of Federal, State, local, and Tribal governments in planning for, responding to, and communicating during man-made and natural disasters.

Ty has also worked to implement homeland security provisions and enhance stakeholder engagement in the Executive Branch during his tenure at the Transportation Security Administration within the Department of Homeland Security. Rounding out his years in Washington, D.C., Ty specialized in strategic management consulting at SRA International, Inc. -Touchstone Consulting Group.

Ty received his Masters of International Affairs at Columbia University and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in International Relations from Florida International University in Miami, FL. He is a member of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Catholic Church and is a member of the Congressional Chorus in Washington, D.C.  He is a native of Rochester, New York.


Randy Mora

Randy Mora, Summer 2005

Randy now resides in Pinellas County, Florida. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Florida International University in Miami, Florida, where he majored in international relations and minored in public administration. While at FIU he developed an interest in the role and responsibility of government, working extensively within the Office of Governmental Relations. After graduating from FIU, Randy interned with the Department of State in Trinidad and Tobago and worked in FIU’s Office of University Advancement. Randy attended The George Washington University Law School. While in law school Randy interned in a broad spectrum of legal positions including positions with in-house counsel for a Fortune 500 company, the U.S. Army J.A.G., and a criminal appellate clinic. Randy’s professional background includes work for a private firm in New York City focusing primarily on litigation relating to the Bernard L. Madoff Ponzi scheme. Since returning to Florida in 2012, Randy has worked in the Tampa Bay area, securing experience in a diverse array of litigation matters including complex commercial litigation, intellectual property law and real property disputes. Randy now focuses his practice on municipal law and litigation, and serves as the Town Attorney for  the Town of Kenneth City, Florida. 



Amanda Stein

Amanda Fein, Spring 2005

Amanda Stein

Amanda is the Director of External Relations at Maryland University. Previously, she was the resource-development manager, overseeing fund-raising and marketing, at Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, which is in Gaithersburg, Md. She graduated from Florida International University and received a master’s in political management from George Washington University.

Melissa Sanchez, Fall 2004

Melissa is an attorney at Arif & Associates, P.C. There, she represents clients in a variety of civil and criminal matters such as contract disputes, divorces, custody, and criminal defense. She has been practicing for 6 years and devotes part of her practice to the representation of children as Guardian Ad Litem in Fairfax County. She graduated from Florida International University with a B.A., with honors, in 200, and from George Mason University School of Law with a J.D. in 2008. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.




Bill Wilson, Summer 2004

Bill Wilson was named the Director of Legislative and Cabinet Affairs for the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) on January 4, 2013. As DEO’s Legislative Affairs Director, Bill leads the legislative advocacy for the department and collaborates on the policy priorities of DEO’s state-wide public-private partnerships to the Legislature. Bill also formulates policy proposals and legislative strategies in the areas of business development, workforce and reemployment services, and community development. Prior to joining DEO, Bill worked as an aide to House Speaker Marco Rubio and subsequently served as a legislative policy analyst for the Finance and Tax Committee in the Florida House of Representatives dealing with matters pertaining to state and local taxation, economic development initiatives, and revenue forecasting. Bill received his MBA with a concentration in Finance from the Chapman Graduate School of Business at Florida International University.  



Hon. Alexander Lewy, Spring 2004

Alexander Lewy currently serves as the Miami-Dade Area Director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee - AIPAC, the largest and most influential Pro-Israel lobby in the country. 

Alexander Lewy was recruited to join AIPAC in May 2014 after serving nearly 10 years in public service. Alex served two African American Members of Congress from South Florida as their liaison to the Jewish community and advisor on Israeli and Mid-East affairs from 2005 until 2012. 

In 2010, he was elected to the Hallandale Beach City Commission where he ultimately served in the role of Vice Mayor. In addition to public service, Alex was also involved in leadership positions with various young professional organizations both in the Jewish and political community and served as state president of the Florida Young Democrats from 2009 to 2011. 

A native South Floridian, he graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelors in International Relations and dual certificates in Judaic Studies and Mass Communication. While at FIU, Alex served as Vice President of the Student Government Administration and was founding President of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity chapter in 2000 and currently serves at their chapter advisor. 


Arianne Britt, Fall 2003

Arianne is experienced in recruitment, communication and management as a staffing and human resources specialist. She worked as an HR Administrator at Genzyme, one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies. Bree is an active member of Delta Phi Epsilon Boston Alumnae Association and regularly volunteers for Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management. She attended Florida International University, where she graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. She is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) with the HR Certification Institute and is a Certified Staffing Professional (CSP) under the American Staffing Association. She completed a Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication with a specialization in Human Resources Management from Northeastern University in 2011.


Bettina Inclán, Summer 2003

Bettina is currently the Director of Hispanic Outreach for the Republican National Committee.  She has served as Regional Victory Director for the McCain Presidential Campaign, the Communications Director for the House Republican Policy Committee and its Chairman, Congressman Thaddeus McCotter. Bettina has also worked as the Executive Director of the National Republican National Hispanic Assembly (RNHA). She served on the White House Bi-Partisan Council for Immigration Reform and on the Republican National Committee's Hispanic Advisory Board. Bettina graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Certificate in Latin American Studies/Security Issues. 


George Corton, Spring 2003

George graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and an Executive MBA, both from FIU. During his undergraduate years, George founded the fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi and served in the capacity of Director of Student Lobbying when the university was seeking approval for a Law School and Football program. He currently serves as Associate Vice President for Advancement at FIU where he is helping guide our Next Horizon $750 million capital campaign. Previously, he served as the Senior Director of Development for the School of Business Administration at the University of Miami. George was FIU’s first DC intern and was instrumental in helping shape the program in its early years.



Former Interns

Former DC Interns supporting FIU Football at the FIU v. Maryland Game in 2010 at the University of Maryland.