Georgetown students stand with Nancy Pelosi and Georgetown President John J. DeGioia
Category: Events

Title: Georgetown Celebrates 450+ Alumni Serving in U.S. Congress at Hoyas on the Hill Event

“We come to celebrate the commitment that is embodied here in the lives of those who serve our nation here on Capitol Hill,” Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said in his remarks. “What you embody is the depth of that commitment to the common good. It goes back to the very origin of the tradition which we try to keep alive in our community — a Jesuit tradition of education. I want to thank you for your service, for your dedication, for your commitment to our nation and also to Georgetown.”

Learn more about a few of the Hoyas serving on the Hill and how their Georgetown experience prepared them for a Congressional career.

‘We’re Hoyas All the Way’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wears pearls and a blazer while speaking from behind a podium
Nancy Pelosi is the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. She received an honorary degree from the university in 2002 and is the parent of three Hoya graduates. Her husband, Paul Pelosi (SFS’62), established the Paul F. Pelosi Scholars Initiative at Georgetown to help prepare sophomores and juniors in the Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) for careers in public service.

“I was at a funeral today, and my grandson was there who went to Georgetown. He said, ‘You really are a Georgetown family.’ I said, ‘Yeah, we’re Hoyas all the way.’

We’re proud that my husband, loving Georgetown as he does, has established the Paul Pelosi Scholarship Initiative to support students at Georgetown. So we’re all doing everything we can for our own children and for other children.

Here we are again after COVID-19, back together, proud of our Hoya connection — whether we are staff, whether we are members, whether we are family — and honored by the presence of President John DeGioia and Dean Hellman and each and every one of you. This is a cause for celebration — our Hoya connection — and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

‘I’m Ahead of the Game’

Majeda Abu-Alghanam wears a white blouse in front of signs with headshots of Hoyas who served in Congress
Majeda Abu-Alghanam (G’21) graduated with a master of science in management from the McDonough School of Business. She is a legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas).

“Once I went to the McDonough School, it helped broaden my horizon and helped me understand that politics and policy are influenced by many other sectors nationally and globally.

I focus on energy and trade policy issues. In my capstone class at Georgetown, we learned about how new legislation would impact battery storage and energy transfer. Today, I’m learning about those same concepts I was exposed to a year ago. So I’m ahead of the game.

That’s why I appreciate the business perspective and Georgetown’s global perspective, because I wouldn’t have been able to apply that and advise my congressman otherwise.”

In the Interview Hot Seat

Young man wears glasses and a blazer with a light blue collared shirt
Brandon Ramsay (G’21) received his master’s in security studies from SFS in 2021. He is now a foreign policy legislative correspondent for Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware).

“One class in particular was directly helpful in getting me to where I am now. Every week we alternated between writing one-page memos, clear and concise, and giving oral briefings on those memos. The whole point was to come away with skills you can immediately use in real life.

When I had my interview with the senator [Chris Coons], he asked me these huge foreign policy questions. I needed to be clear and concise in how I answered, and I relied on conversations I had with my Georgetown professors and what I had learned in my courses.

I wouldn’t have been able to engage in that level of discussion with a senator who is briefed on classified information if I hadn’t had that coursework and that exposure.”

‘You Have To Show the Other Interns Up’

Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett wears a pink dress and bandage on her arm speaks into a microphone
Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (SFS’88) is a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her son is in his second year at Georgetown.

“The students we have had from Georgetown have just been phenomenal. The range of thought, the diligence with which they work, their passion for public service is unmatched. And Georgetown has given me not just students and staff to work with, they have given me a family.

So I want to thank Georgetown for everything it’s done, to all the members that have been supported by Georgetown, and for you students who are looking for internships — we’re always looking for other Georgetown people. We always whisper to them, ‘You know you have to show the interns up.’”

‘I’m So Proud To Be a Georgetown Graduate’

Rep. Steny Hoyer wears a suit and yellow tie and laughs with two others
Rep. Steny Hoyer (L’66) has represented Maryland’s 5th congressional district since 1981.

“There are 28 of us members who went to Georgetown. I went to the Law School. I was terrified the first year I was there, but then everybody was.

I’m so proud to be a Georgetown graduate, and I hope all of you are as proud as I am. I also sell hard. I tell people Georgetown is a wonderful place to go to school.

We have not only members but a lot of staffers who went to Georgetown. I’m very proud of that fact.”

‘Be True to Your Georgetown Core’

Young woman wears a light blue floral top and glasses
Toria Sullivan (NHS’19) is a staff assistant and press aide for the House Committee on Veteran Affairs.

“I originally went to Georgetown thinking I wanted to go to medical school. By the end of my human sciences major, I found myself in government classes half the time. I knew government was more what I wanted to do. Even when I was nonstop pre-med in organic chemistry, I could still go to the speakers, the events, talk to friends who were in government or SFS — it’s the osmotic learning you get just from being there.

After graduation, I hopped on my hometown mayor’s Iowa caucus campaign, and have been in political government since. So much of impacting other people and why we actually do this work comes from your gut feelings and Jesuit values and how to really execute those. It’s very much being true to your core. Being true to your Georgetown core.”

‘There Is a Lot for Each of Us To Do’

Sen. Mazie Hirono wears a pink blazer and speaks into a microphone
Mazie Hirono (L’78) has served as a U.S. senator from Hawaii since 2013.

“A Chinese proverb says ‘May you live in interesting times.’ We are definitely living in interesting times. …

My belief is that one person can’t make a difference, so all the people can make a difference. I do thank Georgetown for its focus on service. Now more than ever, that is needed.

Keep up the good work everybody. Aloha.”