Hagar Hajjar Chemali ’99
Hagar is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of strategic communications group Greenwich Media Strategies, LLC. She is also a TV commentator and writer on national security. Prior to launching her company, Hagar was Director of Communications and Spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and for Ambassador Samantha Power, where she directed all strategic and media communications, public messaging, and public diplomacy for the Mission. She was also Spokesperson for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the U.S. Department of the Treasury where she handled all communications and public affairs related to sanctions policy, illicit finance, and enforcement actions.
From 2010-2012, Hagar was Director for Syria and Lebanon at the National Security Council, where she advised on and coordinated the implementation of U.S. policy toward Syria and Lebanon. Hagar also worked at the Treasury Department as a Middle East Policy Advisor in the office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes.
She has a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and her Bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University’s Barnard College. She is a term member on of the Council on Foreign Relations, a founder and director of the Serve America Movement, and also sits on the Greenwich Academy Board of Trustees.
Allie Brandenburger ’05
Allie is Co-founder & CEO of TheBridge, a start-up company which translates between tech, policy and politics and provides a unique forum for productive, nonpartisan dialogue increasing understanding and collaboration between innovators and policy makers. She has worked with some of the most innovative tech companies including SpaceX and Google. Allie helped start and advised the Retail ISAC. Her political experience includes serving as a spokesperson, deputy communications director, deputy press secretary for two presidential campaigns (2016 & 2012), gubernatorial race (2010) and communications director for a US Congressman on Capitol Hill. Allie’s experience also includes issue advocacy, having worked in cyber security, data privacy and e-commerce issues at trade associations and national political committees. Allie graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in Communications and Psychology.
Ashe McGovern ’04
Ashe McGovern, J.D. (they, them, theirs) is the Senior LGBTQ Policy Advisor in the NYC Mayor’s Office and Director of the NYC Unity Project, the Administration’s citywide initiative to support and empower LGBTQ young people through innovative policy and program change. Previously, Ashe worked as the Legislative and Policy Director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project, a legal and policy think tank housed in the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School and as LGBTQ Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, DC, where their work focused on developing federal policy solutions to address LGBTQ poverty and criminalization. After law school, Ashe worked as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at New York Legal Assistance Group, where they launched the LGBTQ Health and Economic Justice Initiative to provide free legal services to low-income LGBTQ communities in New York City.
Ashe received their B.A. magna cum laude from Cornell University and their J.D. from Cornell Law School, where they received the Freeman Award for Civil and Human Rights. Ashe’s work has been featured in The Nation, Bloomberg Law, NPR, Slate, Wired, and the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, among other publications.
Caroline Simmons ’04:
Caroline Simmons is the State Representative for Stamford’s 144th district. She is the youngest female legislator in the state. Elected to the role in 2014, she was the only Democrat to beat an incumbent Republican that year. She won reelection in 2016, and again in 2018. Caroline serves as Chairwoman of the Commerce Committee for the Connecticut State Legislature. She also serves on the Public Safety and Higher Education & Advancement Committees.
Previously, Caroline served as Director of Special Projects in the Counterterrorism Coordinator’s Office at the US Department of Homeland Security, and for the US Department of State in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. She also worked with the Womens Business Development Council in Stamford. Caroline has a BA from Harvard and a Masters in Middle East Studies from George Washington University.