Wilder School alumni profiles: A changemakers’ year in review
The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth is ranked No. 35 in the nation among public affairs graduate schools and No. 1 in Virginia. Our alumni (10,000 strong) open doors to the Wilder School network at Fortune 500 companies, government agency, advocacy groups and public interest firms.
Our graduates go on to amazing things and we’re proud to share their accomplishments. Here are our top alumni stories of 2022: (click on the links in bold to learn more)
Dhara Minesh Amin, a managing consultant with Guidehouse is one of two Wilder School alumni recognized as VCU 10 under 10 honorees. The awards program recognizes the noteworthy and distinctive achievements made by alumni who earned their first VCU degree within the past 10 years.
Whitney Brown takes the leap from City of Richmond police officer to chief of staff and council liaison for Richmond City Councilmember Andreas Addison. The role fills her desire to serve and help improve the lives of people in her community.
Jovan Burton, leader of the nonprofit Partnership for Housing Affordability keeps housing policies and programs at top of mind. The organization works to reduce Richmond’s eviction rate and find equitable and inclusive access to housing.
Joe Damico is deputy director at the Virginia Department of General Services and oversees a diverse list of projects for the Commonwealth. His work to transform the aesthetics of Virginia’s historic Capital Square has received national recognition.
Leah Fremouw finds success building organizations from the ground up. Her latest venture is as CEO of Bridging Virginia which provides low-interest, long-dated loans to Richmond-area small businesses.
Darrion R. Holloway, associate attorney at Shane Smith Law, is one of two Wilder School alumni recognized as VCU 10 under 10 honorees. The awards program recognizes the noteworthy and distinctive achievements made by alumni who earned their first VCU degree within the past 10 years.
LaQuan Hylton is co-founder, president, and principal broker of Hylton & Company. This family-owned company is rehabilitating formerly blighted properties to offer access to high-quality affordable housing to people in Richmond and Hampton Roads.
Steven Keener is co-founder and director of the Center for Crime, Equity, and Justice Research and Policy at Christopher Newport University. The program brings together students and faculty with local and state leaders and community activists to conduct research and produce policy recommendations for the Hampton Roads region.
D. Pulane Lucas blazes a trail for future policy leaders through her nonprofit Policy Pathways, Inc. It offers educational programs to students in the Richmond-area who have an interest in policy-related studies. Lucas is committed to empowering youth, particularly those from marginalized communities, with the tools to take on complex policy issues.
Sesha Joi Moon puts her Wilder School education on display in the U.S. Capitol as she leads the U.S. House of Representatives’ Office of Diversity and Inclusion. She credits student leadership opportunities at VCU as one of the ways she prepared for a career as an advocate for underserved communities.
Leander “Lee” Pambid, director of community development for the Town of Farmville, Va., grows communities through intentional planning. From downtown revitalization to historic preservation and working directly with the public on building plans, every day brings something different.