In monthly sessions held at the Catholic Information Center, Leonine Fellows are led in discussion by Catholic thought leaders from around the country to grapple with some of the most important questions at the intersection of faith and public life.



In monthly sessions held at the Catholic Information Center, Leonine Fellows are led in discussion by Catholic thought leaders from around the country to grapple with some of the most important questions at the intersection of faith and public life.

Join over 400+ Leonine Fellows across the country 

Become part of a larger community of leaders committed to integrating the teachings of the Church within their professional and civic lives.

Applications are now closed.  Applications for the 2021-2022 cohort will open late Spring 2021.

2020-2021 WASHINGTON


Patrick Abbott
Department of Defense

Patrick lives in the Navy Yard neighborhood with his wife, a Leonine alum, Katherine. He worships at St Vincent de Paul parish is dedicated to Franciscan spirituality and Divine Mercy. Favorite hobbies include studying history, walking, and hiking. He has served in Iraq and Afghanistan and prays for peace throughout the world.
Mary Beecher
Napa Legal Institute

Maggie serves as Napa Legal's Research Fellow and Staff Attorney. Prior to her current role, Maggie was an associate attorney at a Chicago-based law firm serving a wide range of nonprofit organizations and other clients. Maggie received CALI awards for her work in Constitutional Law and Administrative Law while studying at Chicago Kent Law School and holds an undergraduate degree with honors in Finance and Business from Texas A&M University. She also spent one semester of law school at the University of Navarre, studying Spanish and European law. Maggie is the oldest of seven children and loves working with students. She is a volunteer at Metro Achievement Center and also served as an adult ESL instructor at St. Matthew's Cathedral. In her free time, Maggie enjoys exploring Virginia's beautiful scenery and historic places.
Abby Bird
United States Agency for Global Media

Abby is Special Assistant and Director of Executive Office Operations at the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM). In this role, she manages the front office for the CEO and oversees special projects. Prior to joining USAGM, she worked in outreach and leadership development at the Heritage Foundation and in recruitment at the University of Dallas. Abby graduated from the University of Dallas with a BA in Political Philosophy.
Charles Breeze
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Charles Breeze is a Research Scholar at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Before joining NIH, Charles received his Ph.D. in computational epigenetics and genomics from University College London. During his career he has worked for leading institutions including the Altius Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Seattle, the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL/University of Cambridge), and the University of Oxford.
Brigid Calhoun
US Army

Brigid Calhoun is a Major in the U.S. Army and parishioner at the Basilica of St. Mary in Old Town Alexandria. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Policy Management at Georgetown University as part of the Army’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Internship Program. She graduated with honors from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2011, where she was co-captain of the women’s lacrosse team. MAJ Calhoun has deployed twice to Afghanistan: first with 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and then with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). She served in the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) in Vicenza, Italy, for four years. Brigid has worked with numerous NATO allies and partners across Europe and the Middle East. She has been published in The Strategy Bridge, Infantry Magazine, and Armor Magazine. Brigid volunteers weekly at the MaRiH Center in Alexandria. Outside of work, Brigid enjoys spending time with her two nephews, cycling, and cooking.
John Cannon

John Cannon is the founder of SENT, a social venture that fuels the next generation of Catholic leaders to address today's pressing human and spiritual needs. Prior to SENT, John was a Policy Advisor to the Governor of Alabama, an investment banking Associate at Wells Fargo, and founded a boutique management consulting firm where he advised corporate and NGO clients on growth strategy. After “God shook his world”, he lived in Carmelite monasteries in prayer and ministry before discerning a call to serve Catholic entrepreneurs. John received a BA and BBA from the University of Notre Dame, an MSc in Politics & International Relations from Oxford University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MA in Philosophy from Mount Angel Seminary and an MA in Theology from Franciscan University Steubenville. He spent a year researching 50 renewal leaders in Church history to identify their common characteristics, about which he hopes to share through his work and writing.
Harrison Carmody
United States Secret Service
Paola Castillo

Paola Castillo is an Advisory consultant at Deloitte, assisting the Bureau of Prisons with financial reporting and compliance. Prior to BOP, Paola worked for the Veterans Affairs Administration in different capacities, including analyzing internal controls for its accounting system modernization efforts. In her free time, Paola likes to overwhelm her schedule with volunteering, teaching everyone about the benefits of clean skincare products/make-up, and trying new restaurants with her fiancé. Born in Lima, Peru and raised in Germantown, Maryland, Paola crossed state lines to obtain her B.S in Commerce (concentrations in accounting and IT) from the University of Virginia. Paola has worked in both public and private tax accounting and is a certified public accountant.
Laura Cermak
Saffron Ventures

Laura Cermak is an Associate at Atlantis, Beacon, and Lex, managing business processes for a variety of education abroad programs. She grew up in the D.C. area and is a parishioner of St. John the Beloved in McLean. With the guidance of the DC Accelerator, she partnered with a Christian fashion designer in 2019 to found True Style Inc. – a nonprofit model academy and fashion show for teenage girls. On the side, she enjoys tutoring high school Latin and consulting for an autism therapy center. She graduated valedictorian from Christendom College with a major in political science and a double minor in philosophy and classics. Her weekends are spent relaxing with family, singing in the schola at her parish, leading philosophy and theology reading groups, and relishing the fellowship of seminars and parliamentary debates.
Isaiah Contu

Isaiah dedicates himself to developing a culture that promotes healthy families. As Special Assistant to the President at Communio, he maintains the database and organizes the president’s day-to-day schedule to help the team stay focused on its goals. By researching new areas for Communio’s growth, he assists in the organization’s strategic planning and development process. He also furthers the mission by cultivating relationships with leaders who want to bring Communio’s platform to their community. Isaiah lives in Arlington with his wife and enjoys playing board games in his free time.
Annie Croslow
Office of White House Counsel
Christina Curtis

Chrissy Curtis was born and raised in Western Massachusetts, and hopes someday she will find herself living there once again. After completing her Bachelors Degree in Studio Art at Harvard University, Chrissy went on to acquire her Master of Fine Arts in Scenic Painting for Theatre at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Chrissy now paints scenery as a freelance artist for theaters and universities in the DC area, including the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, the Wolf Trap Opera Company, and the University of Maryland. Chrissy moved to Alexandria two years ago with her husband, who is stationed in the area as a naval officer. The couple recently adopted their first child, Fern. When she's not painting professionally, you can find Chrissy quilting, baking, or painting just for pleasure.
Christopher Curtis
United States Navy

Christopher "CJ" Curtis is a naval officer who currently works with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Quantico, Virginia. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University in Middle Eastern Studies, which proved invaluable in finding good cuisine during some of his previous military deployments. He is pursuing a Master's in Science and Technology Intelligence with a focus upon cybersecurity from the National Intelligence University. CJ is an obsessive-compulsive San Diego Padres baseball fan who also enjoys most outdoor activities, reading, and discussing philosophy. He especially loves spending time with his wife, Chrissy, and his newborn son Fern.
Katie Devlin
U.S. House of Representatives

Katie Devlin is originally from California. She is a Senior Legislative Assistant at the U.S. House of Representatives, where she focuses on Social Issues, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Healthcare policy. She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where she majored in economics and minored in History and the History of Art and Architecture. Passionate about the outdoors, Katie has canoed over 100 miles in Alaska, gone four-wheeling in Utah, backpacked in California, and is always looking forward to more adventures.
Thomas J. Fagan
Costco Wholesale

Thomas grew up in Chevy Chase MD, attended The Heights School and graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Dallas. After working as a financial advisor for several years he transferred to Costco Wholesale where he is now a supervisor at a location near Baltimore. Thomas follows sports, completed his first marathon last year and is now struggling to learn tennis. He is engaged to be married late 2020.
Laura Falcon
The Heritage Foundation

Laura is the communications manager for national media at the Heritage Foundation where she oversees the growth of Heritage’s voice on national broadcast programs. A native of the DC area, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at the University of Mary Washington. She got her start in politics working at the Leadership Institute first as a field representative in Pennsylvania and then as the program coordinator for Campus Reform. In 2016, she was selected as a Red Alert Politics’ “30 Under 30” which highlights young, right-of-center leaders who are making an exceptional impact on their campuses or in their communities. She currently lives in Arlington, Virginia.
Alvaro Franco
World Bank

Alvaro was born in Madrid, Spain, where he developed an interest in Science, Technology, and Space. He received a BSc in Aerospace Engineering at the Technical University of Madrid. After a year at the University of Glasgow, he returned to Madrid and obtained an MSc in Aeronautical Engineering and an MBA. He decided to focus on the public sector, economics, and international development, first as a Multilateral Analyst at the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC, and currently as an Analyst at the World Bank.
Rebecca Hadley
Archdiocese of Washington

Becca Hadley is a youth minister at Our Lady of Mercy in Potomac, Maryland. She considers both Buffalo, New York and Charlottesville, Virginia her hometowns and is an alumna of the University of Virginia where she earned a BA in Bioethics and Religious Studies in 2014. She considers the study of John Paul II's Theology of the Body in college a pivotal experience in her reversion to the faith, as well as her trip to Poland for World Youth Day in 2016. After college graduation, Becca served for two years as a missionary with FOCUS (The Fellowship of Catholic University Students) and moved to DC to serve at the George Washington University. In high school, she was the youngest Emergency Medical Technician in Virginia. You can often find her with a cup of coffee and a Wendell Berry novel. She lives in Rockville with her husband, Tim, and their three kids: Grace, Sam, and Nora.
Annalisa Hamel-Smith
Adventist Healthcare

Annalisa was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. She originally moved to the US in 2008 to pursue her goals of becoming a physical therapist. She graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with both her undergraduate degree in Rehabilitation Science and her doctorate in Physical Therapy. Since graduating, she has worked as a physical therapist in various settings, both in the States and back at home in Trinidad. She moved to the DC area in September 2019 and currently works as a physical therapist at Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation in the inpatient setting. She enjoys seeing her patients get stronger everyday, and has a special interest in working with patients with neurological conditions, such as stroke and brain injury.
Colleen Harmon
The Heritage Foundation

Colleen Harmon graduated from Christendom College with a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature and a minor in political theory. Before joining The Heritage Foundation as the Intern Program Manager, she was the Director of Career Development at her alma mater, and an Executive Assistant/Scheduler to a Member of Congress from Pennsylvania. She is pursuing a Master’s degree in Government at Hillsdale College. She resides in Washington, D.C.
Cody Inman
Department of Housing & Urban Development
Ellen Kane
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Ellen Kane is the fifth of eleven children born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She received her BS in Nursing at Resurrection University. After working on a cardiac unit for two years in Chicago she followed her sister and her sister's family to Washington D.C. She worked in the Emergency Department at Sibley Memorial Hospital in NW D.C for two years. She joined her then-boyfriend, Nicholas Schilling, in Pittsburgh where she worked for UPMC as a SWAT Nurse. Nicholas, another Leonine fellow, and Ellen were married in September and moved to Chevy Chase, MD.
Krista Keil
Youth Leadership Foundation

A native of Colorado, Krista moved to Washington D.C. in 2018. Krista has spent the last ten years working with youth and vulnerable populations in the non-profit sector in various capacities, particularly within the field of mental health. Additionally, Krista has a background in international and domestic mission-based work, event coordination, and is passionate about advocating for social justice causes. Krista graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with a specialization in traumatology, at Divine Mercy University. Krista currently works at the Youth Leadership Foundation as their Character Content Director. Krista is a lover of the outdoors, spontaneous adventures, and good cooking!
Jane Kennedy
Reform Alliance

Jane Kennedy was born in Australia, raised in California and is now thrilled to call DC home. She works on the Advocacy team at Reform Alliance, a criminal justice non-profit working to change hearts, minds, and laws around supervision. Previously, she worked with the internship, speechwriting, and events teams in the White House and served on the marketing team at Glassdoor. After launching a ministry for professional Catholic women in San Francisco, Jane founded The SundayMonday, a site designed to equip and empower women to be bold in faith, work, and life. Jane serves on the FOCUS Alumni Council, coaches a Girls on the Run team, and is happiest when by the water.
Madeline Lear

Madeline is a Catholic convert from Los Angeles, CA, and Jesus is a gift she never expected. After growing up in a non-religious household, Madeline fell in love with the faith while studying the history of American Catholic nuns and Catholic mysticism in college. Madeline serves at the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, which protects fundamental rights of nondiscrimination, conscience, religious freedom, and health information privacy. Prior to joining HHS, Madeline worked as a policy advisor at the U.S. House of Representatives. Madeline earned her degree from Harvard University, where she studied history and documentary filmmaking. She sings in her church choir.
William Long
Numinar Analytics

Will is the Founder and CEO of Numinar Analytics, a political campaign tech startup building an AI-powered targeting and omni-channel voter contact system to win elections. After coding the initial platform from his college dorm, he went on to raise $1 million in funding, sign over 70 campaigns across the country from US Senate to city council. Before Numinar, he spent extensive time in Silicon Valley first building Machine Vision models for Amazon's Go stores and then at Palantir helping win their first USDA and $800M DCGS-A Army contracts. A recent graduate of Harvard, he studied one of the first Joint Concentrations in Computer Science and Government, writing a Hoopes prize-winning, summa cum laude senior thesis on the application of Hobbes's political philosophy to problems of cooperation in Artificial Intelligence. In his spare time, he enjoys debating Catholic social teaching, rooting for Tottenham Hotspurs, and extolling the virtues of his home state of Oklahoma.