WASHINGTON, DC

PARTNERING WITH

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.

WASHINGTON, DC

PARTNERING WITH

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 nearly 800 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.

2023-2024 Leonine Forum applications are now closed.

2023-2024 WASHINGTON

FIRST-YEAR LEONINE FELLOWS

Joseph Albanese
Paragon Health Institute


Joe is a senior policy analyst at Paragon Health Institute, where he specializes in providing research and education on Medicare. He studied international political economy and public policy at Georgetown University. A Boston area native, Joe currently lives in Arlington with his wife Sam, who is also a fellow. In his free time, Joe likes playing music, cooking, and working out.
Samantha Albanese
Placer.ai


Sam has served as a Senior Customer Success Manager with Placer.ai, a location analytics startup, since 2022. She grew up in Sydney, Australia where she completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental management and spatial information science at Macquarie University. Sam married her husband Joe, who is also a fellow, in May in Washington, D.C. When she isn’t working she enjoys spending time with friends and family, working out and watching live music.
John Butler
National Review


Jack Butler is the submissions editor of National Review Online. He is also a 2022–23 Robert Novak Fellow at the Fund for American Studies and a Media Fellow at the Institute for Human Ecology. His writing for National Review and other outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal, the Public Discourse, and Law & Liberty, has touched on Midwestern politics and culture, health and fitness, religion and public life, and more. His primary pastimes involve popular culture and long-distance running. Though Midwestern by temperament and longing, he currently resides in Washington, D.C.
Patrick Butler
Kirkland & Ellis


Patrick Butler is an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Before joining Kirkland, Patrick served as a law clerk to Judge Michael B. Brennan on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Judge James C. Dever III on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Originally from Long Island, New York, Patrick received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, his master's degree from University College Dublin, and his law degree from Duke University School of Law.
Kristina Celeste
Archdiocese of Washington


Kristina is grateful to have been raised in a Catholic home in Pennsylvania and to have the saints Mother Teresa and St. Padre Pio be household names. After graduating with her Bachelor of Arts from Duquesne University, Kristina moved to Washington, D.C., and has served in various legal support roles. Kristina enjoys sacred art, spending time with friends, mentoring young professionals, serving as a Saint Vincent de Paul Society volunteer, and leading the Basilica of St. Mary's young adult women ministry.
Frank Chang
Consovoy McCarthy PLLC


Frank Chang is an attorney at Consovoy McCarthy PLLC where he focuses on constitutional and regulatory litigation. He previously worked at Alliance Defending Freedom where he litigated religious liberty cases. He is a former law clerk to Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Judge Henry F. Floyd of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He served as a law clerk to Senator Ted Cruz on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary during Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing and worked on the House Select Committee on Benghazi. He is a graduate of the Penn State University and the George Washington University Law School. He also served in the Army National Guard for 11 years, ultimately obtaining the rank of Captain.
Thomas Choate
George Washington University


Thomas Choate is Teaching Assistant Professor of Strategic Management & Public Policy at the George Washington School of Business. His courses combine political strategy, moral philosophy, and economic analysis to prepare students for the complex social challenges facing business leaders. His scholarship primarily explores deleterious effects of political polarization on policymaking institutions in the United States. Previously, Thomas was a postdoctoral researcher in political science at Duke. He completed a BA in Economics and Mathematics at Vanderbilt and a PhD in Business Administration at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Thomas is active in his parish, St. Charles Borromeo.
Kelsey Curtis
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati


Kelsey Curtis is a litigation associate in the Washington, D.C., office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. She is part of the Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation and the Internet Strategy and Litigation groups. She litigates in various subject matter areas, primarily before the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals. Prior to joining the firm, Kelsey clerked for Judge Andrew Brasher on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. She also worked as the Assistant Solicitor General for the State of Alabama, where she litigated before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Second and Eleventh Circuits, and various Alabama courts as well as argued twice before the Eleventh Circuit.
Elise Daniel
Bellwether Communications


Elise Daniel is a writer and head of publishing at Bellwether Communications, a company she co-founded in 2017. She has helped her clients get published in Newsweek, Forbes, Fox News, National Review, ETWN, Ignatius Press, and more. She also writes Catholic children's books, manages her husband's electrical company, Daniel Electric, and homeschools her three young children in Purcellville, Virginia.
Amanda Fischer
CRC Advisors


Amanda Fischer is an Account Executive with a public affairs firm, CRC Advisors, where she represents a wide range of clients. A recent graduate from the University of Notre Dame with a Master of Science in Management and an undergraduate degree in Communications from Saint Mary’s College, she previously worked in marketing communications for the Thomistic Institute and taught elementary school for a few years in the South Bronx, NY, and Ann Arbor, MI. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts, hiking, cycling, and making her way through her ever-growing collection of books.
Gabriella Forte
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Gabriella Forte works at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s Office on Women’s Health. Prior to HHS, she worked with a nonprofit to develop online medical school electives approved through Georgetown University School of Medicine as well as continuing medical education (CME) programs. She has supported the prosecution of child exploitation cases at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and taught 5th grade. Originally from Florida, Gabriella graduated from Ave Maria University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minors in Philosophy and Theology.
Michael Frigon
Office of Naval Intelligence


Michael Frigon serves as a civilian analyst in the U.S. Department of Defense, providing support to warfighters and policymakers across the national security enterprise. Before entering government service, he worked as an analyst in the financial services industry. He holds a master’s degree in Statecraft and National Security Affairs from the Institute of World Politics and a bachelor’s degree in History from Westmont College. Although born and raised in California, Michael currently resides in Virginia with his expectant wife, Thalita.
Don Giolzetti
U.S. Chamber of Commerce


Don Giolzetti is a Director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce China Center. Prior to moving to the nation’s capital, Don lived, studied, and worked in China for nine years. During this time, he worked in a variety of industries, from communications to journalism. Originally from San Diego, Don studied journalism at California State University, Chico and earned a Master of Laws in International Relations (taught in Chinese) from Fudan University. In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, photography, playing the ukulele, and being an uncle. Don is a parishioner at Immaculate Conception, where he also attends RCIA classes.
Shannon Gramley
Georgetown University


Shannon is a student at Georgetown University pursuing a JD/MBA. Prior to attending Georgetown, Shannon held roles in the White House Counsel’s Office, the Supreme Court, and the Department of Justice. She received her BA from the University of Louisville where she played on the women’s golf team. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she is the second oldest of six children and spends her spare time with her family, cooking, skiing, and traveling.
Betsy Hailstone
Arlington County Schools


Betsy grew up in Franklin, TN and is a graduate of the University of Tennessee. In 2011, she discovered her passion for teaching while teaching grades 7-12 in Yetebon, Ethiopia. Upon her return to the States, she was accepted into the Mississippi Teacher Corps earning a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. In 2016, she moved to D.C. first working at a charter school and then at Bishop McNamara High School in Maryland. She obtained her Reading Specialist degree and moved to Arlington County Schools. She currently works at an elementary school in Arlington developing and implementing reading curriculum as a literacy coach. She lives with her husband, Mitch, and three children, Mary, James, and Jonathan in Annandale, VA.