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D.C. Board members:
Rachel Apfelbaum is a project coordinator with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), where she plans training events nationwide centered around enhancing law enforcement response to sexual assault crimes. Prior to this position, she worked with the IACP to arrange training events focused on strengthening the response to domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking. She also has a background in direct victim services with experience as a court advocate and shelter supervisor working with the victims of domestic violence. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology from James Madison University and her master’s degree in global women’s studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). At NUIG she was a committee member for the Feminist Society.
Jena L. Belinkie
Jena L. Belinkie is a vice president with CBRE, specializing as part of the landlord and tenant representation team in the Washington D.C. offices. Jena provides comprehensive strategic planning and implementation of brokerage services to her clients. Prior to joining CBRE, Jena was a manager of four departments at Macy’s department store in Washington, D.C. She brings over six years of sales and service experience, having worked for Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Store and Tom James Custom Clothiers.
Valerie Hillman Bluestein, a Washington, D.C. native, knows the area inside and out. She was born in Georgetown, grew up in Bethesda, received her bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, and currently resides in Dupont Circle. Valerie spent a decade marketing and event planning for communities in the metropolitan area, before translating those skills into real estate. Valerie is a people person, known for her patience and commitment to excellence. She makes the process as smooth as possible through her attention to detail, perseverance and ability to communicate efficiently. Valerie's expertise doesn't end at closing. She has a passion and eye for design, which helps her clients envision the greatest aesthetic potential for their homes.
Originally from Marietta, Ga., Mollie Bowman came to Washington, D.C. for school and stayed for the politics, the people, and the phenomenal restaurant scene in the city she now loves calling home. Fiercely committed to women's empowerment and the power of community engagement, Mollie is excited to bring her passion for connecting strong women and her experience in branded event management to the YWLN board. Mollie graduated with honors from the George Washington University with joint B.A. in political communication and M.A. in media and strategic communication. Previously an audience engagement and digital communications professional at POLITICO, Mollie recently transitioned to a role at Deloitte as a technology consultant specializing in customer strategy and human centered design.
Andrea Deck is the D.C. director of community engagement with Honeymoon Israel. Andrea joined the Honeymoon Israel team after kicking off her career in the Jewish community with Federations across the world, most recently as the senior associate in community planning and impact with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. She holds a M.S.W. from Columbia University, a M.A. from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College. Andrea loves dancing, knitting, and trying new things!
Ashley Emery is thrilled to serve as president of JWI's Young Women's Leadership Network in D.C., and brings her experience in advocacy and coalition-building to the Network. She works in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's political department as manager of the outreach program. Ashley is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she received a B.A. in both international studies and Spanish, and minored in history.
Maggie Herman lives in Washington, D.C. and works on health care and education policy issues for Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA). Prior to this role, she served as the communication and policy associate at the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an agency that advises the Congress issues affecting the Medicare program. In her free time, she likes to read non-fiction books, spend time outdoors, and explore the D.C. restaurant scene. Maggie is originally from Overland Park, Kansas, and graduated cum laude from Tulane University, where she studied public health and political science.
Shelley Greenspan is a global innovation policy associate at Amazon, where she focuses on external engagements abroad. Previously, she served as a member of Hillary Clinton’s State Department team during her presidential campaign. Shelley has extensive experience on Capitol Hill, covering the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs Committees for three years with AIPAC. Originally from Miami Beach, she graduated cum laude from the University of Florida with degrees in political science and public relations. While in college, she interned at the White House and with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Additionally, she studied abroad with Semester at Sea, circumnavigating the globe in about 100 days. Shelley is an active member of D.C.’s young professional community and is thrilled to be joining the D.C. Network board!
Sydney Rachael Levin-Epstein
From Massachusetts, Sydney Rachael Levin-Epstein moved to D.C. to pursue a degree in political science at George Washington University. She now serves Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) where she focuses on Middle East foreign policy. Sydney's work in politics began with Representative Richard Neal (D-MA) and later in the offices of President Shimon Peres, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Rational360, and the National Conference for Community and Justice. Sydney is currently on the hunt for the best grilled cheese in Washington, please slide all recommendations into her DM.
Originally from Connecticut, Susanna Lustbader is the head of research at Lynch Pinnacle Group, an economic development and consulting firm in Chevy Chase, MD. She has a background in psychology research, neuroscience, and management consulting. She received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied psychology, French, and creative writing (when she wasn't sampling Philadelphia's restaurant scene). In addition to her love of food (especially cheese), Susanna is very passionate about women's health and is excited to help further JWI's mission of ensuring that women have access to comprehensive, quality health services around the country.
Abby has been an active member of JWI for the last 4 years, and is thrilled to be a member of the board this year! She grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, where she was an enjoyed being involved in her temple, eventually serving as the youth group president her senior year. She made her way down south to Nashville, Tennessee to attend Vanderbilt University, where she studied organizational development, business and Spanish. After graduation, she moved to DC and began her career at The Advisory Board. Recently, she has made an exciting job change and is currently a Human Capital Consultant at Deloitte. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring restaurants and activities in DC, traveling, hiking and reading.
Apply here to join the D.C. Network board!
Each board member will serve from February to March of the following year (a full year with one month for transitions) and then have the option to reapply. Board members will be selected by JWI staff.
Each board member will be responsible for chairing at least two events per year.
Each board member will be responsible for outreach and should bring at least two people to each event.
We frequently email to brainstorm, discuss events, organize, and discuss outreach, etc. Each board member must be comfortable with maintaining input on these chains as they are the main form of communication.
Board members are to attend at least 75% of all board events throughout the year.
We will have a board meeting once every month - each board member is expected to attend unless there is an extenuating circumstance.
Each board member will pay a $180 fee in order to be on the YWLN board.
Each board member must be a member of JWI's YWLN and in good standing for the entirety of her term.