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Clinton School Alumni: Where are they now?

David Morrissey

Inaugural class graduate David Morrissey (2006) is the executive director of the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) in Washington, D.C., where he leads efforts to promote disability perspectives related to U.S. foreign policy. Morrissey oversees disability education, administration and advocacy programs, such as recently leading a campaign calling on the United States to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. His experiences have led to his working and communicating with the U.S. Senate, federal agencies, advocates and international development professionals, among others.

Morrissey says his Clinton School training was instrumental in positioning his career for a job with USICD and preparing him for his multi-faceted work. After writing and publishing a disability policy report for his Clinton School international project in Vietnam, Morrissey earned a post-graduate fellowship with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) in Washington. He was subsequently hired fulltime by AUCD before taking the helm at USICD.

Lindsey Clark

After completing her final Clinton School Capstone project with the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity, Ohio native Lindsey Clark (2009) was hired fulltime by the center as a research assistant.

In addition to helping coordinate nationwide communication and programming for the obesity center, Clark works closely with the Arkansas state legislature and health policy advocates to improve health and healthcare in the state.

Clark says her job provides a wide array of experiences in the healthcare arena and credits her Clinton School experience for preparing her to thrive in a “real-world” setting that often requires her to “shift focus and be able to deliver on short notice.”

Sanford Johnson

After his Clinton School graduation, Sanford Johnson (2009) decided to return home to Mississippi to help start a nonprofit organization dedicated to education reform, health and wellness, economic development and civil rights issues.

As deputy director of Mississippi First, Johnson works to shape state policy through research and advocacy efforts. Johnson regularly publishes policy papers on pending legislation and visits with Mississippi lawmakers to discuss state policy.

Under his leadership, Mississippi First has also created a service learning curriculum for high school students. Johnson says his Clinton School experience helped him gain the knowledge and skills to take back to his home state and tackle big problems.

John Spears (2006), a graduate of the Clinton School’s inaugural class, works as a program manager for the William J. Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, an economic development, health and nutrition initiative in Bogota, Columbia.

Spears works to help those who have been displaced by the ongoing rural violence in Columbia. He has helped develop a spice business involving 150 Afro-Columbian women in the troubled Choco region, facilitated medical missions to remote areas and worked to link large hotels with local food suppliers, among other projects.

Spears credits his Clinton School experience with providing a connection to the Clinton Foundation and for helping him understand the principles and complexities of working in rural development.

Clinton School graduate Hunter Riley (2009) of North Little Rock, Ark., parlayed his final Clinton School Capstone project into a job with the Pat Tillman Foundation in Tempe, Ariz. Founded by the friends and family of the late Arizona Cardinals football star turned Army Ranger, the foundation supports veterans and their families and promotes leadership development and scholarship among college students.

As director of programs for the foundation, Riley oversees a number of leadership and scholarship programs, including the Tillman Military Scholars program and the Tillman Scholars program at Arizona State University. Riley was introduced to the Tillman Foundation when Marie Tillman, Pat Tillman’s wife, visited the Clinton School for a public program. “Beyond connecting me with this opportunity, my Clinton School experience gave me the confidence and experience to actually perform exceptionally in my current role,” Riley says.

Clinton School graduate and California native Ryan Lewis (2009) is operations manager for 826 National, a nonprofit tutoring, writing and publishing organization dedicated to helping 6- to 18-year-olds enhance their writing skills.

Started by renowned writer Dave Eggers (What is the What), 826 National works mostly with inner-city children and believes that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

Lewis earned a job offer from 826 National after completing his final Clinton School Capstone project with its San Francisco chapter. Now, Lewis works on programming and evaluation with all six 826 National chapters in San Francisco, New York, L.A., Chicago, Seattle, Boston and Michigan. Lewis says his Clinton School experience helps him deal with practical situations he faces every day.

Idonia Trotter

Idonia Trotter (2009) is the executive director of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, a public agency dedicated to improving access to quality health care for all Arkansans. After joining the commission in July 2009, Trotter engineered a five-year plan to redirect commission resources and refocus efforts to ensure that Arkansans, regardless of ethnicity, have equal access to quality, affordable health care.

A mother of three, Trotter was the first student to complete the concurrent MPS/JD program with the Clinton School and the UALR Bowen School of Law, and she credits her experience in the unique program for preparing her for a career in state government.

“There is no doubt in my mind that this degree prepared me to do great work in public service throughout the state of Arkansas and beyond,” Trotter says.

Rina Meutia

A survivor of the 2004 Asian Tsunami, Rina Meutia (2008) of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, attended the Clinton School through the Fulbright program as a Bush-Clinton Fellow. With the tsunami and Indonesia’s 28-year civil war before it, Meutia grew up surrounded by conflict and determined to dedicate her life to public service.

At age 19, she began working for the United Nations in Aceh, assisting humanitarian efforts surrounding the war. "Because I lived in that kind of condition, it's easy to get into that kind of work," she says.

The Clinton School helped Muetia further that work. While at the school, she completed her final Capstone project with the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery in Washington, D.C. After graduation, she was hired by the World Bank to work on disaster relief fulltime.