Meet the staff who run the White House Fellows program.
Jennifer Yeager Kaplan, Director
Jennifer Yeager Kaplan was appointed Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships by President Barack Obama in May 2014. Founded in 1964 by President Lyndon Johnson, the White House Fellowship is one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. As Director, Ms. Kaplan is responsible for administering all aspects of this uniquely non-partisan program, the mission of which is to provide promising young leaders first hand exposure to the federal government and to increase their participation in national affairs.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Kaplan was Vice President for Corporate Engagement and Program Officer for the 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative at Goldman Sachs. From 2009 to 2011, she served in the White House as Deputy Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls and as Special Assistant to the Director in the Office of Public Engagement. She also worked in the Personnel Department of the Obama-Biden Transition Project. Previously, Ms. Kaplan was the Tri-State Finance Director for Obama for America from 2007 to 2008, and Co-National Finance Director of Hopefund from 2005 to 2007. In 2004, she was Co-National Finance Director of Obama for Illinois. Ms. Kaplan received a B.S. in Business Administration from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Ashley E. Keenan, Deputy Director
Ashley Keenan serves as the Deputy Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. In this capacity, she supports the Director by providing staff leadership, educational and leadership curriculum, and implementation of the White House Fellows program. Previously serving as the Associate Director for the program, she focused on outreach, recruitment, selection and the placement of Fellows. Prior to this, she served as Staff Assistant in the Office of Presidential Personnel at the White House, where she worked primarily with federal agencies, boards, and commissions focused on domestic policy. Before her time at the White House, Ashley was an Education Facilitator for the Human Rights Education Service Corps, a program of Amnesty International. In this role, she worked to promote human rights issue awareness through classroom education and critical thinking exercises in local high schools. Prior to this, she worked as an Inside Sales Account Manager at Bluewolf (now Mondo), a firm focused on helping clients drive business by providing access to technology and digital marketing resources. Ashley received a B.S. from the University of Maryland, where she held leadership roles in organizations including the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and interned at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Andy McGavern, Associate Director
Andy McGavern serves as the Associate Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, where he previously served as the Special Assistant to the Director. Prior to these roles, Andy served at the White House as Presidential Personnel Associate in the Office of Presidential Personnel and as a White House Intern in the Office of Management and Administration. Andy previously served as Regional Program Fellow at the Office of Governor Deval Patrick, Intern to the Director of Commitments at the Clinton Global Initiative, Public Policy Associate at the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, and Legal Assistant at Curran and Berger Immigration Law Offices. He began his public service career as Legislative Intern at the Massachusetts House of Representatives and as a volunteer and intern at the Boston Museum of Science. Andy received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he was a member of the Commonwealth Honors College and worked as a program assistant at the university’s LGBT resource center.
Kathy Greene, Administrative Officer
Kathy Greene serves as the Administrative Officer for the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Prior to this position, she was with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where she was a Management Analyst facilitating the CDC Evaluation Fellowship. Prior to working at CDC, Kathy worked for the Department of the Army as a Protocol Specialist. Her responsibilities included handling travel and itineraries for high-level military and civilian dignitaries, as well as providing policy, guidance, and training to headquarters staff and subordinate organizations. She is a Retired Officer with the U.S. Army and served in numerous fields to include logistics, personnel, and training. Kathy graduated Cum Laude from Saint Leo University where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Human Resources Management. She also has a Master of Science in Human Resources Administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Public Administration from Strayer University where she is a member of the Golden Key International Honour and Alpha Chi National Honor Societies.
Yazmeane Watson, Special Assistant
Yazmeane Watson serves as the Special Assistant to the Director of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships. Prior to this role, Yazmeane served as a White House Intern in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. In this capacity, she supported staff through administrative duties and event management. Before joining the White House, Yazmeane served as a Legislative Intern in the United States Senate through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Yazmeane received her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and African American Studies from the University of Florida.