Admiral James J Carey Foundation

Washington Scholars Men of Accomplishment

 Men of Accomplishment Newsletter: Winter 2011   

Welcome to the second edition of the Admiral James J Carey Foundation Washington Scholars Men of Accomplishment Newsletter. Each quarter you will receive updates on how the Washington Scholars Program has impacted the lives of the gentlemen that participated and excelled in the program. You'll find interesting profiles and features that highlight the Washington Scholars Program's continued and lasting impact on the young men that we have trained to be tomorrow's national leaders, today.


Chairman's Message

Dear Men of Accomplishment:


Happy New Year, since this is our first issue of this newsletter to be published in 2011. The Admiral Carey Foundation is looking forward to this being a year of solid accomplishment on behalf of America's best and brightest young men as we continue to fund and pursue programs that help them obtain internships and fellowships and training and credentialing that provides the synergy for them to truly pursue a career path that will facilitate them becoming a future leader of our nation. 


Also, special CONGRATULATIONS to our Newsletter Editor, Christopher Pistritto, on being selected for the honor of "Distinguished Scholar" in the Admiral Carey Foundation "Distinguished Scholars of America" Program. Chris has done exceptional work as our Editor, and also has been a great example for others in his work mentoring others, as well as developing an outstanding training and education program for the Fellows on the staff of the Secretary of Defense Policy Office.  Chris is doing exactly what is needed to help train the next generation of America's future leaders, and is highly deserving of this top level of recognition.  Further information regarding the Distinguished Scholars of America Program is available HERE.


WELL DONE, Chris Pistritto.  2011 is truly going to be an outstanding year for us in all we do.  With all good wishes, 



With all good wishes,


Rear Admiral [Ret.] James J. Carey
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Where Are They Now? 

Darren Littell - University of Washington, 2005

Darren Littell: 


How did you become interested and involved in WS?    


My pledge brother, Dave Arrington, joined the Washington Scholars program in the Fall of 2006. Dave returned to the University of Washington and told me about how the program works. I was interested in going to law school, so the chance to work with former Attorney General Ed Meese sounded amazing. Coming straight out of my undergrad, participating in Washington Scholars seemed to be the perfect opportunity to gain real world, practical work-force experience.



Where were you stationed as a WSer and what is your current profession?


I interned at the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Heritage Foundation. Upon the completion of my WS Fellowship I transitioned into an Executive Director position with a non-profit organization. After that I joined a public affairs firm, DCI Group. I had always heard that one way to advance your inside-the-beltway career is to temporarily leave DC. In July 2010 I moved to Seattle to serve as communications director for Congressman Dave Reichert's successful re-election campaign (we won). Using the contacts I made during my time in Washington coupled with the experience I gained on the campaign, I secured an interview as press secretary for Congressman Joe Heck and was hired shortly after.

How did your experiences at the office during your internship and the training WS provided help shape where you are at today?


No one in this town continuously re-invents the wheel. Having mentors who are experts in my career field is extremely helpful. Knowing I have those individuals to bounce ideas off of is something that continues to help me grow as a professional.  



John Vehmeyer

John Vehmeyer - University of Illinois, 2007 


John Vehmeyer: 


How did you become interested and involved in WS?

I became interested in WS after two former scholars, Fernando Cortes and Thomas Burnham, completed the program and shared their experiences.  I had always assumed that after graduation I would return to my hometown in rural Illinois and look for entry level work there. But after hearing about the opportunities afforded to WSers I decided to that I would be foolish not to apply. 



Where were you stationed as a WSer and what is your current profession?


I started working at the USDA Economic Reseach Services Office in 2006 and with the Office of Congressman Judy Biggert in 2007 as an intern with WS.  After my internship  I took a paid internship with the Financial Services Roundtable in fall of 2007 and then began my first job with the Department of the Navy, Office of the Assistant Secretary, Manpower and Reserve Affairs from 2007-2009.  In 2009 I joined the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate as a Management Analyst with the International Cooperative Programs Office where I still currently work.

How did your experiences at the office during your internship and the training WS provided help shape where you are at today?

My experiences with the WS program, both through my internship and the extra curricular events hosted by WS, gave me the tools, network, and confidence to get a great job in the greater DC area. One aspect that WS hammers into you is networking, both joining networks and creating networks. I was able to use WS' contacts to find a position with the Navy and then use corporate contacts to land at DHS where my hard work resulted in a Permanent Federal Civilian offer. 


Editor's Note 

It is with great pleasure and honor that I have taken the role of Editor of the Admiral James J. Carey Washington Scholars Men of Accomplishment newsletter. My goal is to bring you periodic updates regarding the professional development and career advancement of Washington Scholars Program graduates. Additionally, I hope to broaden and expand the Washington Scholars Program by providing awareness of all the exciting opportunities and responsibilities currently being undertaken by Washington Scholar graduates. Without the Washington Scholars Program's training and values most of the graduates would not be in the position to pursue their current career goals.


Christopher D. Pistritto 


Request for Suggestions

We are open to suggestions for future content.  If there is a feature you would like to see or an article focus just send us an email and we'll put it in the queue.  Thanks!