The Alumni Advisory Board of the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics (formerly the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs), is comprised of committed men and women who seek to continue the tradition of excellence that the Department is known for internationally. With the support of the College of Arts and Sciences, our Board seeks to build greater awareness of the value of a Politics degree in today’s changing world; to support our world-class faculty and their research goals; and to promote mentoring and networking opportunities between undergrads and alumni of all ages and career paths. We are not a fundraising board. However, we encourage our members to be on the lookout for possible major donors and put them in touch with the staff of the College Foundation.
We meet once a year in Charlottesville, and our board is comprised of graduates who have gone on to successful careers in industry, academia, journalism, law, advertising, law enforcement, medicine, the arts, Wall Street — all walks of life. Founded in 2014, we hope to have members serve three-year terms, renewable for as long as they would like. Our members cover the cost of their own travel to and from our yearly meetings.
We have one Board meeting a year, usually followed by lunch, and then our annual Life After Politics panel discussion in which successful alumni speak to undergrads about their careers after graduating from Virginia. We also sponsor “flash mentoring” sessions for small groups of alumni and students to meet each other, often the same day as Life After Politics. Our newest project has been to build support for the Triple Hoo Combo, an innovative, scalable pilot program in the Politics Department which allows a professor, two graduate students and six undergraduates to work together on a paid summer research project.
The Politics Department is the home of the most popular majors on Grounds as well as the focal point of a renowned faculty committed to excellence in teaching, research and service. In the future, the Alumni Advisory Board hopes to continue to build alumni engagement and create new educational initiatives in our pursuit of excellence.
Mary Kate Cary (co-chair)
Mary Kate Cary served as a White House speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to early 1992, authoring over 100 Presidential addresses by him. She has ghostwritten several books, two of them about the former President. Since 2004, Ms. Cary has been an Advisory Board member of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University.
Ms. Cary is executive producer of “41ON41,” a documentary film about former President Bush, the 41st president of the United States. In it, 41 extraordinary people tell their best stories about his leadership, good humor, bipartisanship and integrity. The film debuted on CNN domestically in June 2014, and won a 2015 Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media for Outstanding Directing in a Documentary. “41ON41” was a featured film at the 2014 Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville, Virginia and has been screened at high schools and colleges across the nation. It is available on digital platforms such iTunes, Amazon Plus, Hulu and Sony Xbox as well as from the website www.41ON41.com.
In addition to making “41ON41,” Ms. Cary is currently a columnist for US News & World Report, and she has appeared often on National Public Radio, cable news and broadcast networks. She has served as a former spokesman for the U.S. Attorney General, former deputy director of communications at the Republican National Committee, former staffer at ABC News, and a former aide on Capitol Hill. She continues to write speeches for a variety of national political and corporate leaders.
Mrs. Cary holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Virginia, and is a trustee of the College Foundation and co-chair of the Department of Politics Alumni Advisory Board. She lives with her husband Rob and two daughters in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
David Mrazik (co-chair)
David is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Merchant, a private principal investment partnership providing growth capital, management resources, strategic opportunities and direction to independent financial services companies, particularly those focused on wealth and asset management. David leads a variety of Merchant’s strategic and financial initiatives, including mergers and acquisitions, structuring, transaction execution and risk management infrastructures.
Prior to Merchant, David was Managing Partner of MarketCounsel and the Hamburger Law Firm, a boutique consulting firm and law practice specializing in helping financial advisors transition to independence. Previously, David served as Managing Director and General Counsel at Focus Financial Partners, LLC, a leading international partnership of independent wealth management firms. In this role, David oversaw all of the company’s mergers and acquisitions, implemented risk management infrastructures and worked on the company’s inbound private equity investments and credit facilities. David previously practiced as a corporate attorney at Willkie, Farr & Gallagher LLP and Vinson & Elkins LLP, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, venture capital, capital markets and investment management.
David holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. with High Distinction from the Distinguished Majors Program in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. In addition to being a member emeritus of the Benefactors Society Board, David is co-chair of the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics Alumni Advisory Board and an active member of the Virginia Athletics Foundation. David lives in Charlottesville, Virginia with his wife Shannon and their son Cullen.
Haley Anderson ’09
Haley Anderson is a clinical speech-language pathologist, working with adults following brain injury in the acute rehabilitation setting. Prior to returning to school at Boston University for her MS-SLP, Haley worked in the legal field, with experience in government and nonprofit workplaces, and in the fundraising field, at Harvard College. Originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, Haley lives in the DC area with her husband, who is also a UVA Politics alumnus. Areas of interest in politics include issues of social justice and policy implementation, particularly in the complicated field of healthcare. Community involvement through mentorship and networking is a passion.
Margaret Brennan ’02
CBS News Foreign Affairs Correspondent (Email)
Jennifer Clarke ’03
Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice (Email)
Cameron Kilberg ’02
Attorney and Government Affairs Consultant (Email)
Gabriel Noronha ’15
Special Assistant, U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (Email)
Gabriel Noronha has worked in the U.S. Senate since 2015 and is currently the Special Assistant for the Majority on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. He manages operations and logistics for the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense legislation which provides policy and budget oversight over the Department of Defense. He previously worked for U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte. Gabriel also organizes events for Hoos on the Hill, a group of UVA alumni working in Congress. Gabriel holds a B.A. in Foreign Affairs and Economics and speaks Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin.
David Mrazik ’01
Managing Partner at Hamburger Law Firm & Managing Director at MarketCounsel (Email)
Peter Page ’88
Founder and President, SageWater, Inc. (Email)
Barbara Perry Ph.D. ’86
White Burkett Miller Professor of Ethics and Institutions
Director, Presidential Studies Co-Chair, Presidential Oral History Program, Miller Center at the University of Virginia (Email)
Marshall Twinam ’86
Founder, Marshall, Jackson & Partners (Email)
Sheryl Wilbon ’88