Staff Bios

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.

Sophie Kim Goldmacher, Deputy Director

Sophie Kim Goldmacher serves as the Deputy Director. She has been a part of the White House Fellows program staff since 2011, serving previously as Associate Director for Education. A native of Alameda, California, Sophie is an alumnus of the California Senate Fellows program and served as a policy consultant in both chambers of the California Legislature. Sophie graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in political science, and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University, where she founded the Women in Public Policy Initiative. She was selected to be the student commencement speaker at both graduation ceremonies. 

Jennifer Paolino, Associate Director for Education

Jennifer Paolino serves as the Associate Director of Education. Prior to this role, Jennifer served as a Protocol Officer at the U.S. Department of State where she was responsible for coordinating official gifts on behalf of the President, Vice President, and Secretary of State. A skilled public affairs professional, Jennifer’s experience spans both state and federal government. Previously, she worked as Program Manager for Green Initiatives at the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation where she engaged the public and private sector to develop one of the first state-coordinated plans to advance the green economy in the country. In addition, she has supported the field efforts for several political campaigns and coordinated government affairs and marketing efforts in the private sector. Jennifer holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from Brown University, where she also received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and American Institutions. She is a native of Providence, Rhode Island and resides in the District of Columbia.   

Rashida Kamal, Special Assistant to the Director

Rashida Kamal serves as the Special Assistant to the Director. She graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Language and Mind. As an undergraduate, she served as the chair of the NYU Civic Team, a resident assistant, and an admissions ambassador. Prior to joining the White House Fellows Program, she worked in the Office of Management and Administration as a White House Intern. Rashida is from Allentown, Pennsylvania.

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