This year, SMPA is marking its Silver Anniversary, a a celebration of what we do, the students we teach, and the more than 3,700 alumni who drive tremendous innovation in media and communication, keeping our democracy informed and engaged. As we prepare to celebrate this coming year, please take a moment to reflect, reminisce and—most importantly—reconnect. Visit to learn more!


Our alumni are some of the most prominent, successful figures in media and politics. They practice the art of communication at top news organizations, government agencies, advertising/PR firms and nonprofits, as well as in the corporate world and academia. Our graduates stay connected through social media, exclusive events and other platforms, offering additional opportunities to learn, network and advance their careers.

Take a look below to see how our graduates are using their SMPA skills in the real world.

Dana Bash Chance Jackson Adam Conner Lauren French
Once Dana Bash ('93) enrolled at GW, she co-hosted a political talk show for campus radio station WRGW and became a political communication major. She discovered her passion for political reporting through internships at CBS News, working at the 1992 Democratic convention for NBC News and freelancing for CNN. She rose quickly to become CNN's Senior Congressional Correspondent. By age 15, Chance Cessna ('12) was a co-host for a local television program in Chicago. Since her high school did not offer media clubs or classes, she yearned for a richer journalism education. At GW, she had first-hand exposure to professional television production as an intern for local news station WUSA-TV and the CW TV network. She is now a television personality, interviewing such notables as Soledad O'Brien. As Facebook's manager for public policy, Adam Conner ('06) works with DC's most influential political candidates, federal agencies, members of Congress and nonprofit organizations to help them master their online communications strategies. He previously worked on online communications for the House of Representatives. Adam now serves on SMPA's National Council advisory board. As she considered entering journalism in her Florida hometown, Lauren French ('12) ran an award-winning private high school paper and was drawn to GW by the university's stridently independent newspaper, The Hatchet. After publishing bylined articles during internships with McClatchy newspapers and the Houston Chronicle, she joined Reuters as a foreign policy reporting intern. She now covers the tax policy beat for POLITICO.
John Goben Kim Neu Mark Schleifstein Megan Whittemore
The leadership skills John Goben ('12) learned through online communities as a child sparked a deep interest in technology and communication. While at GW, he founded the competitive gaming league on campus. His professors helped him understand the nature of online communication, especially through gaming and social networks. He is now a client innovation specialist with GetWellNetwork. Kimberly Neu ('12) came to GW specifically for the political communication major. She landed multiple political internships, spending six semesters working in constituency messaging, policy making and organizing for Senator Claire McCaskill, former Representative Russ Carnahan and Missouri State Representative Jill Schupp. She plans to apply her skills toward becoming a future Capitol Hill press secretary. Part of Mark Schleifstein's ('75) beat as managing editor at The Hatchet was to cover the Watergate political scandal brewing just off campus. Growing up in northern Virginia, he valued the unique opportunities in the DC metro area. He has won many accolades for his reporting at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, where he currently works, including being a part of three Pulitzer Prize winning reporting teams. As press secretary for Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Megan Whittemore ('08) serves a leading role on his communications team helping shape message strategy for Republican House members. Megan has also had extensive national media experience producing for Fox News Channel and Cox Broadcasting. While at GW she worked at GWTV, the campus student TV station, sharing her passion for politics and media.

If you are an alumnus looking to serve as a resource for current students, reconnect with fellow alumni, or update your information, please contact Anita Ponchione or visit the GW Alumni website.