PLEN Board of Directors member, Ellie Shaw (right) was recently recognized for her volunteer service by American Express Company, for whom she is a director of federal government affairs. Here, she explains her volunteer experience with PLEN, and why she was motivated to get involved.
Where do you volunteer?
I volunteer at the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) in Washington, D.C.
What do you do?
I most recently served as the Chair of the Board of Directors. I also volunteered during PLEN seminars, which give students access to women leaders from the legislative, executive, and judicial branches; federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector through site visits and hands-on experience.
What attracted you to this cause?
Women and minorities are still underrepresented in the halls of government as well as in public policy leadership positions. PLEN brings a diverse group of women from colleges and universities across the country together to Washington, D.C. to experience first hand how public policy is shaped and implemented at the national level. They are better prepared to become the next public policy decision-makers.
Did you learn anything that helped you at work?
I learned how to lead more effectively, communicate, and fundraise. I also gained new skills and understanding of board process and nonprofit governance.
What was your biggest take-away from the experience?
Women who attend PLEN seminars tell us that being introduced to role models, career paths and skills trainings before entering the workforce is invaluable. It’s deeply rewarding to have someone tell you that PLEN has changed her life.
This post was written by Emily Sena, 2015 PLEN operations intern 2015.