Thousands of young women flock to Washington each year, armed with degrees in fields as diverse as political science, communications, public policy, and economics. Mostly, they come for jobs, fueled by energy and even idealism. Sometimes it takes a while for their efforts to have an impact. But not always.
This year, National Journal’s annual Women of Washington list focuses on individuals under 35 who quickly made their mark in Congress, think tanks, lobby shops, federal agencies, and other venues. Lists like these are highly unscientific, so this year, in addition to soliciting suggestions from our staff, we asked members and readers—through e-mail, Facebook and Twitter—to nominate young women who had already made a difference. We were flooded with responses.
Then: the hard part. Trimming the list to the 25 most influential was easier than getting an immigration bill through Congress—but just barely. The result reflects a range of D.C. professions. It includes both of the female House members under 35, three House staffers, three Senate aides, two reporters, three executive-branch employees, two White House staffers, three political strategists, three lobbyists, and four think-tank analysts.