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Monday, May 6, 2019 - 7:00pm
Yes She Can: 10 Stories of Hope & Change from Young Female Staffers of the Obama White House Cover Image
By Molly Dillon (Compiled by)
ISBN: 9781984848451
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Schwartz & Wade - March 5th, 2019

Monday, May 6th at 7 PM

speaking & signing
10 Stories of Hope and Change from Young Female Staffers of the Obama White House



“An excellent guide to the how and why of a life of public service.” –Amy Poehler

Return to President Obama’s White House in this anthology for young women by young women, featuring stories from ten inspiring young staffers who joined his administration in their 20s with the hope of making a difference.

Includes a foreword by actress (Grown-Ish) and activist Yara Shahidi! Shahidi is the creator of Eighteen x ’18, a platform to empower first-time voters.

They were teens when Barack Obama announced he was running for president.
They came of age in the Obama Era.
And then they joined his White House. Smart, motivated, ambitious–and ready to change the world.

Kalisha Dessources Figures planned one of the biggest summits held by the Obama White House–The United State of Women. Andrea Flores fought for the president’s immigration bill on the Hill. Nita Contreras traveled the globe and owned up to a rookie mistake on Air Force One (in front of the leader of the free world!).

Here are ten inspiring, never-before-told stories from diverse young women who got. Stuff. Done. They recall–fondly and with humor and a dose of humility–what it was like to literally help run the world. 

YES SHE CAN is an intimate look at Obama’s presidency through the eyes of some of the most successful, and completely relatable, young women who were there. Full of wisdom they wish they could impart to their younger selves and a message about the need for more girls in government, these recollections are about stepping out into the spotlight and up to the challenge–something every girl can do.

With contributions from Jenna Brayton, Eleanor Celeste, Nita Contreras, Kalisha Dessources Figures, Molly Dillon, Andrea R. Flores, Vivian P. Graubard, Noemie C. Levy, Taylor Lustig, and Jaimie Woo.


Noemie C. Levy served in the White House from age twenty-two to age twenty-seven, most recently as a Senior Policy Advisor for partnerships in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she helped develop public-private partnerships to advance Obama Administration initiatives. Prior to that role, she served as a Policy Assistant for the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the Domestic Policy Council. Noemie was born in Paris, France, and immigrated to the United States when she was six years old. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Rice University. Noemie is currently a medical student at Stanford University School of Medicine.


Eleanor Celeste served in the White House from age twenty-six to age twenty-eight (until the end of the Obama Administration and through the transition), most recently as Assistant Director for Biomedical and Forensic Sciences in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In that role, she focused on the life sciences, precision medicine, biosafety and biosecurity, privacy and security of health information, patient access to data, emerging biotechnology, and forensic science. She previously served as an intern and as a Policy Advisor in that same office. Originally from Ohio, she holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies from Wesleyan University, and has a graduate certificate in biohazardous threat agents and emerging infectious disease from Georgetown University. She received a law degree from the Ohio State University. Eleanor currently serves as Associate Director for Research and Development Communications at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company based in Boston.


​Taylor Lustig served in the White House from age twenty-two to age twenty-six, most recently as a Policy Advisor for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, part of the Domestic Policy Council. Her work focused on community engagement and domestic and international policy issues of concern to the faith community, interfaith dialogue, and church-state policy. She previously served as a Policy Assistant in the same office. After the White House, Taylor moved over to the Department of Labor, where she served as a political appointee in the Secretary’s Office of Public Engagement until the end of the Administration. Originally from Deerfield, Illinois, she holds a dual bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology from the University of Texas at Austin (hook ’em!). Taylor is currently a Manager of Government and External Affairs at PepsiCo.


Molly Dillon served in the White House from age twenty-three to age twenty-seven (until the end of the Obama Administration), most recently as a Policy Advisor for Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity in the Domestic Policy Council. In that role, she focused on civil rights policy, including criminal justice reform, LGBTQ rights, women’s equality, voting rights, human services, housing, labor, economic mobility, and urban communities. She previously served as an intern and a Policy Assistant in the same office. Originally from Highland Park, Illinois, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Johns Hopkins University and holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. After the Administration, Molly served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the New York Governor. She is currently the Community Curator and Manager of Programming for an international philanthropic foundation.


Jaimie Woo served in the White House from age twenty-four to age twenty-five (until the end of the administration) as a Policy Analyst in the Office of the Vice President. She initially focused on Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, health, and LGBTQ policy, though she later joined his Violence Against Women team and worked on policy and public engagement efforts to both combat domestic violence and sexual assault and improve bystander intervention. Before joining the White House, Jaimie managed economic justice advocacy campaigns on for U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). Following her role at the White House, Jaimie served as Congressman Lloyd Doggett’s (D-TX35) communications director in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she was the only female Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) to hold said title in all congressional offices throughout her tenure. Jaimie is a Texan, a Floridian, and a proud first-generation daughter of Chinese immigrants. She holds a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Duke University and is pursuing a master’s degree in communications management at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism. Jaimie currently works at Breakwater Studios, a full-scale production company and filmmaking studio dedicated to humanist storytelling.

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