Government, State and Federal

Are you considering a job or internship with the government? Explore these online resources to get started. Feel free to drop by our office to meet with an advisor to help plan.

Quicklinks: Explore Careers | Job and Internship Resources | Alumni to Know

Explore Careers in the Government

Explore careers in government by exploring the links below. This is not an all inclusive list of careers but will help you begin exploring. Found a career you're interested in? Talk to faculty, stop by our office and begin networking to learn more.

  • Vault Guides - (must be on W&L network to access) Provides essential information about key careers and industries, with an emphasis on preparing for a career and getting your foot in the door.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook - The OOH can help you find career information on duties, education and training, pay, and outlook for hundreds of occupations.
  • O*NET OnLine - The nation's primary source of occupational information. It contains information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors. It also provides Career Exploration Tools, a set of valuable assessment instruments for workers and students looking to find or change careers.
  • U.S. State Department Career Quizzes - Quizzes are designed to help you decide which foreign service path to take - for post graduate positions and internships. 

Job and Internship Resources

Alumni To Know

One of the best ways to explore careers and find job opportunities is to network with professionals. Below are alumni who have experience in the field and have volunteered to be a resource to you. Not sure how to begin networking? Stop by our office to get started.

To learn about and network with more alumni in the industry, visit the WLUalum Twitter!

Alexandra Utsey '09

After graduating from Washington & Lee in 2009 with a degree in Politics, Alexandra served as an aide to Ranking Member Senator Richard Lugar on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. After working on the committee for three years, she studied International Relations at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. While at Princeton, Alexandra interned with the State Department at the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium. Upon graduating with a Masters in Public Affairs in 2014, Alexandra began working at the U.S. Department of Defense as a Presidential Management Fellow.

Lee Brett '13

Upon graduating from Washington and Lee University with a degree in Politics and Spanish, Lee was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He worked as a policy analyst in North Carolina for nine months while waiting for active duty. In 2014, Lee graduated from The Basic School and became an artillery officer. He completed training in May 2015 and reported to 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment in Camp Pendleton, CA. Lee is currently deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Emma Dean '03

Following graduation from Washington and Lee in 2003, Emma attended the University of South Carolina School of Law, served as a law clerk for the South Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, worked in private practice for Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, and now serves as chief counsel for the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee. Emma lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband, Gavin (W&L '00) and their three sons.

Quiana McKenzie '08

Quiana McKenzie is currently the Finance Director for Citizens for Lisa Madigan. She most recently served as the Director of Field and Operations during the Attorney General's 2014 re-election campaign. Quiana has been active in politics in Illinois, Virginia and Iowa, volunteering for Democratic political campaigns on every level. In 2012, she was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from the State of Iowa. She was a 2014 Illinois Women's Institute for Leadership (IWIL) delegate and a 2014 New Leaders Council Fellow.

Quiana attended Washington and Lee University, where she completed her undergraduate studies with an independent major in American Government and Society, and Iowa State University, where she earned a Master's Degree in Education. During her college years, she did community organizing and development work in the Mississippi Delta, was awarded several leadership and policy-focused fellowships, and completed an internship on Capitol Hill.

Elizabeth King '12

Elizabeth graduated from Washington and Lee in 2012 with a degree in European History. After graduating, she moved to Washington, D.C. and served as a Legislative Assistant to Former Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) for two years, acting as the lead policy adviser on education, health care, agriculture, and telecommunications. In 2014, Elizabeth began working for the House Committee on Appropriations. She handles agricultural research and conservation policy for the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, which dictates annual discretionary spending for federal agricultural programs.

Skye Justice '03

Skye graduated from Washington and Lee in 2003 with a degree in Politics. He is an Officer in the U.S. Foreign Service, having joined the State Department in 2006. Currently, he is the State Department's Coordinator for Refugee Affairs for West and North Africa, based at the the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. In that capacity, he oversees humanitarian assistance to refugees and conflict victims provided by the United States, working closely with international partners. His previous assignments include the U.S. Embassies in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Economic and Commercial Officer), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Political and Economic Officer and Vice Consul), and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Political and Economic Officer). In Washington, he has worked in the State Department's Office of Central American Affairs and Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

Skye is also a 2006 graduate of the George Washington University Law School. During law school, Skye was a Human Rights Fellow in the office of the prosecutor at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where he supported the prosecution of accused perpetrators of the 1994 Rwanda genocide. He also clerked for the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition, where he advised clients seeking asylum in the United States, and at Huddleston Bolen, LLP, a West Virginia-based law firm. Skye speaks French, Haitian Creole, Spanish, Italian, and Swahili.    

Erin Nelson '94

Erin participated in the JET Program and lived in Japan for two years after graduating. After that she worked in DC for two years for the Japanese government before getting her Master of Arts in Japanese Literature. Erin worked as an analyst/linguist for the Director of National Intelligence for 5 years before leaving her career to get married. Later she began a career in education, and is currently Director of Advancement at The American School in Japan (Tokyo).

Damon Sanders-Pratt '91

Damon Sanders-Pratt graduated from Washington and Lee in 1991 with a degree in Economics. After graduation, he went to UNC Chapel Hill where he received a master's degree in Public Administration. From 1992-1995, Damon served as the Planning & Zoning Director in a 2.5 employee department in Bennettsville, South Carolina. After a short stint as town manager of Walkertown, North Carolina, he joined the Forsyth County, North Carolina Local Government Budget & Management Office located in Winston-Salem. 

Damon served as a Budget & Management Analyst for eleven years before being promoted to "Special Assistant to the Manager" and eventually Deputy County Manager.  In his position as Deputy County Manager, Damon is charged with assisting the County Manager in taking elected official directives and turning them into County policy on the ground as well as presenting department initiatives to the elected officials.  Departments with which he works most closely are Animal Control, Parks & Recreation, Emergency Services, Human Resources, and the Public Library System.

Angela Young '08

Angela Young graduated in 2008 with a degree in Politics and concentration in the Shepherd Poverty Program. She moved to Denver, CO to participate in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) program as a Team Leader for two years. She then worked in client services for a nonprofit aimed at employing veterans with green energy sector jobs. She returned to AmeriCorps NCCC to help run the new FEMA Corps program as a Unit Leader.

Currently, Angela is a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State serving her first tour as a Public Diplomacy Officer in Jerusalem.