Launched in August 2008, the Women's Congressional Staff Association (WCSA) is the first official congressional staff organization focused on promoting female staffers.  The association was started by a bipartisan group of four female Hill staffers - Devon Barnhart, Tessie Abraham, Elizabeth Whitney, and Jaclyn Zimmerman. Congresswomen Lois Frankel (D-FL) and Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) and Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) currently sponsor the association, lending gravitas and years of leadership. Congresswomen Lois Capps (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) previously sponsored WCSA before their retirements.


WCSA provides networking and professional development opportunities, as well as members-only access to postings on job opportunities and events.  These resources provide information and guidance for women who want to excel at their jobs, advance in their careers, and transition off the Hill.

See where our founders are at now.

Devon Barnhart

Devon is Transportation Counsel for Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. She primarily handles infrastructure and safety issues and runs the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security.  Previously, she worked on transportation and infrastructure issues for Chairman Rockefeller (D-WV), Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ), Senator Specter (D-PA), and Congressman Sires (D-NJ). She also worked as a civil engineer in state government. Devon graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University and received her law degree from Penn State Dickinson

Tessie Abraham Brown

Tessie is a Foreign Service Officer at the Department of State. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Tessie lived in New York City and worked on regulatory and compliance issues at Oscar, a health-tech startup. She previously served as legislative counsel to U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Congressman Lee Terry (R-NE). Born in Canada, Tessie was raised in Ontario and California and earned her JD at the University of San Diego and her BA in political science from the University of Waterloo. She speaks French and Russian. 

Elizabeth K. Whitney

Elizabeth K. Whitney has nearly fifteen years of federal policy experience, focusing on energy policy. She launched Meguire Whitney in January 2017 after spending six years at Morgan Meguire, where she led work for relating to the Clean Power Plan and other environmental regulation, spent nuclear fuel, and Dodd-Frank implementation. Ms. Whitney was the Senior Legislative Assistant to Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), then-Chairman of the House Science Committee and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  She advised Chairman Gordon on energy and environmental issues before that committee and worked closely with Science Committee staff on energy and environment initiatives. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Muhlenberg College (2004), an M.A. in Political Management from George Washington University (2008), and a J.D. from Georgetown Law Center (2015). She is a member of the Maryland State Bar.

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