Industry Days

SPA provides students the opportunity to meet alumni and employers through Industry Days. These events will feature panels of industry experts and networking receptions here on campus.

Join us for Industry Days sponsored by the School of Public Affairs and the AU Career Center. Industry Days provide students the opportunity to hear from and meet alumni and employers currently working in that industry. It provides employers the opportunity to meet students and discuss job and internship opportunities during our networking portion of the event. Whether you are seeking new talent, or hoping to strengthen your professional network, you won't want to miss Industry Days. Industry Days are free to participate in for all AU students, graduate and undergraduate

Fall 2020 Industry Day Format:

Due to covid-19, we have altered the format for our Industry Day events from a single event to an event that spans multiple days. These virtual events will follow the same format of a moderated panel of alums and employers to discuss the featured industry, trends and issues to be aware of, and advice for those interested in learning more followed by a two week period for individual meetings between students and alums and employers.

Some things to be aware of:

  • The system we are using for the student meeting portion uses the term “coach” to refer to alums and employers.
  • Alums and or Employers willing to speak with students in one on one settings can log in through the “coach” link noted for each event. They will be able to set their own availability during the noted time frame. Each meeting is slated for 20 minutes. The system will allow for communication with the student including reminders, sending preferred methods of communication, and rescheduling if need be.
  • Students register through Handshake, the Career Center’s online platform. Registered students will be provided the student link to create a profile and schedule meetings with the alums and employers the day of the panel.

Questions can be directed to Mr. Justin Williams, Associate Director of Undergraduate Recruitment & Retention, at

Fall 2020 Industry Day Events:

Intelligence Community

National Security, Cyber Security, Counterterrorism, and Intelligence work-- do you work in any of these fields or have an interest in learning more about them? Please join American University's School of Public Affairs and Career Center for a virtual networking event. Employers, AU students, and alumni will have the opportunity to network, provide helpful tips for entering the field, and discuss available opportunities.

Monday, November 9th Intelligence Community & National Security Panel. Students register through your Handshake account here.

Tuesday, November 10th - Wednesday November 25th One on One Networking time frame. Alums and Employers register here. Students register through Handshake

Non-Profits: Making a Difference

Education, Housing, Food, Environment & Sustainability, and or Social Advocacy & Equity Nonprofits. If you work for an organization focused on any of these areas, or if you’re interested in working in these fields, please join American University's School of Public Affairs and Career Center for a virtual networking event. Employers, AU students, and alumni will have the opportunity to network, provide helpful tips for entering the field, and discuss available opportunities.

Tuesday, October 6th Nonprofits: Making a Difference Panel. Students need to register, through Handshake, in order to get instructions and links for both parts of the industry day. Please register by noon EST October 6th.

Wednesday, October 7th - Wednesday October 21st One on One Networking time frame. Alums and Employers register here. Students register through Handshake.

George Garcia, Director of Education & Workforce for Latin American Youth Center (LAYC)

George Garcia headshot.George Garcia has more than 14 years of professional work experience as a community leader to meet the health and educational needs of traditionally at-risk and underserved communities. Before assuming his current role as Director of Education and Workforce at The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) he oversaw the Health Promotions program as the Health Promotions Program Manager. As Director he oversees the After Schools program (offering young academic support and enrichment during after school hours for DCs elementary, middle and high schools); the Community School program (partnerships between the school and community resources that support students and families in and beyond the classroom); AmeriCorps program (provides the opportunity for young adults who are considering a career in youth development, social service, to try their hand in a real-world setting and gain tons of useful skills); the Workforce program (students receive integrated education and workforce training that prepares them for their careers of choice).

Mr. Garcia also served as Board President and CEO of Equality Inland Empire (EQIE). EQIE was the only LGBT organization in California’s San Bernardino county that focused on LGBT rights. As Board President/CEO, Mr. Garcia developed and executed new programs, led all community engagement efforts, oversaw all grants, and navigated the organization to align with the needs of the community. Mr. Garcia also had the pleasure of working for Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance (RPYA). RPYA is the only LGBT youth-focused organization in California’s San Bernardino county. At RPYA Mr. Garcia was responsible for working with youth in the Inland Empire region, in southern California, who are at risk for mental health issues, substance abuse, and exposure to STI/HIV. He also worked with the community to implement new programs within RPYA and conducted “culturally competent training” in for-profit and non-profit organizations on RPYA’s behalf.

Mr. Garcia has a Master of Public Administration at the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, DC.

Jaleesa Hall, Founder & CEO of Raising a Village

Jaleesa Hall is a native of Miami Florida. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media Arts, Radio, TV, Film from Clark Atlanta University, Master of Public Administration from American University, and is a recent graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary where she attained a Master of Divinity and Community Engagement Fellowship. In 2017, Jaleesa founded Raising A Village Foundation (RAV), a non-profit organization that provides high-quality intervention programs and community resources to underserved children and families.

Prior to Raising A Village, Jaleesa held leadership positions at some of the most notable non-profit and government organizations in the District, including Center City Public Charter Schools, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, and Wesley Theological Seminary. She’s also been awarded numerous fellowships including the Newman Civic Fellowship, The Change Makers Project (London, England), and the Community Engagement Fellowship. As Founder and CEO of RAV, it is Jaleesa’s mission is to improve the lives of children and families by creating innovative and sustainable programs that encourage safe, healthy, and whole communities.

Kristin Scott Kennedy, Chief of Staff at Council on Foundations

Prior to joining the Council she was a director in the office of the president at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations where she supported the priorities of the president and CEO, facilitated GEO’s Board of Directors, managed partnerships and developed programming on emerging topics in philanthropy.

Previously, Kristen worked for the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council, a membership organization that promotes the use of cooperatives as a development paradigm. For four years she was managing director at The Bhutan Canada Foundation, a Canadian charitable organization dedicated to improving education in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Kristen began her career in communications and operations at The Unusual Suspects Theater Company in Los Angeles before working in fundraising at The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health in Palo Alto, CA and Macmillan Cancer Support in London, UK.

Kristen received her master of public administration from American University’s School of Public Affairs. She is an alumna of the University of Southern California and a recipient of the Nonprofit Executive Scholarship at the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Lizzie Martinez, Director of Development at Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon

Lizzie is passionate about using fundraising and communications to connect people with social justice and anti-poverty initiatives. She has spent the last decade fundraising for incredible nonprofits in Portland and Washington, D.C. In Portland, she has worked as a fundraiser for Housing Oregon (formerly Oregon Opportunity Network) and Latino Network. She is currently Director of Development at Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, the statewide anti-hunger advocacy group. In Washington, D.C., she worked for ServiceNation (now part of Service Year Alliance) advocating for expansion of AmeriCorps programs. She is a proud AmeriCorps VISTA alum and lifetime Girl Scout member! She is a graduate of Linfield College (B.A.) and American University (MPA).

She currently volunteers as a member of the Multnomah County Library Advisory Board and as board chair with MRG Foundation. She also leads the Fundraisers of Color affinity group, through Willamette Valley Development Officers. With WVDO, she is also an instructor in the Nonprofit Certificate program. In her spare time, she likes to travel around the world (when it's not a pandemic!), read good books, play with her nieces and nephews, and enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

Marley Rave, Director, Individual Relations and Philanthropy for Autism Speaks

Marley Rave currently serves as Director, Individual Relations and Philanthropy for Autism Speaks, responsible for raising $26 million in annual revenue for the organization in collaboration with the corporate development, online giving and special events departments. Before serving in this role, she was the Executive Director of the Autism Speaks National Capital Area Chapter. Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Marley worked for a decade at Meals On Wheels Association of America and its foundation as Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer.

She earned her masters in public administration at American University with a focus in nonprofit management and gave the School of Public Affairs commencement speech for the 2013 graduating class. She received her bachelors in sociology at Ohio University and a public relations certificate from Georgetown University. She also presented a TedX Talk on Gen X/Millennial giving and volunteerism entitled "How The Most Selfish Generation Will Do The Most Good”.

Marley lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband and 11-month-old daughter.

Spring 2021 Industry Day Events:

Campaigns, Congress, & Lobbies

Working for Justice

Working for Justice

Monday February 10, 2020, 6-8pm
Constitution Hall

6-6:15pm: Registration & Check-in
6:15-7pm: Panels

  • U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) Panel
  • Law Enforcement & the Courts Panel

7-8pm: Networking Reception

Intelligence Community (IC) Panel will have representatives from Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), FBI, and US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS).

Law Enforcement & Courts Panel will have representatives from FBI, Fairfax county Police Department, and Prince George’s County Police Department.


Monday October 21, 2019, 9-11AM
Constitution Hall

9-9:15am Alum/Employer/Student Check in & Networking
9:15-10am Panel “Working for a Non-Profit”
10-11am Networking Reception

Samantha Paige Davis
Jaleesa Hall
Kristen Scott Kennedy


Campaigns, Congress and Lobbies

Tuesday September 24, 2019, 6-8PM
Constitution Hall

6-6:15PM - Alum/Employer/Student Check in & Networking
6:15-7PM - Panels on campaigning and lobbying running simultaneously
7-8PM - Networking Reception

Campaign Panelists:
Tom Bonier, CEO, TargetSmart
Christian Curto, Campaign Solutions
Alicia Kolar Prevost, Director of the Voter Study Group, Democracy Fund
William R. Sweeney Jr., Distinguished Practitioner, Department of Government, School of Public Affairs

Lobbying Panelists:
Laura Uttley, Lewis-Burke Associates LLC
Awesta Sarkash, Director of Advocacy & Communications, Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED)

More Events

There are several other industry-specific networking receptions hosted by the Alumni Office and Career Center throughout the year. Students can find these events through Handshake.

Learn More