Meron Yohannes WeLead Class of 2019-2020

welead alumna meron yohannes headshot

Meron Yohannes
Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Commerce

What was the most valuable thing you learned from WeLead?
The first valuable lesson was learning about money in politics and fundraising. The second valuable lesson was the art of communicating one's self and being able to capture your purpose and identity organically yet tangibly.

What was your favorite part of the program?
Bonding with my classmates and the speakers about the shared challenges and worries women all feel about running for office.

What advice would you give to the current WeLead class?
There is no such thing as a dumb question, and be vulnerable. Many of my classmates were IN politics such as campaign work or on the Hill. You are in the program to learn from them and the speakers, don't fear that you will sound foolish for not knowing something. Be vulnerable because it was really eye-opening to know I wasn't alone in my doubts or stresses.

How did you secure your current position, and did it include any WeLead networking or alumnae?
It did not include WeLead but I sure have reached out to my network and alums for advice. My current position came from me volunteering my time for the Biden-Harris campaign and my previous boss showing me this opening.

Any other thoughts on your WeLead experience?
I loved it and wish I could do it again without the pandemic interrupting it!

Yohannes is a research and policy analyst with experience in survey design, program evaluation, and data management for state, local, and non-profit agencies. She earned a combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Public Science & Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.