Nicole Fries WeLead2017

headshot of welead alum nicole fries

Nicole Fries
Deputy General Counsel, AZ Health Care Cost Containment System Administration

What was the most valuable thing you learned from WeLead?
I was already working in politics, but it was fascinating to learn about the huge variety of work being done by other women with political skills and interests. WeLead opened my eyes to many meaningful jobs I could do and love that were beyond purely campaigns or political office.

What was your favorite part of the program?
The network was the most amazing part of the program. I've stayed in touch with women from my class and am continually inspired by how they are serving and improving our country.

What advice would you give to the current WeLead class?
I would encourage them to solidify those bipartisan relationships because you never know when that network will help you move laterally. This is especially true outside of the microcosm of DC where the focus is much more on who can get things done.

How did you secure your current position, and did it include any WeLead networking or alumnae?
Following WeLead, I went back to Arizona to work in state government. I've been in this role ever since and was recently promoted!

Any other thoughts on your WeLead experience?
WeLead showed me the usefulness and inspiration of a strong network, especially in an industry like politics that can burn people out quickly. I was selected for a similar program in 2020 called the Center for Arizona Civic Leadership and both helped me craft my current career and community involvement.

Fries volunteers in the Junior League of Phoenix and at a local DAV clinic. She earned a law degree from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.