Washington Women In Public Relations Announces 2021 Emerging Leaders Awards Winners

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR), the only professional society for female communicators in the greater capital area, named its 2021 class of Emerging Leaders Awards (ELAs). The five winners were selected from a diverse and impressive slate of rising stars, ages 25-35, who have excelled in public relations and related fields, and given back to the industry by contributing their skills and talents to innovative initiatives and projects.

“Tonight’s event focused on honoring our 2021 Emerging Leaders Awards recognizes a diverse group of women who stand out not only in their careers but in their contributions to the community,” said Christina Francisco, WWPR President. “WWPR is proud to recognize the achievements of this impressive group of women who stand before us, and we look forward to what these ladies will achieve in the future.”

The 2021 WWPR Emerging Leaders Awards Winners are:

Small/Boutique Agency: Stefani Alexander, Vice President, Curley Company

As Vice President at Curley Company, Stefani helps clients implement impactful strategic communications plans and find effective ways to target and engage the people who matter most to the success of their business. She is a leader in her community and a mentor to the next generation of emerging public relations leaders. Stefani provides pro bono public relations counsel and support to Dress for Success Washington, D.C. and serves as a mentor for the Public Leadership Education Network and is a member of ColorComm.

Mid- to Large-Sized Agency: Rosemary Girard, Senior Account Executive, Corporate Affairs, Edelman

As a Senior Account Supervisor at Edelman in Washington, D.C., Rosemary Girard strategizes and implements executive communication programs for Fortune 500 CEOs and other business leaders. Prior to her role at Edelman, Rosemary worked in corporate communications at NPR. There, she focused on corporate, executive, internal, and crisis communications to champion NPR’s journalism, programming, products, and people. She began her career with internships including two years supporting public relations and organizational communication at the Library of Congress, as well as working with her university’s president on speechwriting and communications.

Government: Rachel Stephens, Press Secretary, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. House of Representatives

As Press Secretary for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Rachel amplifies the committee members’ work  on behalf of the country and their local districts to improve the nation’s growing infrastructure network. She also serves as President of the Republican Communications Association where she strives to bring young communicators together for networking and mentorship opportunities.

Non-Profit: Maggie McClain, Senior Director of Communications, Food Allergy Research & Education 

As FARE’s Senior Director of Communications, Maggie oversees communications strategy, planning and tactics aimed at raising awareness and boosting visibility for the organization and the greater food allergy community. She brings more than 12 years of communications, public affairs and market research experience to her role. Prior to joining FARE, she served as a VP of Communications at Banner Public Affairs on Capitol Hill where she led communications and media strategy across clients spanning a variety of industries including cybersecurity and technology, food and beverage, and hospitality. In addition to this and several years as a consultant at H+K Strategies, Maggie also served as Director of Media Relations at The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). During her time at GMA, she developed and executed communications plans relating to health and wellness, sustainability and transparency issues including ingredient labeling.

In-House: Emily Newman, Senior Speechwriter, National Association of REALTORS®

As Senior Speechwriter, Emily manages messaging and communications strategy for multiple executives. Prior to her current role, she served on the Global Public Affairs team at FedEx and spent five years as a Communications Director on Capitol Hill. During her time in Congress, Emily guided two freshmen members in developing their communications plans and ran a one-woman press shop for a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee. She also has experience in the non-profit sector in both professional and volunteer roles, including five years as a Girls on the Run coach. Emily is a recipient of the FedEx Rising Star and Shining Star awards, which honor team members who achieve exceptional results in marketing and communications.

A distinguished panel of judges selected the winners based on their record of excellence and accomplishments in their careers thus far, as well as their leadership qualities and ethical standards. The 2021 judges included:

Martha Boudreau, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, AARP

Kim Atterbury, Senior Vice President, Media Relations + Communications, Recording Industry Association of America®; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair, WWPR

Christina Francisco, Director, Digital Marketing and Strategy, ASHP; President, WWPR

The ELA winners were announced at a virtual awards reception on Thursday, May 20. Dr. LeMia Jenkins Thompson, Global Head of Communications for Pinterest, gave the keynote address. The complete list of 2021 WWPR Emerging Leaders Awards finalists can be found here: https://wwpr.org/emerging-leaders-finalists/.


Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) is a member-based professional society cultivating and inspiring female communicators to reach their full potential in the DC market and beyond. The organization is committed to providing leadership opportunities, professional development, mentorship, and industry networking. Visit us at wwpr.org connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @WWPR  and on Instagram @WWPRDC.

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SOURCE Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR)

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