PLP Alumni News

Sorensen mourns loss of alumna Tiffany Joslyn
Mar 8 2016 - 4:14pm

The Sorensen alumni family is saddened by the news that a tragic auto accident on Interstate 95 in New England took the life of a member of the Sorensen Political Leaders Program Class of 2011 and her brother over the weekend.

The class is processing the death of Tiffany May Joslyn, 33, of Arlington. She and her younger brother, Derrick, were driving to pick up a car for her when the vehicle they were in was struck on the interstate and rolled over into oncoming traffic.

All of the Sorensen family misses Tiffany, who brought light and smiles and caring to those she touched.

Tiffany was Deputy Chief Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security & Investigations.

The Judiciary Committee issued the following statement about her:

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), and the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) today released the following joint statement in the wake of the death of Tiffany May Joslyn, Deputy Chief Counsel of the Crime Subcommittee (Democratic staff), who died on Saturday, March 5, 2016:

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden, tragic loss of Tiffany May Joslyn and her brother, Derrick T. Joslyn, who died in an auto accident in Rhode Island.

“Tiffany joined the committee almost one year ago and came into the office everyday with boundless energy and positivity. She was brilliant, determined, compassionate and kind.

“Her hardworking nature and diligent spirit served as an inspiration to everyone who knew her and worked with her, regardless of political affiliation.

“Tiffany’s passionate work and dedication to social justice is unparalleled. From her time working in the non-profit sector as a young criminal defense attorney to her many months of hard work to reform our criminal justice system as Deputy Chief Counsel of the U.S. House Judiciary Crime Subcommittee (Democratic staff) – her work made a lasting impact.

“Though her life was cut short by tragedy, Tiffany had a profound and positive impact on the world. She made a true difference in the lives of many, both professionally and personally. We are grateful for the time we were able to spend with Tiffany, and for her critical work on the committee. We extend our deepest sympathies to her family.” 

Tiffany Joslyn (second row, third from left) poses with her classmates from the Political Leaders Program Class of 2011 at a Sorensen Gala on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.


Heaphy joins Hunton & Williams
Feb 25 2015 - 5:15pm

Tim Heaphy (PLP 2005) has joined the law firm Hunton & Williams as a partner in its Washington and Richmond offices. He will become head of the firm’s white collar defense and internal investigations practice.

Tim has previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia since 2009 where he led cases related to national security, financial and health care fraud, public corruption, organized crime, environmental crime, money laundering, and civil rights, among others.

Chenery to direct Shenandoah Valley Partnership
Feb 24 2015 - 3:10pm

Carrie Hileman Chenery (PLP 2013) has been selected as the new executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership (SVP), a public/private partnership providing marketing and business assistance for the Shenandoah Valley region.

Carrie is a Valley native who previously served as the Commonwealth's Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry.


Pham announces CA candidacy
Feb 23 2015 - 8:07pm

Tony Pham (PLP 2012) announces his campaign for Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney.

“Henrico County is where we began our journey as Americans,” said Tony Pham. “This is where I started my own family. I am excited to represent the County I love and restore leadership, trust, and transparency to an office that has immense authority over our lives.”

More information about Tony's campaign can be found on his campaign website at

Good luck, Tony!

Utt appointed to Recreational Facilities Authority
Jan 2 2015 - 5:58pm

Shawn Utt (PLP 2006) was appointed on Dec. 19 to the board of directors for the Virginia Recreational Facilities Authority. The Authority was created in 1986 to

  • provide a high quality recreational attraction in the western part of the Commonwealth
  • expand the historical knowledge of adults and children;
  • promote tourism and economic development in the Commonwealth;
  • set aside and conserve scenic and natural areas along the Roanoke River and preserve open-space lands; and
  • enhance and expand research and educational programs.

Shawn is the town manager for the Town of Pulaski and serves on the Sorensen Institute's Roanoke Regional Advisory Board.

Bien Receives Appointments
Nov 11 2014 - 12:41pm

Lettie Bien (PLP 2013, CTP 2013) received two appointments in the past months.

The first appointment is a place on the Governor’s Advisory Board on Volunteerism and National Service.  The Advisory Board communicates with the Governor and Cabinet Secretaries on national and community service programs in Virginia and on fulfilling the responsibilities and duties prescribed by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service related to the AmeriCorps program.

The second appointment is serving as the US Army Reserve Ambassador for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The function of the Ambassador is similar to that of Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army, and carries a protocol status equivalent of a Major General that is a key means by which Ambassadors are able to effectively execute their responsibilities. Ambassadors are Special Government Employees who represent the Chief of the Army Reserve.  Ambassadors provides Community Outreach assistance to Army Reserve members/families, other military personnel/families as needed, and provide feedback on plans, programs and needs to the Commander of the Army Reserve, the Regional Support Commander and to local USAR Commanders.

Congratulations, Lettie!

Sorensen Alumni Receive Appointments
Oct 23 2014 - 11:27am

Alam, Coburn, Holland, and Yeatts all recently received appointments from the McAuliffe administration.

Naila Alam (PLP 2014, CTP Spring 2009): Public Guardian and Conservator Advisory Board

Lee Coburn (PLP 2013): Virginia Economic Development Partnership

Paul Holland (PLP 2011): Potomac River Basin Commission of Virginia

Todd Yeatts
(Southside Program Class of 2003): Aerospace Advisory Council

Congratulations to all!

Lambert Announced as Veterans Committee Chair for NCBW
Oct 13 2014 - 10:34am

Tammi Lambert (PLP 2012) was formally announced as the National Chair for the National Congress of Black Women’s new Veterans Committee.  The NCBW is dedicated to the educational, political, and cultural development of African American women and youth.  Currectly, NCBW trains women for leadership and decision-making positions in government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector.  The position is a new community partnership between the NCBW and Women Veterans ROCK, which works to engage and empower women veterans to excel in post-military life.

Congratulations, Tammi!

Chenery joins Secretariat of Agriculture
Sep 22 2014 - 11:30am

Gov. McAuliffe announced additional appointments to his administration on Friday including Carrie Hileman Chenery (PLP 2013), the new Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. Carrie most recently served as the Manager of Legislation & Policy for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Three other Sorensen alumni were also among the administration appointments announced Friday.

Board for Contractors
Vance T. Ayres of King George, National Coordinator, EIWPF; PLP 2007, CTP 2008

Legislative Advisory Council to the Southern Regional Education Board
Hon. David L. Bulova of Fairfax, Member, Virginia House of Delegates; PLP 1997
Hon. Jennifer L. McClellan of Richmond, Member, Virginia House of Delegates; PLP 2001, CTP 2005

Chimaladinne Recieves Appointment to ITAC
Sep 22 2014 - 11:27am

Anjan Chimaladinne (PLP 2012) has been appointed by Governor McAuliffe to the Information Technology Advisory Council.  The ITAC is responsible for advising the CIO and the Secretary of Technology on the planning, budgeting, acquiring, using, disposing, managing, and administering of information technology and appointing a health information technology standards advisory committee in the Commonwealth.

Congratulations, Anjan!

Featured Alumni

  • Vivek Kundra.jpg

    Vivek Kundra

    Political Leaders Program

    Class of 2007

    Vivek has served as Virginia's Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Trade and as Chief Technology Officer for Washington, D.C. He served under President Obama as the first chief information officer of the United States. Vivek is currently a visiting fellow at Harvard University.