Alumnae to discuss their careers in government and politics

The Connecticut College Department of Government and International Relations has invited back to campus five successful alumnae for a panel discussion on women in politics on Monday, April 13, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the 1941 Room of the College Center at Crozier-Williams.

“Breaking the Glass Ceiling: From Government to Politics” is the latest event in the Suzi Oppenheimer ’56 Lecture Series, supported by the former New York state senator.

“The Oppenheimer Lecture Series celebrates women working in the field of politics,” said Tristan Borer, professor of government and international relations and chair of the department, “and this year we’re spotlighting our own alumnae.”

Borer will moderate the panel, which features five former students in the Department of Government and International Relations:

• Holly Dranginis ’06 is an attorney and policy analyst for the Enough Project, an initiative of the Center for American Progress aimed at ending genocide and crimes against humanity in areas of crisis such as Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo and the Central African Republic.

• Cecilia Royal Jacobsen ’05 is an analyst in the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Intelligence, focused on the Middle East and North Africa.

• Giovanna Gray Lockhart ’02 is the Washington editor for Glamour magazine. She previously worked as special senior adviser to United States Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand.

• Megan Nashban ’09 serves as the development director at Americans for Responsible Solutions, a political action committee founded by former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband to promote gun-control legislation in the United States.

• And Allison Zelman ’07 is director of public engagement in the U.S. Department of Labor. Prior to that, she was the managing director for the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress, overseeing policies and strategies surrounding women’s economic security issues.

“We selected alumnae who would give the panel a good mix of international and domestic political experience because, of course, the two are now inextricably linked,” said Borer. “And we’re fortunate that they have also worked at some of the highest levels of government and politics.”

Borer teamed with current students in her “Women and World Politics: Feminist International Relations” course to generate some questions for the panelists, including issues women in government and politics face as well as specific inquiries about the type of work they do.

“This will be a substantive discussion that will appeal to people interested in politics and international relations as well as those interested in careers in those fields,” said Borer. “And it will be interesting to those who want to know where a liberal arts education can lead.”

A public reception will follow the discussion. For more information, contact Borer at

April 6, 2015