Each year, thousands of interns and young professionals come to Washington hoping to make a name for themselves and land their dream job. How can you stand out from the competition? How can you grow your skill set and become better connected? And how can you make the most of all the opportunities DC has to offer?  

Join The Heritage Foundation, America's Future, Talent Market, Leadership Institute, & State Policy Network for the Summer 2023 Welcome to Washington event. Learn how to network like a pro, leave your mark, and build your dream career from a panel of DC insiders. They'll offer advice on navigating the job market in Washington, discuss their paths to professional success, and answer YOUR questions. They might even share their secrets for the best 4th of July Fireworks experience!


PLUS: Stick around afterward for a reception to network with young professionals from across the city and check out opportunities and upcoming events from a dozen other organizations, while enjoying the view from Heritage's famous rooftop. Whether you're interning or just getting established in your career, don't miss this opportunity to break into DC and kickstart your summer! 




Date: Thursday, June 8, 2023 
Time: 5:30 - 8:00 pm ET 
Location: Allison Auditorium & Rooftop, The Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002 
Who: Conservative Interns and Young Professionals
Catering: Heavy Hors D'Oeuvres and Soft Drinks
Cost: Free!

Career Panel Featuring


Christopher Hayes
Career Programs Training Coordinator,
Leadership Institute

Chris is the Trainings Coordinator within the Career Services training program.  He brings over ten years of private sector experience in several industries, geographies, and countries.  He has been in leadership roles in software companies, healthcare companies, and also the restaurant industry in his younger years.  Within the conservative movement Chris is devoted to restoring the liberalism of the American founding, rooting out runaway Progressive politics, and crafting sensible foreign policy that will enable American security, prosperity, and liberty.


Chris joins The Leadership Institute shortly after completing a Master's Program in Foreign Policy with China at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, which is a hybrid education between Tufts and Harvard Universities.  He followed this with nine months of research at the Heritage Foundation's Simon Center of American Studies before joining the LI team.  Prior to his pivot to the policy world, Chris spent five years in management consulting with Unitedhealth Group's Optum Consulting.  This role took him around the country and exposed him to a wealth of business operations.  His earlier work experiences ranged from finance, to construction, to managing a small restaurant.

Chris has lived in six US states as well as Beijing, China and Geneva, Switzerland; he speaks french and is developing his Mandarin.  He has taught classes in both Chinese History as well as Project Management.  If you're ever interested, he'll be happy to chat with you about the NBA or play a quick game of chess.

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Wesley Hodges
Coalitions Advisor,
The Heritage Foundation

Wes Hodges is an advisor for coalitions at the Heritage Foundation, where he manages the organization’s tech policy campaign and works on youth outreach strategy. Prior to Heritage, Wes was American Compass’s founding coalition director and an associate director for the Federalist Society's Practice Groups. Wes brings years of experience working to build extensive and effective networks in academic, legal, and political settings.


Hodges holds a B.B.A. cum laude from Baylor University, where he had the honor of serving as student body president. He is a John Jay Fellow and an Eagle Scout. He lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife and soon-to-be-born son.

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Lydia Ocampo

Outreach Specialist,

Talent Market

Lydia is the Outreach Specialist at Talent Market where she primarily works on entry to mid-level roles with the occasional senior level search as well. She’s also part of their outreach team where she attends various events and gives presentations on career development and the opportunities available in the liberty movement.


Lydia started her career with Young Americans for Liberty. During her time with YAL she wore many hats including Southeast Regional Director, Intern Coordinator, and Director of Operations. This is where she found her passion for recruiting and discovering like-minded individuals to grow our movement. She is also a graduate of the Koch Associate Program.


Lydia currently lives in the small town of Ripon, Wisconsin with her husband Marco and daughter Clara. Most of her spare time is dedicated to her artwork. Her other hobbies include cooking, anime, and drinking lots and lots of coffee!

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Heather Pfitzenmaier

Senior Talent Program Advisor

State Policy Network

Heather Pfitzenmaier serves as Senior Talent Program Advisor at the State Policy Network. Previously, she served as the Vice President and Director of Strategic Engagement at the Network of Enlightened Women. Before that, Pfitzenmaier was Executive Vice President, and earlier Vice President and Director of Chapter Programs, at America’s Future Foundation. Prior to her time at AFF, Pfitzenmaier served as Director of the Young Leaders Program, and earlier as Intern Coordinator, at the Heritage Foundation.

She is the recipient of Forbes magazine “30 Under 30” in law and policy, the Young Conservatives Coalition Buckley Award, and “30 Under 30″ recognition by Red Alert Politics. Currently, Pfitzenmaier serves on the Advisory Board of the Forge Leadership Network, on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Prosperity Center, and as a school board member at Canton Charter Academy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from the University of Michigan and currently resides in the great state of Michigan with her husband and their three boys.

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Moderator Addison Patrick

Acting DC Hub Director

America's Future

Addison is the Acting DC Hub Director for America’s Future. She originally connected with AF in 2019, while serving on the AF-Jacksonville (Florida) Board and later as Chapter Leader.

Addison relocated to the DMV in late 2021 and soon re-connected with AF as Hub Coordinator. Addison is a Pilot Member of America’s Future and also works with the Department of Community as an Assistant, where she has been involved with programs and ad-hoc projects. Addison is an AF Writing Fellow and completed the Policy Writing and Personal Narrative workshops. She is a Heritage Foundation Young Leaders Academy Fellow.


Prior to her work with America’s Future, Addison was involved with the Libertarian Party of Florida and was Chair of the Duval County affiliate. Addison graduated from Christopher Newport University (CNU) with a degree in Communication Studies. She is a CNU Metro DC board member, where she leads the Extended Outreach Committee.


Addison resides in the DMV with her two rescue dogs. She is passionate about liberty and is fascinated by the culture in DC. She enjoys meeting new people from all backgrounds and hearing their stories and ideas. Her motto is to “live a life you don’t need a vacation from.”

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