Friday, June 14, 2019


Women’s Campaign School Assembles 25th Class

WCS 2018 class

Some of the members of the Women's Campaign School class of 2018.

This year, the Women’s Campaign School at Yale (WCS) will celebrate seating its 25th class for a weeklong, intensive course from June 17–21, 2019 on how to run for office and win.

The course, an annual five-day intensive program for eighty students, includes experts of all political stripes. Discussion sections throughout the week include Polling, Fundraising, Media Training, and Social Media Best Practices, led by experts from across the country. The nonpartisan, issue-neutral training program concludes with a series of mock campaign presentations and critiques by students.

New elements of WCS this year include a dinner presentation, “The Future of Women in the GOP.” One session, “Women Winning Primaries,” features Connecticut state representative Jillian Gilchrest and Gabby Richards, communications director for Representative Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania, who will share their perspectives on how to best succeed in a primary contest. The session “All the Things We Wish You Knew” will be led by two seasoned campaign officials, one Democrat and one Republican, who will cover topics often overlooked during political campaigns.

“Our hope for our students is that they leave us prepared to take on the world!” said Patti Russo, executive director of WCS. “They leave us with the confidence and skill set to face any challenge and face it fearlessly.”

WCS has grown to become truly global. Ten percent of the 2019 class come from outside the United States; countries represented include Australia, Belarus, Bosnia, Mexico, Mongolia, Panama, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe. Of this year’s cohort, 47.5 percent identify as people of color.

Welcoming the new class at the week’s opening event on June 17 will be WCS president Stephanie Berger, Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law Kate Stith, New Haven mayor Toni Harp, WCS board member Marta Moret, Representative Jahana Hayes, and Russo.

The WCS was founded in 1993 by author and scholar Andrée Aelion Brooks with the help of Yale administrators who helped find it a home at the University, including former University Vice President Linda Lorimer ’77 and Yale Law School Professor Kate Stith. An independent program, WCS takes place at the Law School each year in June. Through the years, the program has graduated several high-profile alumni, including U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords of Arizona.