Leadership and Professional Skills

New Professionals

Policy and Advocacy

253. We Found Our Thrill on Capitol Hill

Tuesday, October 23
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
CE: 1.5

Session Level 2 - Intermediate

Policy internships, fellowships and jobs on Capitol Hill are exciting career builders for nutrition professionals interested in nutrition policy. Hear from current and former legislative staff, interns and fellows about how their experience has advanced their careers, and discover how you can get involved!

Planned with the Legislative and Public Policy Committee

Learning Objectives:

Learning Need Codes:

  • 1010 - Career planning, Standards of Practice, Standards of Professional Practice, Scope of Practice
  • 1070 - Leadership, critical and strategic thinking
  • 1080 - Legislation, public policy

Jeanne Blankenship, MS, RDN


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Nadine S. Braunstein, PhD, RD, CDE, FAND

Nadine Braunstein, PhD, RD, CDE, FAND is the Dietetic Internship Director and Assistant Professor at California State University Sacramento. She was a 2013-14 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow where she served in the office of a U.S. Senator and helped support the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Nadine served on the Academy's Legislative and Public Policy Committee, including as the chair, from 2015-2017. Currently Nadine serves on the California Academy of Nutriiton and Dietetics' Public Policy Panel where she is on the planning committee for the state Public Policy Workshop as well as the policy co-chair for the Northern Area District. Braunstein received her PhD from Boston University School of Medicine, her Master's from the MGH Institute of Health Professions and her Bachelor's degree from Drexel University.


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Kelly Horton, MS, RD, CSG

Kelly D. Horton, MS, RD is the North America Policy Director for Mars, Incorporated. In her role she is responsible for navigating the U.S. food and nutrition policy and regulatory landscape, driving issues management processes, and developing and implementing engagement plans with external and internal stakeholders. Kelly facilitates Mars’ North America Food Policy Group, which serves as a central facilitating body for policy and regulatory strategy creation and deployment. Kelly holds a Master of Science in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, and is a Registered Dietitian. She has served on boards for several organizations, is a past chair of AND’s Hunger and Environmental Nutrition DPG, and was a founding member of the Puget Sound Regional Food Policy Council. She lives in Washington, D.C.


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Noereem Mena, MS, RDN, LD

Noereem Z. Mena
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
PhD Candidate/Child Nutrition Researcher at the University of Rhode Island


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Sophie Trainor, RD

Sophie Trainor, RD, serves as a Senior Policy Advisor for Congressman Brett Guthrie of Kentucky, where her focus is on healthcare policies under the jurisdiction of the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, which include the FDA and NIH, Medicare, Medicaid, and the opioid epidemic.

Prior to joining Congressman Guthrie’s team, Sophie served as a shared staffer for Congressman Joe Barton and the Energy and Commerce Committee, where she spearheaded efforts to combat the Zika virus and negotiated key parts of the 21st Century Cures Act and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Previously, Sophie served as a Legislative Assistant focusing on health, education, and labor appropriations for Congressman Martha Roby of Alabama and Congressman Lee Terry of Nebraska. Sophie began her career on the Hill as a Legislative Correspondent and Staff Assistant for Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

Sophie earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences from the University of Alabama. Sophie served as President of the University of Alabama Alumni Association, National Capital Chapter, and is a member of the Junior League of Washington. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Sophie currently resides in Washington, DC.


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253. We Found Our Thrill on Capitol Hill

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