By Anna Keilly on February 12, 2021
Anna Keilly is an outreach intern for RepresentWomen and a current American University student in the combined BA/MPA program. This semester she will complete her undergraduate degree in the interdisciplinary study of communications, legal institutions, economics and government (CLEG). Anna’s focused interest in the areas of campaign operations and women in politics began with her Fellowship on Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign and developed through this election cycle when she worked as a Field Organizer on Amy McGrath’s Senate campaign in Lexington, KY. She is excited to work with RepresentWomen to further her outreach and advocacy work for women in politics and to help advance gender parity on all levels of governing.
As I sat on election night of November 3rd, 2020, I was overwhelmed with grief and anticipatory anxiety. This was my second campaign, and it was a clear and decisive loss. While the outcome of working as a Field Organizer for Amy McGrath in Kentucky was much less of a surprise than working as a Campaign Fellow for Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, the losses echoed each other. Working for both of these incredibly capable and qualified women inspire me on a daily basis. The obstacles they, and many other women in politics, face in our current political system seems daunting. But their principles and message is what fuels me to fight for big, structural changes in the system.
My name is Anna Keilly, and I am a current combined degree student at American University, completing my BA in the interdisciplinary study of communications, legal institutions, economics and government (CLEG) in the Spring 2021, while pursuing my Masters in Public Administration by Summer 2022. I am originally from Lancaster, PA and in my free time I enjoy reading, hiking and working with children through overnight summer camp, after school programs and more.
My passion for women in politics came from the various inspiring women in my life. I have watched the women around me, from family, to close friends, teachers and advisors persevere through a range of unimaginable struggles with grace and sophistication. And yet, when I look at our political system, dominated by men, whose values and fights are not the same as women and mothers who run for office, I know I must continue to organize to get more women elected.
I have seen, up close, the need for increased gender parity. This, along with the research agenda, advocacy efforts and program innovations proposed by RepresentWomen, is why working for this organization is so important to me. I am excited to work with RepresentWomen at this moment in time as well, given our newly elected VP and the first ever cabinet to have meaningful gender parity. Working to further eliminate the institutional barriers that prevent more women from being elected fuels my passion and I look forward to advancing this work this semester.