Katherine Goodman is one of the The White House Project’s great success stories: a former Women Helping Women Win intern (our program that pairs promising young leaders with women legislators), she’ll be starting as a Legislative Aide for Representative Jeanne Labuda on January 11th.

As Rep. Labuda’s 2011 intern, Goodman said it was “an excellent way for me to get a close look at Colorado state politics and the practical aspects of lawmaking.” She, like the 18 women who will participate in this program at the Colorado State Capitol, worked with numerous WHP alumnae and other women legislators.

“A typical day for me involved A LOT of communicating,” says Katherine. “Answering constituent questions via phone and e-mail, arranging Representative Labuda’s schedule, and writing a wide variety of documents, from press releases and op-eds to letters of congratulations to students in House District 1.” In between everything, Katherine also had the opportunity to sit in on many committees, seeing legislators in action and citizens engaged.

With an insider’s eye into the legislative process, Katherine remarked, “Politics is hard work!” She was “astonished at the hours Representative Labuda and her fellow legislators put in, going from general session to committee meeting to a presentation on education in Colorado to another committee meeting.” Along with this insight, Katherine also gained a new appreciation for lawmakers and the enormous amount of work they must do in a few short months.

The experience also showed Katherine that “women have unique and important viewpoints and experiences to bring to policy questions.” Yet she believes that with all the commitments that women today have on their time, it’s easy for them to forget their contribution. That’s where The White House Project comes in—to provide support and encouragement to get involved and organize.

With her position as a Legislative Aide, Katherine also brings considerable experience from her previous positions such as Media Liaison and Assistant to the Director at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office as well as from her Masters degree. Katherine is currently completing a Master of Arts in International Security at the University of Denver where she is a Fellow of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy. For women interested in similar work, Katherine recommends being patient and polite because you will have to deal with all sorts of people, but don’t forget that “cultivating compassion doesn’t mean you have to let someone treat you like a doormat.”