Agency for International Development, where she supports
President Obama’s Feed the Future Initiative, a program that
seeks to address challenges facing the global food supply.
Long term, she hopes to continue working on domestic and
international food security and to demonstrate to others that
you don’t have to be a politician to appreciate the impact of
policy. “I would like to create a space where I disseminate how
policy works to community leaders,” she says.
In the Office of Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
Molaison is the Jacquelin Goldman congressional fellow, a
position funded by the American Psychological Foundation
through a bequest by Jacquelin Goldman, PhD, to support
psychologists with backgrounds in child clinical and
Molaison received her doctorate in applied developmental
psychology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Earlier in her career, she worked as a journalist, reporting on
policymaking bodies, such as the Louisiana state legislature.
As a psychologist, she has worked in pediatric psychology and
private practice and developed a nonprofit family bereavement
center in Delaware.
Her professional experiences helped her adapt quickly to
Capitol Hill, where she found a culture defined by “constantly
changing priorities, a fast pace, a demand to gather information
and write succinctly, a competitive environment and a unique
lexicon,” she says. Molaison’s background also helped her to
“monitor many moving parts, create coalitions, convincingly
advocate for an idea or point of view and decide how and when
to discuss challenging issues,” she says.
“It was a joy to work for a public servant who is ethical and
transparent, advocates strongly for his constituents, and treats
people with the utmost respect,” Molaison says. In Tester’s
office, she worked on policy related to rural concerns, health
and mental health, illness prevention and women’s health.
She was impressed by how “innovative and bold” the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act is and yet was discouraged
that “prevention programs and services can be difficult to move
forward because Congress is not allowed to consider potential
savings when calculating what a new law might cost.”
Molaison currently serves as a health advisor in Sen. Sherrod
Brown’s (D-Ohio) office. “There is still so much for me to learn
and contribute,” she says. “I imagine, in the long run, I will
continue to be an advocate for people, especially those who may
not have the resources or lobbying power to be heard.” ;
Nida Corry, PhD, is a senior legislative and federal affairs officer
in APA’s Public Interest Government Relations Office (PI-GRO)
and co-director of APA’s Congressional Fellowship Program.
Micah Haskell-Hoehl is senior policy associate in PI-GRO.