Spring 2021 Newsletter

Friends --

Spring has sprung and newness is in the air, including on the TSA board! Five fabulous Trumans have joined the board, so please help us welcome them! Read below to learn a little more about our newest leadership. PLUS, save the date for the 2021 virtual Truman Reunion. More details below!



Swati Agrawal, MI '91 

Swati Agrawal (she/her/hers) is a ’91 Truman Scholar and happily counts many of the Trumans she met during TSLW and the Truman Scholars Summer Institute among her closest friends. Swati currently serves as CEO of Firmseek, a national digital media company, helping organizations improve their competitive positioning and grow market share. She also serves on Executive Committee and Awards Committee of the Yale Law School Alumni Association. She is a Board Member of Woolly Mammoth Theatre in DC, which is being looked at as a model for EDI initiatives among the arts community. Swati received a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. with high distinction and high honors in Economics from the University of Michigan. Swati resides in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband Tony Saldana and her two boys. She’s excited to give back to the Truman alumni community through her service on the TSA board!

Nazir Harb Michel, WA '07

Nazir Harb Michel is 2007 Truman Scholar from Washington State. Nazir has a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University and a second Masters in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. He is a Princeton University Public Policy Fellow, a Liechtenstein Institute Politics, Religion, and Diplomacy Fellow, and holds a Ph.D from Georgetown University’s Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies. He completed a Postdoctoral Senior Research Fellowship at Georgetown University's Bridge Initiative on the study of Islamophobia and went out on to become a senior associate Middle East and North Africa domain expert at Dataminr. Nazir is now a senior researcher at Remitly, a fin tech company that builds financial tools for immigrant communities. Nazir is married and has three little girls and lives in Sammamish, Washington. 

Louis Lainé, NJ ’15

Louis Lainé is originally from Port-au-Prince, Haïti and currently resides in New Jersey. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 2016. He currently serves as the Managing Director at The Vox Institute, an education consulting organization that advises schools and educators on how to foster educational communities committed to developing student voices. Louis is also a World History teacher, and a co-founder of a student-led public policy group called Race To Action. Louis enjoys running, writing poetry and producing music.

Sarah Sieloff, WA '05

Sarah Sieloff is a Council on Foreign Relations-Hitachi Fellow, and is based in Zushi, Kanagawa, Japan, where she is studying how Japanese municipalities are responding to population aging and decline.  She joined the TSA Board after participating in the 2020 Truman Governance Institute, which motivated her to give back to the Truman community. Prior to coming to Japan, Sarah served for five years as Executive Director of the nonprofit Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR), the US's premier nonprofit focused on land reuse. Prior to that, Sarah served as the Memphis Team Lead for the White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities, a federal interagency technical assistance initiative.  

Sarah is a frustrated writer, and enjoys meditating, improving her poor Japanese language abilities, and riding her bike around Japan with her husband Foster. Sarah was born and raised in Washington State, earned her BA at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL and her Master in Public Affairs at Princeton University. Like an errant salmon finally returning to its natal stream after 18 years at sea, Sarah is excited to return to the Pacific Northwest in May of 2021.

Jessica Swan, TN '04

A 2004 TN Truman Scholar, Jessica Swan currently works as an Education Program Specialist in the Office of English Language Acquisition at the U.S. Department of Education. Jessica has professional experience as a teacher in K-12, university, and community-based classrooms in the United States and abroad. She is passionate about English Learners and ensuring their success, and she is stimulated by the diversity of languages and cultures. Most recently, Jessica was an English Language Fellow with the United States Department of State at the University of Shkoder in Albania. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Jessica holds a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics with an emphasis in TESOL. She is also interested in nonprofit management and has used her Master’s in Public Administration degree from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Public Administration to enhance her work in nonprofit and educational institutions. Jessica is a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher, Rotarian, and world traveler. Most importantly, she is super excited to be joining the good work of TSA.


The 2021 Truman Scholars National Conference will take place virtually July 19th-22nd, 2021.

As the Truman Scholars Association (TSA) prepares the activities and agenda for the conference, we want to hear from you about the possible panel discussions you'd like to see.  Please, fill out this form with your proposed topics, and any Truman Scholars you think will fit the bill to be on the panels!  
The registration link will be coming soon. Please stay tuned to this listserv, and follow our social media [TwitterFacebookInstagram] for more information.


Did you know TSA runs several Google Groups? Sign up for the general email list to get job postings, updates, and more! 


"I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."

In Service,

The Truman Scholars Association