August 15, 2013

Republican National Committee Unveils Rising Stars Program

First Announcement Spotlights Oklahoma House Speaker, New Hampshire Representative, Women’s Issues Activist, and Conservative Scholar
Today at the RNC Summer Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, Chairman Reince Priebus announced the launch of the RNC’s Rising Stars program.
Rising Stars will regularly spotlight and actively promote Republican individuals who are new voices in the party. They will be prominently featured on and given a national platform to share their unique perspectives.
Chairman Priebus announced the first four Republicans to be named Rising Stars and joined all four for a panel discussion in Boston:
  • Karin Agness, Founder and President of the Network of enlightened Women (NeW)
  • Scott G. Erickson, Heritage Foundation Writer and San Jose Police Officer
  • Marilinda Garcia, New Hampshire State Representative
  • T.W. Shannon, Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
“If you’ve met these impressive individuals, you’ve met the future of our party,” said Chairman Priebus. “Rising Stars is about spotlighting some of the incredible talent in our party—from activists and authors to candidates and elected officials. Karin, Scott, Marilinda, and T.W. are already making names for themselves, and we’re excited to share their stories and accomplishments with the rest of the party and the country.
“This is just the beginning of this initiative, and I’m looking forward to announcing more Rising Stars in the months ahead.”
Click here to visit the Rising Stars webpage.
Biographies of the New RNC Rising Stars:
Karin Agness (@KarinAgness)
Karin Agness is the founder and president of the Network of enlightened Women (NeW), the nation’s premier organization for conservative university women, and a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she founded NeW. Since then, Karin has worked to grow NeW from a book club at one campus into a national organization with chapters at campuses nationwide. 
Upon graduation from the University of Virginia School of Law, she practiced law at Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, DC.
Karin regularly speaks at colleges, law schools, and conferences around the country. She has been interviewed on national television and radio shows, such as Fox and Friends, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and The Laura Ingraham Radio Show, among others.
Her editorials haven been published in The Washington Post, U.S. News, Politico, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, and The Tampa Tribune.
In 2013 Karin was named to the Maverick PAC 40 under 40 list, a list of “up-and-coming leaders for the next generation of Republicans.” She was also named to Red Alert Politics 30 under 30 list and in 2012 was selected for the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Law and Policy.
Scott G. Erickson (@SGErickson)
Scott G. Erickson is a conservative writer, policy analyst, and law enforcement professional in California. He has spent the past 15 years working as a police officer, directing his professional focus on the recognition and identification of terrorist organizations.
He holds a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Studies from the University of Cincinnati. In addition to his law enforcement duties, Scott has collaborated extensively with the Heritage Foundation. Frequently contributing to Heritage’s blog, The Foundry, Scott has focused on issues of national security, including foreign terrorist organizations, law enforcement, and missile defense. He has also co-authored several reports at Heritage: A Comprehensive Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) System Requires Action; Changing Today’s Law Enforcement Culture to Face 21st-Century Threats; and Lessons from Benghazi: Investigation Leaves Important Questions Unanswered.
Scott’s writing has been featured in The Washington Times, The Daily Caller, The Hill, Defense News, and other publications.
State Rep. Marilinda Garcia (@MarilindaGarcia)
Marilinda Garcia was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 2006 at just 23 years of age. Elected to her fourth term in 2012, she currently serves on the Finance Committee.
She was elected to the NH Union Leader’s special edition “40 under Forty” honors program for the state of New Hampshire. She is a recipient of the National Foundation for Women Legislators’ “Integrative Healthcare Pioneer Award” and the Disruptivate! “Innovation in Healthcare” Award. She also was honored as one of the Republican Security Council's “45 Most Influential Women Under 45” and received the Hildegard Behrens Foundation’s “Young Artist Humanitarian Award.”
Born to an Italian-American mother and a Spanish-American father, Ms. Garcia earned her B.A., cum laude, from Tufts University in 2006 and concurrently completed a B.M. with Academic Honors and Distinction in Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. In 2010 she graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she received a Master of Public Policy degree.
Speaker T.W. Shannon (@TWShannon)
On January 8, 2013, T.W. Shannon took the oath of office to be Oklahoma’s Speaker of the House, becoming the first African-American speaker in the state’s history. A sixth generation Oklahoman, T.W. was first elected to the state House of Representatives from his hometown of Lawton in 2006 and quickly rose through the ranks.
Speaker Shannon earned a degree in communications from Cameron University and a law degree from Oklahoma City University Law School. He previously worked as a field representative for former Congressman J.C. Watts and for Congressman Tom Cole. An enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, T.W. served as the chief administrative officer for Chickasaw Nation Enterprises. Today, he operates a home-based public relations business.
T.W. serves as a youth Sunday school teacher at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Lawton. He has been married to his college sweetheart, Devon, for 11 years and they have two children, Audrey Grace and T.W. II.
Speaker Shannon also serves on the advisory board of GOPAC.