Meet the Team

2017-2018 Graduate Leadership Council

Mina Kato

Mina Kato, GLC President

Mina Kato is pursuing a Master’s degree in Political Science at the School of Public Affairs She graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science/International Affairs where she was a resident advisor, orientation leader, Panhellenic council executive board member, and student government officer. Prior to joining American University, Mina held previous roles as a scheduler in the Office of Congresswoman Judy Chu, and as a fellow at the Partnership for Public Service. In her role in the House of Representatives, Mina acted as the liaison between the Member of Congress and the White House, federal agencies, advocacy groups, and stakeholders. She currently works in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at American University, supporting the Assistant Vice President with scheduling, programming, alumni communications, and the AU Alumni Board. In her spare time, she does programming as a volunteer on her alma mater’s DC alumni board and the University of California Alumni Advisory Board. Mina is passionate about student advocacy, and excited to serve AU’s graduate community. You can contact Mina at

Kate SchaeferKate Schaefer, VP of Communications

Kate is a second-year master’s student in the Intercultural and International Communication program at the School of International Service. After graduating from Duke University, she taught English for two years in South Korea. Kate has lived in Washington, DC for several years and has worked at a variety of nonprofits, including World Learning and The NEA Foundation. You can contact Kate at




Veronica CharlesVeronica Charles, VP of Management

Veronica is a first year graduate student pursuing a Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis in education policy. Veronica graduated with a Bachelors of Science Dual Degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Nevada, Reno, where she served as the Director of Legislative Affairs and lobbied on behalf of the student body at the Nevada state legislature. Prior to joining American University, Veronica helped manage a successful school funding campaign in her home state of Nevada, worked for the Minority Policy Coordinator in the Nevada Senate, and worked closely with the Nevada System of Higher Education to create legislation that would improve job outcomes across the state. During her time at the University of Nevada, Veronica held several cabinet positions in student government, the Delta Gamma Fraternity, and the Division of Health Sciences Advisory Board. In her spare time, Veronica is an avid hiker and runner, and can’t get enough of American History. Veronica is a strong supporter of special education, higher education, and student advocacy, and looks forward to meeting with members of AU’s graduate community. You can contact Veronica at


James Lagasse, VP of Finance

You can contact James at


Briana Richardson-Jones, VP of Alumni Affairs

Briana Richardson-Jones is currently a student at American University pursuing a Mater’s Degree in Justice, Law, and Criminology with a concentration in Public Policy at the School of Public Affairs. During her first year at the university, she had the opportunity of interning with Mil Mujeres legal services where she worked with law enforcement professionals to provide illegal immigrants with U-Visas for reporting incidents, such as, domestic violence and sex trafficking. During the spring semester, she was able to work with the United States Department of Education as policy intern in the White House Initiative for American Indian and Alaskan Native Education. Prior to American University, Briana attended the Indiana University of Pennsylvania on a full-ride scholarship to pursue a Bachelor’s of Art Degree in English with a concentration in Pre-Law. In her undergraduate degree, Briana served on executive boards of many organizations and conducted research with the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program. Currently, Briana is interning for the Mayor of Philadelphia under the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition. You can contact Briana at

Portia Polk, Vp of programming

You can contact Portia at


Office: (202)885-2600

The Graduate Leadership Council (GLC) is the representative body for the more than 3,500 graduate students at American University. The GLC brings together the leaders of the five graduate student councils at AU to mobilize on issues that are relevant to the graduate population. It is the mission of the GLC to ensure that their time at AU is as enjoyable as possible, by providing a multitude of social networking events and activities, as well as advocating for their concerns directly to President Kerwin and the AU Administration.  If you are an AU graduate student and ever have any questions, comments, suggestions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the council directly, at