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Jefferson Hires Pair of Legislative Assistants

Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) certainly recognizes what a hot commodity he has in Aranthan “AJ” Jones. But he isn’t the first to take notice of Jones’ potential. The newly hired legislative assistant became a household name as one of Ebony Magazine’s “Future Leaders under 30,” and he also was recently profiled by CNN’s “Headline News” as one of five Congressional staffers destined to be future national policy leaders.

Jones will specialize in issues relating to ways and means, health care and human resources, child welfare, science and technology, labor, telecommunications and women’s issues.

Angelle Kwemo joins Jones as a new legislative assistant in Jefferson’s office. Kwemo’s area of expertise will include foreign policy, agriculture, energy and environment, immigration and transportation issues. [IMGCAP(1)]

“I am happy to welcome Angelle and AJ to my Washington staff,” Jefferson said in a statement. “Both have the experience and educational backgrounds to complement my current staff and help me implement my policy goals for the 109th Congress.”

Jones is a graduate of Iowa State University, where he received two bachelor’s degrees in sociology and anthropology and a minor in African-American studies. At George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services, he received his master’s in public health in international health policy. Currently, Jones is pursuing a Ph.D. in public policy at Walden University and School of Management.

Before joining Jefferson’s staff, Jones most recently served as the health policy director for the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, chaired by Del. Donna Christian-Christensen (D-V.I.). In this position, Jones directed the caucus’ policy positions on health care access, public health, children’s health, health education and the elimination of disparities in health between racial groups. His other Congressional experience includes a stint as lead health adviser to the Homeland Security subcommittee on preparedness and response. Jones has also worked in Nigeria, South Africa and France.

Kwemo is herself no stranger to life outside the United States. Born in Cameroon, Africa, she earned her bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Rouen in France, where she also received one of her master of law degrees in economic activities law. The other, earned from Washington College of Law at American University, was in international business transaction and human rights.

Kwemo was an associate at a French law firm before relocating to Africa, where she spent five years working as a corporate lawyer handling issues of trade and admiralty. She taught business law in Cameroon, while also performing advocacy work for women’s empowerment and local development. Kwemo has also advocated on behalf of people suffering from HIV-AIDS, pressed for a strengthening of business relations between the United States and West Africa, and examined myriad other problems plaguing her home continent.

While in the United States, Kwemo has worked as a researcher, studying issues of trade with Oxfam America, human rights and the global economy with Washington College of Law, and local development with the World Bank.

“Angelle and AJ are leaders in their respective fields and I know that their expertises will only further my goals in the areas of foreign policy and health care,” Jefferson said. “I look forward to moving forward with my staff in producing quality policy initiatives that will benefit the Second Congressional District, Louisiana and the nation.”

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