When Amira Valliani ’06 recently had her photo taken with President Obama, she never expected it to become a Harker Quarterly cover shot. Now the photo has made Harker Quarterly history – marking the first time a graduate has graced the magazine’s cover.
Published four times a year, Harker Quarterly showcases some of the top news, leading programs, inspiring people and visionary plans of the greater Harker community. We mail it to current families and alumni, and post to our account at issuu.com for all to enjoy.
Valliani recently wrapped up her duties as senior adviser to the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications at the White House. During her stint there, Valliani worked on a range of foreign policy, press and public diplomacy issues. Of her photo with President Obama, she said “It was taken in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia before a town hall with young people from across Southeast Asia as a part of the launch of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), which I coordinated. My boss introduced me to the president backstage before the event started and told him I put the initiative together.”
That event was actually Valliani’s last day on the job. “So the president and I chatted for a few minutes about the initiative and my plans for after the White House,” added Valliani who previously worked in the Office of the Secretary of State under Hillary Clinton. In that position, she served as special assistant to the State Department’s deputy chief of staff and wrote speeches for Secretary Clinton.
When not working (or posing with the world’s most powerful politician), Valliani enjoys running. This past spring, she ran in the Boston Marathon in an effort to raise money for the Aga Khan Foundation, one of the world’s largest international development organizations. “Our team of three runners successfully raised over $60,000,” she reported.
Valliani recently packed up her apartment in Washington, D.C., and backpacked around Myanmar (Burma) with fellow alumna Mina Lee ’06. She is spending the remainder of the summer traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. Come fall, she will attend graduate school at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.