Staff and Interns

Due to COVID-19 public health concerns, VCW staff started telecommuting 3/16/20.  We'll be available via cell or email, below:


Cary BrownCary Brown | Executive Director

Desk: 802-828-2840 | Cell: 802-498-8871 | Email:

Cary served two terms as a VCW commissioner before joining the staff in 2012.  She has worked as the Director of Girls’ Programs for Vermont Works for Women, a non-profit organization supporting education, training and careers in non-traditional fields for women and girls, and directed the Women in Technology Project, a national award–winning summer technology camp for girls at Vermont Technical College.  She has served on the boards of Northern New England Tradeswomen, Turtle Island Children's Center, the New England Association for Cooperative Education and Field Experience, and the Norwich University Alumni Association.  Cary received her bachelor’s degree from Haverford College, and a Masters of Public Administration degree from Norwich University. She lives in Montpelier with her family, where she is a Justice of the Peace and serves on the Montpelier City Council.



Lilly TalbertLilly Talbert | Communications & Projects Coordinator

Desk: 802-828-2841 | Cell: 802-498-8806 | Email:

Lilly joined VCW in 2001 and manages media relations, message development, research, writing publications, website development, event planning, and internships as Communications and Program Coordinator.  She’s worked in the public relations, marketing, graphic design, and communications fields and previously held positions at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Liquid Studio, and Seventh Generation.  Lilly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from U.V.M. in Communication Science and Disorders and has completed certificates in graphic design as well as re-evaluation counseling.  Lilly is an avid gardener, book club member, and former Little League coach, always ready for outdoor adventures with her family.




VCW's Hannah LaneEllie Lane | Policy Research Analyst & Business Manager

Desk: 802-828-2852 | Cell: 802-522-7155 | Email:

Ellie joined VCW in 2015 after spending several years as Staff Attorney serving clients in the Northeast Kingdom for Have Justice – Will Travel (HJWT), a Vermont non-profit providing holistic pro-bono representation to low-income victims of domestic and sexual violence. She provided direct free legal services to hundreds of Vermont women and families for matters such as obtaining Relief from Abuse Orders (RFA’s), divorce, child custody, and child support by providing both full representation as well as legal guidance and direction for pro-se clients, as part of HJWT’s Legal Empowerment Assistance Program. Ellie formerly served on the Board of Directors of Safeline, Inc., and volunteers at the Randolph Area Food Shelf. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico and a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School. She lives in Braintree.



Vermont Commission on Women
126 State Street, 2nd Floor
Montpelier, Vermont 05633-6801

802-828-2851 or 800-881-1561

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While we like to take credit, on occasion, and quite in jest, for the accomplishments of our former interns, their Fulbright scholarships, their published works in professional journals, their wins in House elections, their leadership roles in women’s issue organizations, and so forth, in reality, we know we really can’t. What we CAN say that we were privileged to benefit from their work, insight, intelligence, humor and energy while they were with us.  We can also say that we look forward to voting for them, working with them as colleagues, watching them being celebrated in national media, and highlighting the positive changes they have brought about for our society and our state!  OUR SINCERE THANKS, APPLAUSE AND CHEERS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SERVED VCW AS INTERNS!

Welcome to Maria-Belén Rivera (UVM) our social media intern from the Communities of Practice Communications program.  Caroline Platt (UVM) and Muhammad Ammar (Bennington College), Alaura Rich (UVM) our 2022 legislative interns. Thank you to summer 2021 interns Grace Bickham (University of Vermont), Keith Chatinover (Middlebury College), and Alexandra Sipos (Middlebury College) - the team behind our soon-to-be released Leadership and Public Life report. They joined Aidan Fenstermacher a UVM graduate in Economics with a minor in Gender StudiesAidan worked with our COVID-19 Dashboard, among other projects. Our thanks and hats off to Molly Goodspeed, who joined us in fall of 2020 after serving at U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants in the Community Partnership program. Our thanks to volunteer Emily Pocock of UVM's Community International Development (CID) program, who worked on public policy issues with us. Thanks to Savannah Jackson, who joined us in her last and COVID-19 impacted sememster at Northern Vermont University - Lyndon. Huge thanks to multiple-semester intern, Brynn Connell, a double major in economics and political science at UVM and heading to a bright future.  Thanks to Montpelier High School's Callie-Lyn, a public policy-focused Community Based Learning intern. Our summer 2018 intern from Northern VT University-Lyndon, Victoria Foster, is now theNorthern Counties Health Care Community Resource Coordinator. Thank you to Miranda Lan, our UVM fall 2017 intern who collected stories and presented testimony at a legislative taskforce public hearing at Vermont Law School.  We enjoyed our time with Montpelier High School's Jordan Allen-Brandon, who worked with us through Montpelier High School's Community Based Learning program.  Mehanna Borostyan (UVM) and Summer Colley (St. Michaels) were our interns for summer 2017.  Alexis Zona and Caroline Keller served as our legislative interns for winter/spring 2016.  Caroline worked on More than Choice? A Review of the Gender Pay Gap report at the Economic and Labor Market Information Division of the Vermont Department of Labor and is now the Data, Evaluation, and Program Coordinator at our Change The Story VT partner, Vermont Works for Women.   Rebecca White (UVM) now works for Efficiency Vermont, served on the Select Board of her town, Hartford, and is now a Vermont State Representative in the Windsor 4-2 district!!  VCW’s former intern, Emily Myers, (see Emily’s quote below) was awarded the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Union College in 2016, and her honors thesis examined the conditions under which civil war facilitates women’s entrance into the formal political sphere and, in cases where women do enter political bodies post-conflict, how regime type influences the ability of those women to make significant legislative and policy contributions.  Former intern Ali Shahidy (Norwich) is a women's rights activist from Kabul, Afghanistan.  His advocacy work includes: The End Violence Against Women project at WorldPulse, Safe Public Spaces Mentoring Program with the Stop Street Harassment project, as well as online activism and conducting workshops on domestic violence in private schools in Kabul.  Alexandria Miller also joined us when a student at Norwich.  Emmi Hodess (UVM) - see Emmi’s quote below - attended Antioch University's Comparative Women's and Gender Studies in Europe program, and focused on biopolitics and bioethics of reproductive interventions. Caitlin McPherran (UVM) now holds a PhD from Boston College and was the lead author of a study, published in the American Psychological Association’s journal, Developmental Psychology, Children in Low-Income Homes Fare Better in Kindergarten if Moms Work When They Are Babies…watch the NBC news story here. Renee Swain (LSC) served as Executive Director of Umbrella, a community-based organization serving individuals and families by focusing on safety, intervention, support, and prevention through a stalking, domestic violence / sexual assault, and child care support service in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.  Alex Stetter (Montpelier High School) attended Hamilton College and majored in psychology and public policy, minoring in education. Christian Martin (South Burlington High School) worked on our 50th anniversary event in 2014. Baylee Annis (Norwich) lived abroad in Wales, UK, and played rugby for Bristol Ladies Premier Rugby.  Rachel Beth Kaplan (UVM) is a yoga instructor and massage and craniosacral therapy practitioner in California.  Joanne Infantes (UVM) now holds a Masters in Public Administration. Allyson Perleoni (UVM) is a Legislative Assistant at American Academy of Pediatrics in D.C..  Rachel Weston (UVM/MPA) is a former Vermont State Representative living in Istanbul, Turkey.  Denison Goodrich-Schlenker (Oberlin College) is currently a second-year law student at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, pursuing a career in litigation with a focus in the areas of health, gender, and employment. Since her arrival at Berkeley, she’s served as a counselor with the Workers’ Rights Disability Law Clinic, an intern at the East Bay Community Law Center, and a law clerk at the Center for WorkLife Law in San Francisco, where she focused on issues related to pregnancy accommodation and family responsibilities discrimination in the workplace. Shelby Gillespie (UVM) graduated with a degree in Women and Gender Studies. Surbhi Godsay (UVM) is a graduate student in Human Services Psychology at the University of Maryland. Emily Blistein (VLS) describes herself as a recovering lawyer and was a powerful lobbyist for women’s health in Vermont.  She’s also founder of Middlebury’s Clementine store, offering goods to “help feather your nest, celebrate and delight your loved ones, and swaddle your little ones.” She's recently returned to advocacy as Director of Business Strategy for Let's Grow Kids.  Melissa Kalinen (VLS) is now at William Jeanes Memorial Library and was previously at University of Pennsylvania Libraries.  Morgan Peele (Kenyon) returned from a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Hangzhou, China, where she examined childcare options and work/life balance issues for working mothers in Zhejiang Province, completed her MA in sociology at Indiana University and is now a Ph.D. Candidate in  Demography at University of Pennsylvania. Oriana Korol (Wesleyan) is a Field Geologist and Filmmaker in Burlington.  Lindsay Perlmutter Fitzpatrick (Middlebury) is Policy Research Associate at The Charles A. Dana Center, and a Specialist in Alumni Leadership at Teach For America in Austin, TX.  Lillian Wilson (UC Santa Cruz).  Katherine E. Smith (Barnard College).  Jocelyn Diakon (VLS).  Heidi J. Murphy (UVM and VLS). Rebecca Adams (Middlebury) now holds a Masters degree in  Human Resources and Employee Relations from Penn State University.  Sarah Baynard (VLS) was named a Washington Rising Star, 2014 in Washington Law & Politics. Kristen Huysman (VLS) worked at Department of Justice and at the Vermont Secretary of State's Office.  Gwen Papineau is Director of Legislative and Regulatory Communication for the Airport Legislative Alliance and AAAE Regulatory Affairs Department.


“As an intern at the Vermont Commission on Women I learned valuable office skills, researched issues directly affecting Vermont women, and helped develop a comprehensive resource guide that aids women around the state. The women I worked with at VCW were helpful, accommodating, and passionate about their work. I truly enjoyed my internship and it helped shape my future career path. Because of the work I did with the VCW, I became more passionate about the link between politics and women's rights. My time at the VCW helped me gain a deeper understanding of the issues effecting women today and how government agencies and non-profits can work to solve those issues. The experience I gained has also been integral in helping me secure further opportunities at Public Citizen and at the Consortium on Gender Security and Human Rights. My internship at VCW was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend it to students passionate about politics, women's rights, or a career in public service.” Emily Myers (Union College)


“As a Political Science major, I am mostly taught theory and concepts. As an intern, I was able to gain a hands-on experience in the State House and have a better understanding for how to actually work in the  political arena rather than just understanding its mechanics. Besides a newfound critical understanding of aspects in the political sector, I have been able to develop a better vision of the work I’d like to do upon graduation. Going into this experience, a goal of mine had been (and still is) to lobby for women’s rights in my future. I had imagined fighting for the ‘basics’: equal pay, pro-choice, rights for domestic violence victims and rape victims, etc. However, this experience helped open my eyes to more opportunities and goals that need to be met for women to achieve full equality. A brief description of a bill may initially not seem to affect women’s rights. However, different angles and sections of the bill do make connections to how they may affect women and it is easy to see how women’s rights are fundamental elements throughout all institutional and societal matters. Unfortunately, there is a lot more that still needs to be done for women’s rights. However, this internship has only provided me with more knowledge and a better ability to facilitate effective change for women in the future and I will be forever grateful for the experience.”  Emmi Hodess (UVM)

Above is a partial listing of our interns since 2001. Are you a former VCW intern? Contact us with an update and we’ll add you to the list!

Interested in applying for an internship?  Send a resume and cover letter to us.