With a background in journalism, Donelle Harder has carved out a niche for herself in Sen. James Inhofes office, focusing on social media and press relations.
During Harder’s tenure in Marchant’s office, the Congressman was rated the ninth most influential Member on Twitter by Edelman PR. Harder does not take all the credit for the accolade, but she notes that she was “very strategic” with her tweets.
Two months ago, Harder switched chambers to join Inhofe’s staff, where she will combine the skills she honed in the House and working in public relations: utilizing social media and working with the press.
Above all, the skill that most interests Harder is, as she puts it, simply “helping people.”
Her work at the WCSA fits well with the trend that has driven Harder’s career thus far. “Helping people is the reason I’ve been drawn to politics,” she said about the WCSA. “We’re all here for the same thing, which is to help further the next generation of women, even if we don’t agree on policy.”
Harder also volunteers on weekends at the church at which her husband serves as an associate pastor.
Harder is progressing slowly but surely toward a master’s in social work by taking one class a semester at Catholic University. She says the study of social work provides valuable insight for her current job, and she rejects the stereotype of Republicans as not caring about the poor.
“We strongly believe there’s a path to empowering them that doesn’t restrict their freedoms,” Harder said.
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Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.