5 members of the Georgetown University and Georgetown Law communities were named to Forbes’ prestigious “30 Under 30” list for 2014.
Derek Khanna (LAW ’15), Lauren Wilson (LAW ’12) and Jonathan Fantini Porter (SFS ’06) were selected to the Law and Policy list while Jonathan Amoona (LAW ’09) and Luke Holden (MSB ‘07) were recognized on the Sports and Food lists respectively. The list, which began in 2012, seeks to recognize tomorrow’s brightest, all of whom are under 30 years old. Forbes lists individuals in 15 fields, ranging from Finance to Art & Design.
“All being selected to Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30’ Sports list means to me is, first, my hard work is being recognized and, second, to keep working hard and to keep doing what I’m doing and always strive to get better each day,” Amoona, 29, said.
Amoona is currently an associate at Winston & Strawn in New York. According to Forbes, Amoonawas selected for his work “at the forefront of some of the biggest sports legal battles in recent years.”
Notably, Amoona was a member of the trial team that overturned National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell’s punishments against four New Orleans Saints players in the Saints’ bounty scandal, in which the team rewarded players financially for certain hits during games.
Wilson, 26, currently works for Free Press in policy counsel.
“I was stunned and absolutely thrilled,” she said. “Actually, when last year’s list came out, I said to a friend, ‘I have to make this list before I turn 30,’ and always kept that in the back of my mind. I was really shocked that I received the recognition so soon.”
For Wilson, the recognition is especially meaningful because of the attention it has brought to her work and Free Press’ mission.
“The issues I work on aren’t always sexy. When people think about causes in which they want to be active, few think of communications issues,” she said.
Unlike the others named, Khanna, 25, is still a student at Georgetown Law and currently in his third year. Khanna was largely recognized for his work on copyright reform for the House Republican Study Committee and his cellphone unlocking campaign that resulted in new legislation.
Khanna said he feels the award is in part recognition of the work of everyone who worked on thecellphone unlocking campaign, which included the first White House petition to reach 100,000 signatures.
“It really shows that people can overcome the most powerful lobbying interests when they unite behind an important cause,” he said.
Honorees noted the role that Georgetown played in both their professional and personal development.
Apart from attending every Georgetown basketball game during his time at Georgetown, Amoona said his relationships with faculty and peers have been instrumental in his success.
“Everybody who goes to Georgetown has a very unique background and that benefits, in my view, the student as a whole, and that’s what made my three years there so special,” he said.
As for her time at Georgetown Law, Wilson said her work with Angela Campbell, the clinical director of the Institute for Public Representation’s First Amendment and Media Law Project, stands out as impacting her profoundly. “It’s safe to say I would not be doing what I do now were it not for Georgetown and a professor I had there, Angela Campbell. She introduced me to the public interest side of communications law, relayed why this work was so important and most importantly, trained me.”
Porter, 29, who studied international affairs at Georgetown, currently works for the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, overseeing day-to-day management of a $5.8 billion Federal budget as chief of staff for management.
“It’s great to see younger professionals recognized for the decision to pursue public service by a major publication like Forbes,” Porter wrote in an email to the Los Angeles Daily News. “I’m humbled that they chose to include me, and most of all it makes my mom happy.”