After Leigh Claffey ’04 earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia in 2011, she packed her bags and moved to Washington, D.C., where she still lives today.
Her first job was as an executive assistant to the former U.S. Secretary of Commerce in President George H.W. Bush’s Administration, Barbara H. Franklin, and later, she took a position in U.S. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland’s (R-GA) office. Leigh started as a staff and press assistant and worked her way up to be his communications director for his personal office and his campaign, servings as the congressman’s spokeswoman for his work on the intelligence and financial services committees in the U.S. House of Representatives.
After four and a half years with Congressman Westmoreland, Leigh began working as press secretary for U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), where she handled state, regional, and national defense media. She traveled around the state with Senator Ernst on the senator’s 99 county tour – seeing more corn than she’d ever imagine – and helped manage media for three of the senator’s annual Roast and Ride fundraisers, which included speakers such as then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC).
In July of 2018, Leigh hung up her Capitol Hill hat and started working as director of communications and public affairs at Growth Energy, the nation’s top ethanol association. She continues to work in media relations and executes nationwide public affairs campaigns to advocate on behalf of biofuels and influence elected leaders and consumers.
When she’s not working, Leigh loves cooking, traveling around the country, and exploring DC with her sisters, Lauren and Leslie, and dog, Kirby.