Seven New Board Members Bring Diverse Perspectives and Expertise to The Congressional Award

February 21, 2023 (Washington, D.C.) – The Congressional Award is proud to announce the addition of seven new members to its Board of Directors. These new members bring a wealth of experience and passion to the organization and will play a crucial role in furthering its mission of recognizing young people’s achievements.

Paxton Baker, Chairman of the Board, stated, “We are delighted to have these seven accomplished individuals join the Congressional Award board. Their exceptional expertise and genuine commitment to empowering young people will make a significant contribution to our mission of recognizing and supporting the aspirations of the next generation.”

Former Congresswoman for Illinois’ 17th district, Cheri Bustos, had a longstanding career in journalism, communications and public service prior to her current role as head of Illinois Operations for Mercury Public Affairs. Bustos’ 10-year career in Congress was shaped by her devotion to representing middle America and working-class families. She served as Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and was a member of the House Appropriations Committee. Bustos credits her strong belief in bipartisanship for the impact and progress made in legislation that she has collaborated on.

Diane Dewhirst was appointed Senior Deputy Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts in 2021 by President Joe Biden. Her career on Capitol Hill spans decades of working in national legislative policy, most notably, as Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff in which she managed a portfolio that included women’s economic agenda and intergovernmental affairs, and served as liaison to the House Democratic Women’s Caucus. In previous years, she was an independent consultant for organizations that include the Smithsonian Institution and worked in several positions for the Clinton Administration.

Ingrid Duran, co-CEO and founder of D&P Creative Strategies (D&P) is a former Marine and “forever Chicana” leading the firm’s strategy to align compassion with political impact. Amongst her accolades, she has been named one of The Hill’s top lobbyists in Washington, D.C. each year since 2018 and recognized by People en Espanol as one of the 25 Most Powerful Latinas in the country in 2014.

Colin Hosten, Executive Director of the Leonard-Litz Foundation, has a background in creative writing, digital media production and children’s book publishing. He is passionate about education and has been teaching undergraduate writing at Fairfield University since 2014. Hosten is also the Chair of the Norwalk Board of Education in Connecticut where he resides with his husband Joe. As a former children’s book editor with Disney Publishing Worldwide, he has written several children’s books and has contributed to a few book series, most notably, Percy Jackson & The Last Olympians.

Catherine Pino, co-CEO and founder of D&P is at the helm of its creative vision and philanthropic strategy, finding the crossroads between social justice, equity, philanthropy and leveraging resources to accomplish client goals. Prior to founding the firm in 2004 with Duran, she managed multi-million-dollar portfolios focused on improving opportunities for young people at the Carnegie Corporation of New York and DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund. Pino has also received prestigious awards relating to leadership and advocacy within the Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities.

Joyce Rogers, Vice President of U.S. Policy & Public Affairs at Pfizer, is a senior executive experienced in legal, public policy and government affairs. Prior to her current role, she was the Chief Government Affairs Officer for Advocate Aurora Health (AAH), the 10th largest non-profit integrated health care system in the country. Rogers is a seasoned individual with expertise in management, representing Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike, as well as collaboration with elected officials, advocacy groups and industry associations.

Jade Shields, Vice President of Government Affairs at Ferring Pharmaceuticals, focuses on health equity and increasing access to Ferring’s innovations through advocacy and government relations. He joined Ferring in 2010 and has since been involved with overseeing the Ethics, Environmental Social Governance and Diversity & Inclusion of the biopharmaceutical company. Shields has been working in the pharmaceuticals industry for more than 20 years.

Visit our website to read the extensive bios of our new members.

About The Congressional Award

The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed upon a youth civilian through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Established by Congress as a public-private partnership in 1979 under Public Law 96-114, the program recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in youth ages 13 ½ – 23. To learn more about The Congressional Award please visit