Leadership Award Recipients

Young Leader Award Recipients

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Vanessa Bouché, Ph.D.

Vanessa Bouché, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Political Science at Texas Christian University. She has been a principal investigator on several federally-funded human trafficking projects from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Agency for International Development. She has developed databases of human trafficking prosecutions in the U.S. and India (HumanTraffickingData.org and India.HumanTraffickingData.org); conducted public opinion research on human trafficking in the U.S., Moldova and Albania; and designed and deployed trauma informed surveys with survivors of human trafficking in the U.S. and Honduras. She also spent a significant amount of time interviewing convicted traffickers in federal prisons.  Dr. Bouché consults for a variety of organizations, including the National Opinion Research Center, Thorn and the McCain Institute. She has been an invited speaker and serves on the board of directors of Traffick911 and Arcadia. Although she has published her research in a variety of scholarly outlets, she is most passionate about inspiring others in the pursuit of empathy, understanding and justice.  She teaches a class on human trafficking in the U.S. and a study abroad on transnational human trafficking in India.  




Brooke López

A recent graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas with a bachelor’s of science in public affairs and a minor in geography, López, 21, has been interested in politics and government from an early age.  She currently serves IGNITE National as a program facilitator and is a representative on its National Communications Advisory Council. At 15, she worked with her local congresswoman to propose a state bill, and at 16, she founded the nonprofit “Students of Change.” At 18, she was the youngest person to run for Wylie City Council. At age 19, she was the youngest woman and first Latina to be appointed as a boards and commissions officer for the City of Wylie. After losing the campaign, she channeled her energy into founding the Lone Star Parity Project, a nonpartisan online publication dedicated to sharing research and stories of women in politics with the goal of bringing parity to Texas politics. She serves as a role model for many young women, including the high school ones she meets with weekly to discuss policy and politics. In 2017, she received the prestigious Gold Presidential Volunteer Service award. López plans to attend law school in fall 2018.

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