Category: Alumni, Student Experience

Title: ‘Very DC’ love stories: 4 Georgetown couples share their charming meet cutes

Alex Brillman (MPP’19) and Anna Heard (MPP’19)

Alex Brillman and Anna Heard met in the sandwich line on the first day of orientation at the McCourt School.

Anna Heard and Alex Brillman, Dahlgren Quad proposal
In June 2023, Alex Brillman (MPP’19) proposed to Anna Heard (MPP’19) in Dahlgren Quad right outside of Old North. The couple is planning their wedding for September 2024 in Pittsburgh.

“One of us was over the moon about the hummus wraps, and one of us was just trying to eat,” said Heard. 

Alex and Anna had a “very DC moment” reconnecting at the orientation happy hour at Mission while there was an active (and distracting) protest outside the bar. The couple credits Professor Ross’s Public Policy Process course for their relationship success, which gave them more opportunities to get to know each other. The rest, as they say, is history.

Anna, winner of the 2018 Georgetown Public Policy Challenge, works in health policy at the National Governors Association. Alex, a former Whittington Scholar, works in international development at Deloitte. The couple says they love living in DC, where several of their “grad school pals” still reside.

If you’re looking for love, Anna recommends keeping an eye out in the sandwich line and attending the program’s happy hours. 

“There are innumerable restaurants and things to do in DC, so make sure to take advantage of that and bring a companion,” said Brillman.

Tasha Patusky Hensley (MPP’10) and Henry Hensley (MPP’08)

Henry Hensley & Tasha Patusky Hensley in 2010.
Henry Hensley (MPP’08) and Tasha Patusky Hensley (MPP’10) in 2010.

Tasha Patusky Hensley and Henry Hensley met at a party hosted by McCourt School alumna Lauren Marra (MPP’10). Tasha saw Henry across the room and thought he looked handsome and kind.

Henry Hensley & Tasha Patusky Hensley and their children
Henry Hensley (MPP’08) and Tasha Patusky Hensley (MPP’10) with their children Charlotte (left), Audrey (right) and their foxhound Shelby in 2023.

In their first conversation, she was impressed that Henry, who had just graduated from what was then known as the Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI), was a Presidential Management Fellow. Their first date was at Filomena, where the pair discovered that they were both of Polish descent. Henry proposed to Tasha in the White House press briefing room two years later.

After 12 years of marriage, Tasha and Henry are still learning about each other and growing closer. They share two daughters, Charlotte (10) and Audrey (8), and an American foxhound named Shelby. The couple lives in Alexandria, VA, and maintains a close-knit group of GPPI friends. Henry works at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Tasha is the policy director for an education consulting practice.

The Hensleys just bought a house in Kensington, MD, and will be moving their family there soon. In five years, they aspire to enjoy — and survive — the ups and downs of parenting two teenagers. Tasha and Henry also hope to continue embarking on adventures together and strengthening their relationships with family and friends.

Their advice to current McCourt students: “Say ‘yes’ to as many social opportunities at McCourt as you can, and be open to getting to know your incredible classmates. You never know where it could lead — and at the very least, you’ll probably make some lifelong friends.”

Pamela Roberts (MPP’96) and Pepe Mejía (MPP’95)

Pamela Roberts (MPP'96) and Pepe Mejía (MPP'95)
Pamela Roberts (MPP’96) and Pepe Mejía (MPP’95) got married in Mexico on February 3, 2001.

It was the first day of classes, Monday, August 23, 1993. Amidst the excitement and allure of graduate school in a foreign country, in a room full of interesting strangers, Pepe Mejía from Mexico zeroed in on Pamela Roberts, a redhead with blue eyes from Boston. Sparks flew once he gathered enough courage to speak with her. It turned out that Pamela also spoke Spanish.

They spent the next three months together, having fun, and of course, dancing lots of salsa at Havana Village and Chelsea’s. One night out of the blue, during a quiet dinner at Booeymongers, Pepe announced his intention to marry Pamela. Initially shocked by his boldness, Pamela slowly came to realize destiny was in play and Pepe was the one. On February 3, 2001, the couple had “a huge, blow-out Mexican wedding” attended by many GPPI alums. 

Pepe Mejía (MPP'95) and Pamela Roberts (MPP'96) and children
Ian, Isabel, Pepe Mejía (MPP’95) and Pamela Roberts (MPP’96) enjoy spending time together over the holidays.

Thirty years later, Pamela and Pepe are happily married and just celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary! The couple shares a daughter, Isabel, who is a senior in college, and a son, Ian, a senior in high school. After a six-year stint living in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Pepe returned to work with an international organization in DC. Pamela, who had stayed at home with the kids for nearly 13 years, now happily works in housing policy for a small management consulting firm.

In the short term, “we’ll still be plugging along here in DC, having fun with family and friends,” said Roberts. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to wrangle the kids and convince them to take at least one more family vacation together, and eventually, we envision retiring halftime in Boston and halftime in Mexico.” 

Their advice to current McCourt students: “Don’t go looking for love. It’ll just come to you!”

Luke Schoenfelder (C’12) and Rachel Braun (SFS’12)

Luke Schoenfelder and Rachel Braun, Bioethics Library
Luke proposed to Rachel in the Bioethics Library on Georgetown’s Hilltop Campus on October 30, 2023.

Luke Schoenfelder, a founding member of the McCourt School’s Advisory Board, and Rachel Braun (allegedly) met on Healy Lawn on Georgetown Day during their senior year. Because the couple had rather enthusiastically celebrated that day, Luke and Rachel’s recollection of their meeting is somewhat blurry. However, the two connected on LinkedIn, and over the ensuing 10 years, occasionally followed each other’s adventures from afar. 

Rachel was building an exciting and adventurous career in aerospace and defense while living in London, Hong Kong and South Africa. At the same time, Luke founded Latch, a company he successfully took public in 2021. After handing off the reins as CEO and chairman of the board, Luke pursued a lifelong passion of his — working in aerospace and defense. And who did he reach out to for advice? Rachel. 

They met for dinner in San Francisco in January 2023 to talk business and walked away from that dinner certain they would either marry each other or work together. They decided to do both. 

Luke proposed to Rachel in the Bioethics Library on Georgetown’s Hilltop Campus in October 2023. The pair are planning a wedding in Italy for the summer of 2024 and are excited to start a family together — and potentially even get a puppy too! 

“Just remember the universe works in funny ways; everything happens exactly when and how it is supposed to,” said Braun. “Who knows if we would have dated if we had met properly in undergrad?” 

“Reconnecting over 10 years after graduation meant meeting each other with a lot more adventures, wisdom and battle scars — and the self-knowledge that we like to think at least comes with it,” she said.

Luke Schoenfelder and Rachel Braun, Healy Lawn
Luke and Rachel Braun (allegedly) met on Healy Lawn on Georgetown Day during their senior year. They reconnected on LinkedIn 10 years later.