Photo of Judith Van Rest

Judith Van Rest

Class of 1966

Judith (Judy Hook) Van Rest was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas.  Following graduation from Donnelly, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Kansas in 1968.

Judy began her career in a variety of communications positions, working in advertising and newspaper reporting. She moved to Washington DC in 1976 where she began a life-long career in politics and public service.  Among the positions she held were Regional Director at the Peace Corps, Senior Advisor for Governance for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq, Chief-of-Staff at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, as well as positions at the White House and the Smithsonian Institution.    

She began her international career 25 years ago as a Regional Director at the International Republican Institute and is currently IRI’s Executive Vice President.   Judy is the founder of IRI’s Women’s Democracy Network and is a member of the Women’s Initiative Policy Advisory Council at the George W. Bush Institute.

“During my time at Donnelly, I not only received an excellent education, but also learned the strong values and discipline that has guided me throughout my work.  Donnelly was essential to my transition to life in so many ways.”