50 Most Beautiful People for 2011: Page 24 of 50

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Age: 23
Hometown: Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fla.
Political party: Centrist
Relationship status: “Not single and very happy”

It turns out you can’t totally take the girl away from the beach. The sand of Megan Howard’s native Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fla., is never far away from her, as she keeps a bit of it on her desk.

“I’m a beach bum, no doubt about it,” Howard says. “I miss the beach every day.”


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But don’t let her seemingly natural Florida tan fool you — this isn’t your stereotypical beach bum. How many fun-in-the-sun types major in Chinese and minor in business and communication? That’s what Howard did at the University of Florida.

Her studies paid off, helping her catch on with the House Armed Services Committee. She began as an intern, and is now the full committee’s staff assistant. In that position, she directly supports the panel’s deputy staff director, general counsel, majority counsel, legislative operations director and budget and policy directors.

Howard blushes deeply and her radiant smile turns a tad nervous when she talks about herself. But the poised 23-year-old turns composed and serious when discussing her work with the Armed Services panel.

“I’m extremely lucky to have this as my first job out of college,” Howard says.

She proudly offers up that she has become an expert on the laborious process the panel follows to produce its annual Defense Authorization Act, as well as all things parliamentary procedure.

Howard considers herself a centrist politically, and credits her time on Capitol Hill with teaching her to “question and scrutinize” things so she can “really know about an issue before taking a stance.”

To stay fit and healthy, it’s all about “living a balanced life,” Howard says.

She describes herself as “an avid” yogi, but has no other special health and beauty secrets outside of the basics.

“I just try to smile and be happy,” she says.

—John T. Bennett

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