By The Hill Staff - 07/27/11 04:00 AM EDT
Hometown: Reston, Va.
Political party: Republican
Relationship status: Single
Kalinda Stephenson likes to stand out. And she’s aiming for big things.
Stephenson wears brightly colored outfits that give away her Hispanic heritage. She continually brings in different regional cuisines for lunch. And she’s aiming to be U.S. ambassador, preferably to El Salvador, where she still has family.
“I like to think that I can talk to almost any person and, by the end of the conversation, they feel like we’re family,” said Stephenson, who works for Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), focusing on his role as co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
Stephenson has a penchant for language — she already is at an advanced level in her graduate school Arabic classes. And she’s not afraid to dream big: She’s hoping to be stationed with the Foreign Service somewhere in the Middle East within the next couple of years. The idea doesn’t seem far-fetched.
Stephenson also has the looks and the charm to go along with the brains. She says she keeps her hair shiny by using a family recipe: She mashes up an avocado with olive oil, rubs the mixture into her hair and lets it sit under a shower cap for an hour. When she washes it out, it shines like a freshly waxed limousine.