Clockwise from top right: Alexandra Smith, Caitlin Poling, and Heather Pfitzenmaier. Photos: RedAlertPolitics

The Heritage Foundation’s Heather Pfitzenmaier and two former Heritage interns, Alexandra Smith and Caitlin Poling, have been selected for the annual Red Alert Politics “30 under 30” list, which recognizes rising young conservative stars.

“Heather’s understanding and commitment to conservative principles plus her enthusiasm and dedication to advancing great ideas to young leaders are attributes that make her shine as a leader,” said Heritage vice president Becky Norton Dunlop. “She is a consummate professional and is noticeably very personal and genuinely invested in each person she meets, making her an obvious role model for principled young people.”

Pfitzenmaier, an alumnus of Heritage’s intern program who directs Heritage’s Young Leaders Program, also received an honor from Forbes for being one of the young Americans making an impact on law and policy. She also received the 2012 Buckley Award from the Young Conservatives Coalition.

In an interview with Red Alert Politics, Pfitzenmaier explained why it’s  important for young conservatives to become involved in the movement:

Whether it’s the state of our health care system and our economy or foreign affairs, the decisions made today will affect our kids, our grandkids, and us more than they will affect our parents and grandparents. We need to engage in the policy process, discuss the challenges we face, and voice our principles. And getting our voices heard requires working and participating in every field, from politics to media to the arts.

Smith, who interned in 2008 in Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, is the National Chairwoman of the College Republican National Committee. “Persuading others to consider our ideas starts most basically with showing that we care about them,” Smith told Red Alert Politics. “We can change the way we’re perceived through direct, consistent, and clear messaging to diverse audiences.”

Poling, who serves as the Director of Government Relations at the Foreign Policy Initiative, also interned at Heritage in 2008. Poling has written extensively on Africa and counterterrorism, and has been recognized for her work on foreign policy. Poling explained to Red Alert Politics that in 10 years she would “like to see the conservative movement return to the fundamentals: a strong national defense, individual liberty, and fiscal responsibility.”

Congratulations to all of the winners!

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