Elected Officials


PNW JSA Governor

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-11-39-31-pmThe Junior State of America has taught Divya an immeasurable amount about politics and government, but also what it means to be a part of something bigger than oneself. Divya says how it is truly remarkable that, through JSA, students that have common interests but different perspectives are brought together and lasting friendships are made. All of Divya’s peers in JSA continue to inspire her. On the rare occasion that she is not working on anything JSA related, she enjoys engaging in experimental cooking, registering teenagers to vote, hanging out with friends, playing golf, dancing, and adventuring with her mini-labroddle named Leo.

Athulya Rajkumar

PNW JSA Lieutenant governor

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-11-42-51-pm Athulya Rajkumar is a senior at the international school of Bellevue and has been involved in JSA since the beginning of her freshmen year. After serving as a chapter executive officer and on state cabinet, her love for civic engagement and the junior state motivated her to run for lieutenant governor. The rare times she’s not working on something JSA you can find her binge-watching Netflix or going on runs with her dog.



Elise Johnson


screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-11-48-23-pmElise is a senior at Sunset High School in Portland, Oregon. Her favorite political topics include substance legalization and global human rights. Outside of the Junior State Elise enjoys hiking the Columbia Gorge (when she’s not tumbling down ravines), cooking for her food blog, golfing, and running.

liam bendicksen


screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-12-01-33-amLiam Bendicksen is a rising junior at the Catlin Gabel School. He was introduced to the Junior State of America by Samson Salzinger and Giselle Cohen, former Chapter Presidents of Catlin Gabel JSA. Although he had previously participated in alternative debate organizations, Liam was instantly inspired by the inclusive, open, and mission-oriented atmosphere offered by JSA. Liam also currently serves as the Vice-Mayor of the Oregon JSA region, and as a Co-Chapter President of Catlin Gabel JSA. When Liam isn’t editing stacks of clips in Final Cut Pro, editing website posts, or communicating on Messenger, he likes to play soccer and tennis.

Sidney Hershey


screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-11-44-49-pmSidney Hershey is a senior at Skyline High School. She joined JSA her freshman year and fell in love with it immediately. After her sophomore year, she attended JSA Summer School at Georgetown, and she also attended the program at Stanford the following summer. Her favorite part about JSA is the diversity of opinions that you can learn from. Some of her other hobbies include travel, astronomy, and walking her dog Louis.




Nicholas Liang



Maliq Phakdymanivong


screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-11-50-46-pmMaliq Phakdymanivong is a student-athlete who focuses on leadership in the classroom and on the field, and he currently serves as the Mayor of the Inland Empire Region. He has served in various leadership roles in JSA and attended numerous conferences since joining in 2014. His primary interests are science, politics and maintaining a health conscious lifestyle.