Path to Power
Fernandez was born and raised in what she described as a "traditionally Democratic family" in Dayton, Ohio.
She said she became active in government and politics in college at Ohio University in Athens. Though her first campaign experience was an unsuccessful one - her ticket lost in a student senate race - she stayed involved in student government throughout her four years at school. "I found that serving the interests of my fellow peers was both challenging and very rewarding," Fernandez recalled. During college, she said she also helped out with local Democratic races in Athens and in her hometown of Dayton.
As a familiar face to many lawmakers through her work at the Capitol, Fernandez maintains a broad network led by her former boss, Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Her current White House supervisor is Phil Schiliro, director of legislative affairs.