One of the top senior aides of the Republican vice presidential nominee is a full-blooded Filipina.
Joyce Yamat Meyer, 41, of Franklin, Wisconsin, is chief of staff of Ryan’s Washington office, and is one of the big guns running Ryan’s vice presidential campaign.
Meyer regularly accompanies in his campaign sorties and has been involved in helping the VP contender make tweaks to his speech, according to The New York Times.
The Filipino Reporter tried to reach Meyer by phone to no avail.
Her cousin, Dr. Roderick Yamat, a well-known anesthesiologist in Wisconsin, said Meyer has been traveling nonstop all over the country with the Ryan team.
“Even I couldn’t talk to her these days and we all understand,” Dr. Yamat told the Reporter.
“We are all proud of her though.” Dr. Yamat said Meyer was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Michael and Evelyn Yamat.
Meyer’s father, a native of Masantol, Pampanga, is a retired engineer from a prestigious company, and now does consulting work in North Carolina, Dr. Yamat said.
He added that Meyer has three younger sisters who are equally accomplished.
“Among my cousins, she stands out as the most wonderful because she’s always happy and positive and always smiling,” Dr. Yamat said. “She always brings out the best in every person she works with that’s why everyone in the campaign loves her.”
“She’s one of a kind…she’s very bright, enthusiastic and relentless in the pursuit of her goals,” added Dr. Yamat, anesthesia director, medical director and chairman of the Quality Improvement Committee at Cleveland Clinic Strongsville Ambulatory Surgery Center.
He is also a staff anesthesiologist in the Department of Regional Practice Anesthesiology at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus.
“We used to play together when we were kids because our families lived close to each other,” he recalled.
“At the time, Joyce and her family were in Franklin (Wisconsin) while my family was in South Milwaukee. All of us cousins were very close to
each other when we were kids. We spent summers together. I even taught Joyce how to swim and bike.”
Ryan himself has nothing but praise for Meyer, whom he has been working since 1995 when both of them were congressional staffers.
“I have worked with Joyce longer than anyone in my office,” said Ryan, in an October 2009 speech in the House of Representatives honoring Meyer’s service to the first district of Wisconsin.
“I quickly recognized her great abilities. When the member she worked for retired from the House of Representatives, I persuaded my employer, Sen. (Samuel) Brownback, to bring her on board.”
After Ryan’s election to Congress as Wisonsin’s 1st District representative, he invited Meyer to become his legislative director.
Meyer is a political science graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison, according to Dr. Yamat. (Filipino Reporter)