President Biden’s first two years in office resulted in several landmark laws: the American Rescue Plan Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS & Science Act, and more. During that time, this episode's guest, Louisa Terrell, served as Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. In this episode, hear Louisa discuss her journey to the West Wing and how she helped the President achieve historic wins under incredibly challenging circumstances.
Mike Harney knows the federal government like few others. Prior to his position as Senior Vice President and Head of Public Affairs at Clear, he held a range of impressive positions as a staffer. Hear about the joys and challenges of each position on this episode of STAFFER.
On this episode of STAFFER, Steve Haro dives into his experiences throughout his over two decades in government and politics. He has served as Chief of Staff to two senators, worked in the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Obama Administration, and now works at TelevisaUnivision. He talks about what makes a good staffer, how he finds the private sector after life in government, and more.
Patrice Willoughby started her career in the office of the late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, where she learned to lead with grace and so much more. Learn more about her experiences in Congress, the Executive Branch, the private sector, and now at the NAACP. All that and more on this episode of STAFFER.
In this episode, Greg Butler, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Eversource Energy, talks about his time as a staffer in the NYS Assembly and U.S. Department of Justice, and what lessons he’s taken with him in the decades since then.
Janno Lieber is a New Yorker through and through. He worked in the mayor's office during Ed Koch’s administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the private sector (where he oversaw major projects including Port Authority Bus Terminal and the new World Trade Center), and now at the MTA, where he serves as the Chair and CEO to largest public transportation network in North America. Hear about his experiences as a staffer and so much more on this episode of STAFFER.
To say that Patrick Gaspard has had an impressive career as an activist is an understatement. Listen to this week's episode of STAFFER to hear more on his experiences: fighting against South African apartheid as a teenager; working in several presidential campaigns, including for Jesse Jackson, Howard Dean, and Barack Obama; running politics and policy for labor giant SEIU 1199; working in the Obama White House and DNC; serving as U.S. Ambassador to South Africa; and today, as the CEO of Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Tiffany Muller talks about her role as President of End Citizens United, which has more than 4 million members and 1 million grassroots donors. Together with Jim Papa, they dive into her journey through the political world – from her time on the Topeka City Council to campaigns in Kansas to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the fight for LGBTQ equality – and how she stays motivated to fight day in and day out.
Quentin Fulks and Jim Papa talk about Quentin’s new role as the Principal Deputy Campaign Manager for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ reelection campaign, the values that drive him, and the twists and turns that brought him to this moment. Along the way, they cover Quentin’s experience as Campaign Manager for Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock’s re-election campaign, and his role as Deputy Campaign Manager and Political Advisor to Governor J.B. Pritzker.
Sharon Werner is currently Chief Counsel at PNC Bank. But prior to PNC, Sharon served in the Obama Administration as the Chief of Staff to US Attorney Generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch and spent five years as Chief of Staff to Congressman Jason Altmire (D-PA). Jim and Sharon discuss the traits of high-achieving staffers and developing a career in Washington and the private sector.
Mike Boots, Executive Vice President of Breakthrough Energy, joins Jim to discuss his life and career from politics to advocacy. Mike previously held the position of Senior Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He provided advice to the institute and philanthropic foundations on topics relating to business, civil society, and the environment. Prior to that, he was the environmental advisor to President Obama in 2014 and 2015, leading the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Leader Harry Reid to policy and government relations expert at AARP and NAACP, Portia Reddick White has seen a lot from the skies and the trenches. On this episode of STAFFER, host Jim Papa speaks with her about her experiences and so much more.
This episode's guest is Shelly Stoneman, who has worked everywhere from Capitol Hill, the Balkans, the White House, and the Pentagon. She is a leader in the national security community and leads Government Relations for BEA Systems, where she is also on the Board of Directors. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also appointed Shelly to chair the Department of Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service, and in her “spare time,” Shelly also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security. Listen now.
Polly Trottenberg is the Deputy Secretary of Transportation under Pete Buttigieg. She was previously the commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation from 2014 to 2020. Trottenberg's more than 20 year career has taken her from working as a staffer on the Hill to helping to manage an agency of 55,000 people.
Greg Speed is president of America Votes. He is a leading progressive campaign strategist with a broad experience in politics, having worked for advocacy organizations, the Democratic Party and elected officials. He and Jim discuss his career in politics from staffer to political strategist.
Senior Vice President and Chief Public Affairs Officer for Vail Resorts, Kenny Thompson, talks with Jim Papa on this episode of STAFFER. Kenny shares stories from Austin City Hall, the presidential campaign trail, and the White House, as well as lessons he learned along the way: connect with people, pay attention to detail, and always offer a solution.
This episode of STAFFER features David Castagnetti, award-winning lobbyist, co-founder of Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, Capitol Hill veteran, and presidential campaign advisor, who offers his take on the most important quality of an outstanding staffer...and why you should never eat lunch at your desk.
Hildy Kuryk joins STAFFER to discuss her career spanning from politics to the private sector. She currently is the founder of Artemis Strategies, a consulting firm helping businesses communicate their core values, but she got her start in politics working in state and federal roles and serving two presidents. Hildy shares stories from her career which has taken her from Washington D.C. politics to working directly with Anna Wintour at Vogue and Teen Vogue.
Tim Miller, writer-at-large for The Bulwark, joins host Jim Papa to discuss ethical challenges and the tough choices that many staffers often face. The two also discuss Miller’s book “Why We Did It,” and dive into conversations he had with friends and former colleagues after he became a leader in the Never Trump movement.
On this episode of STAFFER, hear Christina Reynolds talk about her experiences in the crucible of campaigns, advice to staffers, and the importance of recognizing mistakes. Christina is currently the Vice President of Communications at Emily’s List, which is dedicated to electing pro-choice, Democratic women.
Tom Perriello, former U.S. Representative and staffer, talks with Jim Papa about his life fighting injustice. Tom dives into how important it is to find meaning in everything you do, whether it’s interning on the Hill or leading an organization like Open Society.
In the wake of historic gun legislation – but also more tragic shootings – Peter Ambler, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, joins host Jim Papa on this week’s episode of STAFFER to discuss the organization’s dedication to fighting for a safer America.
From the Clinton White House and Vice President Al Gore... to Senate Democratic Leader Daschle... to Presidents Obama and Biden, author and speechwriter Jeff Nussbaum has served at the highest levels of government. Host Jim Papa speaks with him about communicating ideas, how speechwriting has evolved, his advice for using humor, and his new book, “Undelivered.”
Monica Dixon is the president of external affairs & chief administrative officer for Monumental Sports. She spent a career in politics at the highest of levels but she got her start working on the campaign trail and then in the senate for Senator Tom Daschle. In this episode, hear stories from her career and advice she has for current and future staffers.
Cecilia Muñoz, Senior Advisor at New America, joins us to talk about her impressive career – from working on immigration policy at the National Council of La Raza (now known as Unidos) for two decades to becoming the first Hispanic person to serve as the DPC Director under the Obama Administration.
Jim Papa sat down with Mark Bayer, President of Bayer Strategic Consulting and former Chief of Staff in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, to discuss everything from how to craft a persuasive message to lessons learned in politics.
Gautam Raghavan serves as Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. In this episode, Jim and Gautam discuss his journey working in government and the work he has done focused on advancing civil rights and social justice.
CEO of Bedrock Group LP, Awenate Cobbina, joins Jim to discuss how his career went from White House intern to CEO of a large investment firm with holdings in several retail and consumer-facing companies.
Michael Strautmanis, a native of Chicago, joined the Obama Foundation as Vice President for Civic Engagement in January of 2016. In his role with the Foundation, he is tasked with developing and leading the execution of outreach efforts and civic engagement programs relating to the work of The Foundation. Michael is the Former Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor for Strategic Engagement to Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett.
Chris Murphy, the junior United States Senator for Connecticut, has dedicated his career to public service as an advocate for Connecticut families. Senator Murphy has been a strong voice in the Senate fighting for job creation, affordable health care, education, sensible gun laws, and a forward-looking foreign policy.
Paul Brathwaite brings more than two decades of government relations experience to clients in financial services, health care, food and nutrition, transportation and infrastructure, media and telecommunications, and the education and non-profit fields. With his extensive knowledge and high-level relationships, Paul has a proven track record of helping clients work with Members in the House and Senate, on both sides of the aisle.
Anthony Ruggiero has served as a foreign policy staffer for nearly 20 years focusing on limiting nuclear proliferation in North Korea and around the world. In this episode, Jim and Anthony discuss his time spent in government including his most recent stint in the Trump Administration.
Mona Sutphen discusses her time working as a staffer in the Clinton and Obama administration. She shares the lessons she learned while managing stressful national security matters and making decisions with limited information. She also discusses her role at The Vistria Group and a new podcast she is releasing called "The Future of Capitalism".
Jim Shelton joins Jim Papa to discuss his former role as Deputy Secretary & COO of the U.S. Department of Education as well as what he learned working in government that prepared him for his endeavors in the private sector.
Ed Skyler is the Executive Vice President and Head of Global Public Affairs at Citi but he started his career as a staffer in New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's administration. Listen to how he got his start and what he learned along the way.
Kelly Burton is the President of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC). She discusses how she got her start in government and her current mission of achieving fair redistricting maps around the country.
Kelly Craighead is the President and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry trade association and the leading authority of the global cruise community. But she got her start as a staffer.
Sudip Parikh, Ph.D. is the 19th chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of the Science family of journal. He and Jim discuss his start as a staffer and his journey to leading one of the most influential publishers in the science community.
This is a compilation episode of all the stories our guests have shared about their mothers and how they raised them into being successful staffers. Here is to all the mothers out there on this Mother's Day.
Casey Aden-Wansbury was recently appointed VP of Policy and Government Affairs for Instacart, where she leads the company’s growing public policy team on deepening relationships and collaboration with policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels across North America. Casey has also worked as the Director of Federal Affairs for Airbnb after spending two decades in Washington working in federal government, campaigns, and advocacy, most recently as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Al Franken.
Nancy-Ann DeParle served as the Director of White House Office of Health Reform from 2009-2011 and spearheaded the effort to enact the Affordable Care Act for President Obama. In this episode she shares her experiences working in government and politics, how she got her start, and gives advice to others working to create positive change.
Jaime Harrison is the new Chairman of the DNC and former staffer who got his start working for legendary South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn. In 2018, he co-authored a book about staffers called “Climbing the Hill: How to Build a Career in Politics and Make a Difference”. Jaime ran for a U.S. Senate seat in South Carolina in 2020 and is said to represent the future of the Democratic Party.
Chris Lu has served in all three branches of the government, including as the Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Obama Administration. He shares stories about getting his start in government and what it was like being Chief Operating Officer of a 17,000 employee agency.
Felda Looper became the first female page in 1973 working for Democratic Whip Carl Albert (OK). Hear how she blazed the trail for young women to work on the Hill and what it was like working in Washington.
Scott Fairchild, Executive Director of the DSCC, catches up with Jim about his career in politics. They discuss how he got into the industry, navigating the present day partisanship, and shares advice for success as a staffer.
In this two part episode of STAFFER, we hear from historian and author Tevi Troy who got his start in politics as a staffer, working in Congress and the White House. Jim and Tevi discuss his latest book, Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump. Additionally, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we get to meet Jim’s better half, Katie Papa, a 17-year veteran of the House of Representatives.
Anne Caprara, Chief of Staff for Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, joins STAFFER to dive deep into the hard work of a political campaign and managing a government office. She has previously worked in the House, and the Senate, and she now holds a role in state politics. In this episode, Anne shares her opinion on the current state of Washington and how we move forward, as well as her extremely interesting views on how our government functions.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro joins STAFFER to discuss her career in politics. She discusses how she got her start as a staffer in Mayor Frank Logue’s office in New Haven, CT and recounts tales from her 30-year career working in Congress. Congresswoman DeLauro is a champion for the underserved and has used her never-ending energy to fight every day to make change for her constituents.
Josh Holmes, the former Chief of Staff for Mitch McConnell and campaign manager for McConnell’s 2014 re-election campaign, joins Jim to discuss this current moment in politics. He has condemned the events of January 6th and offers his perspective on how staffers can help mend our fraying political system.
Frank Luntz joins STAFFER to discuss his life working in politics – highlighting getting his education in the U.K. and learning from Boris Johnson, the role of a pollster on a campaign, and some comments on the current political climate in Washington.
Stephanie Schriock is a name known far and wide in politics. She has been the president of EMILY’s List -- an organization dedicated to electing Democratic women to office -- since 2010 and has been named to ELLE Magazine's “10 Most Powerful Women in Washington” list. In this episode, Jim talks to Stephanie about how she got started in politics, her leadership style, and what she plans to do after EMILY’s List, now that she has announced that she will be stepping down as president.
Veteran Obama staffer Heather Higginbottom joins Jim Papa to discuss her career in government and politics. Heather has spent time in both the public and private sectors and has a unique perspective on how each experience has impacted her outlook on bringing change to America. She currently serves as the head of the new JPMorgan Chase PolicyCenter.
President of the Human Rights Campaign, Alphonso David, joins STAFFER to discuss his life fighting for change. Since his youth, he has seen others including his father fight for change against oppressive policies. As a lawyer, he has fought against civil rights injustices and for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. In this episode, he lays out his vision for what makes a successful staffer and shares his story working for Governor Cuomo in New York as Counsel to the Governor.
Michele Jawando is currently the US Head of Strategic Engagement and Public Policy Partnerships at Google, but she got her start as a staffer working for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. In this episode, she and Jim discuss being raised by immigrant parents, how she became interested in politics and activism, how attending an HBCU impacted her life, and what it means for people to see African-American, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to enter the White House in January 2021.
From Big Law to the White House, Kim Harris has advised some of the most powerful offices and corporations. In this episode, Kim takes us through her career in The Office of White House Counsel and how her time as a staffer prepared her for her current role as Executive Vice President of Comcast Cor
Luis Miranda has since spent nearly four decades as a leader in both the public and private sectors within New York City. In this episode, Jim discusses his life, work, and his unique outlook on the world.
David Clunie reflects on his time developing mentors at Howard University School of Law and his transition to public service in the Obama Administration before joining JPMorgan Chase & Co. Now at the BEA, David focuses his time on the prosperity and economic security of all Black Americans.
Go back in time to when Steve Schmidt first got interested in politics, hear some fresh perspectives on the 2008 presidential election, and learn about what Steve believes is necessary in order to help get this country back on track.