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Christopher Snow Hopkins
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Christopher Snow Hopkins
Aug. 28, 2013, 2:47 p.m.

IM­AGE-MAKERS

“At film school, every­body wants to be a dir­ect­or or a cinema­to­graph­er,” says Jill Pike Bol­ger, who has joined the Glover Park Group as a vice pres­id­ent in its stra­tegic-com­mu­nic­a­tions di­vi­sion. “All I wanted to do was be a pro­du­cer, to take big am­bi­tious ideas and find a way to make them hap­pen.”

After re­ceiv­ing a bach­el­or’s de­gree in tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion from Loy­ola Mary­mount Uni­versity in Los Angeles, Bol­ger cocre­ated and pro­duced The Young Turks, one of the first na­tion­wide lib­er­al talk shows. The 33-year-old sees her new po­s­i­tion at Glover Park Group as a con­tinu­ation of her work in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dustry.

“I’m not ne­ces­sar­ily a film buff,” she says. “What I love is to be a sup­port to thought­ful, cre­at­ive, dy­nam­ic thinkers. That’s what I’ve been do­ing from school on.”

Bol­ger, who was born in Los Angeles, at­ten­ded Ari­zona State Uni­versity for a year and then worked for The Jeff Cor­win Ex­per­i­ence on the An­im­al Plan­et cable net­work. After gradu­at­ing from Loy­ola Mary­mount, she moved to Wash­ing­ton and even­tu­ally be­came deputy dir­ect­or for com­mu­nic­a­tions at Third Way, a think tank cre­ated in 2005 to coun­ter­act polit­ic­al po­lar­iz­a­tion.

The former tele­vi­sion pro­du­cer says she is “def­in­itely a home­body and a nester. There’s noth­ing I en­joy more than go­ing home, clean­ing the house top to bot­tom, and then re­lax­ing in our little, happy space.”

Chris­toph­er Snow Hop­kins

IN­TEREST GROUPS

The as­cend­ance of Fox News in the early 2000s spawned a cot­tage in­dustry: pro­gress­ive me­dia watch­dogs in­tent on dis­cred­it­ing the cable news chan­nel. Fore­most among them is Me­dia Mat­ters for Amer­ica, a non­profit cre­ated in 2004 to mon­it­or what Zeke Stokes calls the “right-wing noise ma­chine.”

“We’re known for be­ing the nemes­is of Fox News,” says the 37-year-old, who re­cently be­came Me­dia Mat­ters’ dir­ect­or of out­reach. “But we mon­it­or 175 hours of tele­vi­sion and talk ra­dio every week, everything from Fox News to oth­er right-wing out­lets.”

The Demo­crat­ic op­er­at­ive and civil-rights act­iv­ist grew up in Bish­opville, S.C., halfway between Columbia and Myrtle Beach. “If you’ve ever watched The Andy Grif­fith Show, you could prob­ably draw many par­al­lels between Bish­opville and May­berry,” he says.

As an un­der­gradu­ate at the Uni­versity of South Car­o­lina, Stokes in­terned for the state’s Demo­crat­ic Party and, at the age of 19, be­came the or­gan­iz­a­tion’s com­mu­nic­a­tions dir­ect­or. “It was a great real-world par­al­lel to what you are learn­ing in a lib­er­al-arts pro­gram,” he says.

Over the next three years, Stokes helped the South Car­o­lina Demo­crat­ic Party re­main vi­able in an in­creas­ingly con­ser­vat­ive state. In 1998, then-Gov. Dav­id Beas­ley, a Re­pub­lic­an, was de­feated by Demo­crat Jim Hodges, be­com­ing the first in­cum­bent gov­ernor in the state to lose a bid for reelec­tion since Re­con­struc­tion, Stokes says.

At 22, Stokes man­aged In­ez Ten­en­baum’s suc­cess­ful cam­paign to be South Car­o­lina’s su­per­in­tend­ent of edu­ca­tion and then de­par­ted for White Plains, N.Y., to be a pub­li­cist at the March of Dimes na­tion­al of­fice. In 2004, he re­united with Ten­en­baum to help her mount a Sen­ate bid. Ul­ti­mately, she lost to then-Rep. Jim De­Mint, R-S.C., by 9 per­cent­age points. “You have to re­mem­ber, this was [2004], the year of George W. Bush’s reelec­tion,” Stokes says. “We ac­tu­ally out­per­formed [Bush] by 10 points.”

Stokes then spent six years in private prac­tice, con­sult­ing for state-based and fed­er­al or­gan­iz­a­tions such as the South Car­o­lina De­part­ment of Edu­ca­tion and the Demo­crat­ic Sen­at­ori­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee. A few years ago, he ex­per­i­enced a “crisis of con­science, as I saw the LGBT rights move­ment pro­gress­ing so quickly,” he says. “I got to a point where I didn’t want to be sit­ting on the pro­ver­bi­al front porch in 30 years and not be able to say that I had a part in ad­van­cing civil rights.”

So Stokes, who says he has a part­ner of five years, be­came act­ive in the gay-rights move­ment. He most re­cently was dir­ect­or of ex­tern­al en­gage­ment at the de­funct group Out­Serve-SLDN, where he led a me­dia cam­paign in op­pos­i­tion to the 1996 De­fense of Mar­riage Act.

C.S.H.

TRADE AS­SO­CI­ATIONS

When B. Dan Ber­ger met fu­ture Rep. Kath­er­ine Har­ris, R-Fla., in the mid-1990s, she was a real-es­tate broker with her eye on a seat in the state Le­gis­lature. In the en­su­ing dec­ade, Har­ris rose to na­tion­al prom­in­ence as Flor­ida sec­ret­ary of state dur­ing the 2000 pres­id­en­tial elec­tion and as an un­suc­cess­ful Sen­ate can­did­ate in 2006. For most of that time, Ber­ger was her polit­ic­al sage and con­sigliere.

“I was al­ways her sound­ing board and cam­paign ad­viser,” says the 47-year-old, who this month took over as pres­id­ent and CEO of the Na­tion­al As­so­ci­ation of Fed­er­al Cred­it Uni­ons, a trade as­so­ci­ation es­tab­lished in 1967.

At an all-staff meet­ing on Aug. 1, Ber­ger ad­vanced his ma­na­geri­al credo: “ex­treme mem­ber ser­vice.” To bet­ter ad­voc­ate on be­half of its con­stitu­ents, the trade as­so­ci­ation has in­stalled a web­cast stu­dio and HD broad­cast­ing equip­ment at its Ar­ling­ton, Va., headquar­ters.

When Con­gress re­turns in Septem­ber, hun­dreds of cred­it-uni­on pro­fes­sion­als will fly to Wash­ing­ton for a lob­by­ing blitzkrieg. The main ob­ject­ive of NAFCU’s 2013 Con­gres­sion­al Caucus, Ber­ger says, is to pre­serve the cred­it-uni­on tax ex­emp­tion. Asked if he thinks the ex­emp­tion is in jeop­ardy, he replies, “All tax ex­pendit­ures and tax ex­penses are be­ing looked at as Con­gress con­siders re­form­ing the tax code, so we would be sur­prised if we wer­en’t part of that dis­cus­sion.

“We feel pretty good about where we are,” he adds. “We’re on the Hill every day.”

A nat­ive of Gaines­ville, Fla., Ber­ger be­came polit­ic­ally act­ive in middle school. One of his class­mates was the daugh­ter of George Kirk­patrick Jr., then a can­did­ate for the Flor­ida Le­gis­lature, and Ber­ger knocked on doors and passed out candy at parades on be­half of the polit­ic­al as­pir­ant. Ber­ger later be­came Kirk­patrick’s travel aide when he ran for reelec­tion some years later.

Al­though Ber­ger’s fath­er was a pro­fess­or at the Uni­versity of Flor­ida, both he and his sis­ter at­ten­ded Flor­ida State Uni­versity. “We didn’t have any money grow­ing up, so we would have had to live at home,” he ex­plains. “The [pro­spect] of that didn’t sound very ap­peal­ing.”

When Har­ris was elec­ted to Con­gress in 2002, Ber­ger fol­lowed her to Wash­ing­ton as her chief of staff. After Har­ris va­cated her seat to run for the Sen­ate — los­ing to the in­cum­bent, Demo­crat Bill Nel­son, by 20 points — Ber­ger was re­cruited by Amer­ica’s Com­munity Bankers. He joined NAFCU in 2006 and be­came ex­ec­ut­ive vice pres­id­ent in Ju­ly 2009.

Away from con­ver­sa­tions about ar­cane tax is­sues, Ber­ger and his 9-year-old daugh­ter fish for trout and small­mouth bass in West Vir­gin­ia.

C.S.H.

IN THE TANKS

Richard Reeves, who is join­ing the Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion as policy dir­ect­or for the Cen­ter on Chil­dren and Fam­il­ies, has ded­ic­ated much of his ca­reer to un­der­stand­ing the ef­fect of par­ent­ing styles on in­tergen­er­a­tion­al so­cial mo­bil­ity.

“Mo­bil­ity is polit­ic­ally sa­li­ent, mor­ally sig­ni­fic­ant, and eco­nom­ic­ally vi­tal,” says Reeves, who was most re­cently dir­ect­or of strategy un­der Nick Clegg, deputy prime min­is­ter of the United King­dom.

Over the past dec­ade, Reeves has carved out a niche as a prom­in­ent Brit­ish “lib­er­al” philo­soph­er. He has writ­ten and pro­duced a half-dozen pro­grams for the BBC, in­clud­ing a ra­dio seg­ment on the in­ad­equa­cies of the Brit­ish so­cial-hous­ing sys­tem, and penned a much-bal­ly­hooed bio­graphy of his in­tel­lec­tu­al ment­or, John Stu­art Mill: Vic­tori­an Firebrand.

Reeves’s de­par­ture from Clegg’s of­fice earli­er this year re­ceived a lot of at­ten­tion from Brit­ish journ­al­ists, some of whom spec­u­lated it was a symp­tom of the de­clin­ing for­tunes of the Lib­er­al Demo­crats. But Reeves has con­sist­ently main­tained that he is mov­ing to al­low his sons to at­tend Amer­ic­an schools.

A dual U.S.-Brit­ish cit­izen, the 44-year-old is of Welsh an­ces­try — much like Thomas Jef­fer­son, he notes. He was raised in Cam­bridge­shire and edu­cated at Ox­ford Uni­versity; he then al­tern­ated between po­s­i­tions in the Brit­ish na­tion­al gov­ern­ment and U.K.-based think tanks in­clud­ing Demos, the In­sti­tute for Pub­lic Policy Re­search, and Lan­caster Uni­versity’s Work Found­a­tion.

In the mid-1990s, Reeves was a Wash­ing­ton-based cor­res­pond­ent for Lon­don’s Guard­i­an news­pa­per.

Un­der Clegg, Reeves helped set up an in­de­pend­ent com­mis­sion to track the coun­try’s pro­gress in fa­cil­it­at­ing so­cioeco­nom­ic move­ment. “We tried to cre­ate an in­sti­tu­tion­al ar­chi­tec­ture for mo­bil­ity, which I think is ne­ces­sary, be­cause, by defin­i­tion, in­tergen­er­a­tion­al mo­bil­ity is a long-term game,” Reeves says.

He is mar­ried to Erica Hauver, an Amer­ic­an-born sus­tain­ab­il­ity con­sult­ant and a former dir­ect­or of de­vel­op­ment for the Spe­cial Olympics. Their two sons are now “at an age where they’re start­ing to beat me at ten­nis,” Reeves says. “It’s an odd sen­sa­tion.”

C.S.H.

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