AROUND THE AGENCIES
On Jan. 8, 2011, the day then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot, Brad Howard was skiing in Virginia. Still wearing his gear in a lodge at the top of the mountain, the young spokesman for then-Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., cochairman of the House’s Blue Dog Coalition, spent six hours fielding calls from reporters.
Last week, the 28-year-old was named public-affairs and media manager for the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. He leaves behind an institution that seems to vacillate between torpor and bedlam.
“Now that I’ve left Congress, I don’t expect having to do a statement following a 3 a.m. vote anymore,” Howard says. “I don’t anticipate dealing with breaking news on my BlackBerry while on vacation — that’s certainly a plus.”
Howard, who possesses the amiable but controlled manner of a professional communicator, is the son of small-business owners: His mother and father have owned a car dealership in Fort Smith, Ark., since 1989.
After graduating from Hendricks College in Conway, Ark., he worked for a year at a public-relations firm in Little Rock and then came to Washington to earn a master’s degree in public communications at American University. Three weeks before Howard graduated, a friend told him that Ross was looking for a communications director. He got the job.
Christopher Snow Hopkins
IN THE TANKS
Affixed to Nicole Goldin’s digital signature is a quotation from the early-19th-century French moralist Joseph Joubert: “Ask the young. They know everything.”
This is a far cry from George Bernard Shaw’s trenchant remark on the folly of youth (“Youth is wasted on the young”), but it encapsulates the extent to which Goldin believes that global development, prosperity, and security are dependent on young people.
Last month, Goldin left the U.S. Agency for International Development for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she will lead the Youth Prosperity and Security Initiative, a collaboration between CSIS and the Baltimore-based International Youth Foundation. The initiative’s signature project is the Global Youth Well-Being Index, which scores the welfare of the young worldwide along a variety of axes. “The goal is to compare the status of young people across countries and look at ways to accelerate and advance their well-being, as well as to identify gaps” in the relevant scholarship, Goldin says, adding that “youth” is a nebulous concept, “a contextual or social construct.”
Raised on Long Island, N.Y., Goldin considers herself “a fourth-generation Bronx girl.” Of course, she cheers for the Bronx Bombers. “I’m a born-and-bred Yankees fan.”
After focusing on East Asian studies, art, and Jewish history at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., Goldin came to Washington to earn a master’s degree in international political economy from American University. She then worked briefly at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Chemonics International before enrolling at the London School of Economics. “I’ve always had a multicultural, international-travel bug,” Goldin says. “In high school, I was a People to People student ambassador.”
She also obtained a doctorate in economics from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. The long-winded title of her dissertation: “Uncovering the Dynamics Between Large and Small Enterprises in Employment Generation and Firm Sustainability: Evidence From Mozambique.”
In the years since, Goldin has worked as a senior adviser at both the State Department and USAID. She is currently an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs — a source of amusement for Goldin and her former graduate-school supervisor. Sitting down with him last week, she joked, “Can you believe they let me back into the classroom? They gave me 20 bright young minds.”
The 40-year-old can be found zipping down the slopes, although she can’t seem to decide on a conveyance. “I was avid skier, then an avid snowboarder, and now I’m back to being an avid skier.”
Michael Moschella, a Democratic operative for much of the past decade, recently disavowed our bifurcated political system.
On Jan. 28, Moschella resigned from the Truman National Security Project, which teaches Democratic officeholders how to campaign more effectively on foreign policy issues, and announced that he had accepted a job at NationBuilder, a nonpartisan consulting firm in Los Angeles. His transcontinental journey is a rebuke to the “tunnel vision” that afflicts the Washington political class, he says.
“I’ve worked in both partisan and nonpartisan efforts,” Moschella says. “I’ve managed campaigns, fought in the trenches, and also helped run 501(c)(3) organizations”…. And the reality is, change in this country is not going to come just from one segment of society but a whole bunch of them together. We tend to think, “˜Whoever controls Congress controls the country.’ But that’s not true. Whoever controls Congress controls a part of how this country is run, but there’s an entire society that does not run in a partisan way. Whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or a member of the Green Party, you can have a good idea.”
Moschella’s rejection of party politics is noteworthy, given his pedigree. He has managed a dozen local, congressional, and gubernatorial campaigns — and befriended Democratic mandarins such as newly retired Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.
“I’m a progressive guy,” he concedes. “If you look at my bio, that’s pretty obvious”…. But bringing folks together — whatever their party — creates the very society that a lot of progressive folks have envisioned.” NationBuilder, which harnesses social media to stimulate political activity, “jives with my own sense about how society should be run and governed,” he says. The firm accepts clients of any political persuasion.
Moschella, 32, grew up in Boston and attended Cornell University. A few days after arriving on campus, he picked up a pamphlet deriding the university’s cultural houses, dormitories that emphasized a particular ethnicity or culture.
“That was very distressing to me,” he says, “and I think that’s what motivated me to get politically active on campus. From there, it spiraled. I never went to class, so I only had one other option: politics. I didn’t actually learn anything except for political organizing.”
Over the next six years, Moschella engineered a succession of political campaigns up and down the East Coast. After working on Clinton’s first senatorial campaign, he helped then-Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., survive a close race after switching districts. During that same cycle, Moschella oversaw the abortive gubernatorial campaign of Reich, who lost to then-Massachusetts state Treasurer Shannon O’Brien in the Democratic primary.
In 2006, Moschella was deployed to Florida by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to manage a campaign on behalf of investment banker Tim Mahoney. “At the time, he was running in a race that seemed impossible,” Moschella says. His opponent: a six-term incumbent named Mark Foley. Two months before the election, news broke that Foley had sent lewd e-mails and text messages to congressional pages. The lawmaker resigned the next day, and Mahoney narrowly beat the new Republican on the ticket.
In 2008, after a decade of politicking, Moschella joined the Truman National Security Project. “I was kind of tired,” he says.
As for ancillary interests, “I like to joke that there’s only two things I do: politics and sports. Bostonians have three passions: progressive politics, the Catholic Church, and sports. And I fulfill the stereotype”…. I intend to take a large amount of Celtics paraphernalia to Los Angeles.”
The mountains of Alaska no doubt still call out to McKie Campbell, but he will need to turn a deaf ear for a while as he settles into a new job as a partner at the Washington consulting firm BlueWater Strategies.
Campbell, 62, recently ended a five-year stint as Republican staff director for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee under the panel’s ranking member, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Murkowski had recruited him to the post in 2008, after he had spent nearly three decades working in Alaska.
Campbell, a Washington native, graduated from Marietta College and spent seven years in law enforcement in Ohio before his father lured him north in 1979. Then an aide to Alaska Gov. Jay Hammond, father told son: “You really need to come out here — it’s your kind of place,” Campbell said.
“I enjoy the outdoors,” he says. “I love the mountains, and in southeast Alaska, that’s all there is — mountains.”
His first job was with the Division of Community and Regional Affairs at the Alaska Commerce Department, and then he spent nine years working for state Sen. Arliss Sturgulewski, who was twice defeated as the Republican nominee for Alaska governor.
Campbell will keep his focus on energy and natural resources at BlueWater, founded in 2002 by Andrew Lundquist, a top energy adviser to former President George W. Bush.
“I was not looking to make a change,” Campbell says. “I had a great boss and a great staff. I loved all the issues we were working on. And the committee is on the cusp of doing great things.
“But I’d known these guys a long time and felt it was an opportunity that wouldn’t come along again.”
IN THEN TANKS
Steve Odland, Carl Camden
New leadership has taken hold at the Committee for Economic Development, a 70-year-old think tank focused on economic and social issues. The changes come at a time when Washington seems to badly need a dose of the nonpartisan group’s brand of long-range policy research.
Steve Odland, 54, a top executive in the corporate world for nearly three decades, is the group’s new president and CEO, moving to Washington from Boca Raton, Fla., where he was most recently on the faculty of the Graduate School of Business at Lynn University.
And Carl Camden, 58, president and CEO of Kelly Services, joins TIAA-CREF President and CEO Roger Ferguson Jr. as cochairman of the think tank, whose public-policy research is guided by about 200 business and academic leaders from across the country.
Odland, a former chief executive officer at Office Depot, AutoZone, and Tops Markets, is ecstatic about his new position.
“I love what we’re doing. I love the mission, I love our history, and I love the fact that we’re not a lobbying organization,” he says. “In this day and age when you’ve got people on the left and the right, choosing sides, we call ‘em as we see ‘em. We try to come up with policy recommendations that are good for the whole country.”
Camden, based in Troy, Mich., but a frequent flier to Washington, echoed the sentiment when asked about the difficulties breaking through the capital’s partisan gridlock, particularly on fiscal issues.
“It’s ugly and it’s hard,” he says. “But a big part of what CED is doing is looking for the longer-term outcomes you’re trying to get to, rather than focusing on the short-term pain points”…. The issue in this debate is to make certain that somebody’s talking about not what we are going to do in the next three weeks or the next three months or even the next three years, but what are we going to do for the next two to three decades to get this country in a position of stability?”
The nation’s financial health and educational programs are among the organization’s core issues, and both Odland and Camden bring a wealth of real-world experience to its L Street offices.
Odland grew up in Colorado, graduated from the University of Notre Dame, and immediately landed in big business, first as an executive at Sara Lee and Quaker Oats, then in the top slots at three major companies.
Camden is a self-described “Air Force brat” who was born in Delaware and went to high school in New Hampshire, then settled in Ohio after earning a doctorate in communications from Ohio State University. As a professor at Cleveland State University, he and his future wife started a marketing company called the North Coast Behavioral Research Group, which they later sold. After some time in advertising and banking, Camden moved to Kelly Services in 1995, becoming president in 2001 and CEO in 2006.
IN THE TANKS
The capital’s appetite for reform is cyclical.
“The issue comes and goes,” says Elaine Kamarck, who was recently named director of the Management and Leadership Initiative, a new project of the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies program. “Government reform was obviously very big during the Clinton years, but then we had a decade of war and recession. Now we are back at a point where a lot of people are interested in how the government performs and how we can get our fiscal house in order.”
The Brookings initiative will review decision-making in the executive and legislative branches, Kamarck says, specifically “how high-level leaders use data and networks.”
The 62-year-old grew up in upstate New York but went to high school in Baltimore. Her father, who worked for the Social Security Administration, “wrote training manuals for Medicare,” she recalls. “In order to make sure that he was writing them clearly enough, he tested them out on me. When I was 14, I knew how to calculate Medicare benefits. I’m quite sure I was the only 14-year-old in the country who could do that.”
After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, Kamarck earned a doctorate at the University of California (Berkeley), where she wrote her dissertation on the presidential-nominating process. (She later expanded her thesis into a book, Primary Politics, published in 2009 by Brookings Institution Press.) After that, Kamarck joined the Democratic National Committee as an expert in the rules governing primary elections. Asked about the value of a doctorate in the political arena, she says, “A Ph.D. gives you discipline; it gives you a disciplined way to look at the world.”
After serving in the Clinton White House — where she launched the National Performance Review, a six-month audit of the federal government — Kamarck reentered academia as a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She has been a faculty member there for 15 years.