Show cover of STAFFER


There are many titles for these over-caffeinated, overworked, underpaid, Washingtonians, but just one name: STAFFER. There's no other workplace in the world where one might find themselves picking up coffee, shaping legislation that will impact global markets, ordering an Uber, and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with world leaders, all in the same day. Capitol Hill has long been the launching pad for very BIG careers, a cauldron that forges our country's most influential leaders. Our mission is to share their stories.


Kenny Thompson
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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
39:40 12/01/2022
David Castagnetti
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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
63:20 10/27/2022
Hildy Kuryk
This episode features Hildy Kuryk, Partner at Artemis Strategies, discussing her journey from staffer to Executive Director of Communication at Vogue. She shares thoughts and observations made from vantage points in demanding roles at the heights of government, politics, and fashion.  Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
60:32 10/20/2022
Tim Miller
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.  Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
56:31 10/06/2022
Christina Reynolds
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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
58:43 09/29/2022
Ruchi Bhowmik
Jim is joined by Ruchi Bhowmik, Vice President of Public Policy at Netflix. They discuss her time working in government and politics as well as the key traits needed to be a great staffer.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
38:56 09/22/2022
Tom Perriello
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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
50:02 09/08/2022
Peter Ambler
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.
50:37 07/07/2022
Jeff Nussbaum
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.” 
46:46 06/30/2022
Jano Cabrera
Jano Cabrera, former Deputy Press Secretary to Vice President Gore, talks about building resilience, taking responsibility, and learning along the way from the White House to General Mills.
57:18 06/23/2022
Monica Dixon
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.
53:07 06/16/2022
Cecilia Muñoz
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.
45:59 06/09/2022
Jim Papa on When Science Speaks
When Science Speaks is a web series profiling innovative and interesting people working in science and technical fields - from academia, to industry, to the non-profit world. Host Mark Bayer is the President of Bayer Strategic Consulting, a communications and training firm empowering scientists to get their voices heard by key stakeholders, including policymakers,  executives, and the public. An international keynote speaker, Mark has shared his insights with audiences in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and across the U.S. His work has appeared in Forbes,  Science, The New Yorker, and teenVOGUE, among other publications. Since 2018, Mark has hosted When Science Speaks, a weekly podcast on communications, combatting misinformation,  and career options for scientists outside academia. Prior to founding his consulting firm, Mark served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) during a two-decade career working in the U.S. Congress.
51:20 05/27/2022
Josh Shapiro
Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • InstagramThroughout his career as a public servant, Josh Shapiro has taken on the status quo, brought people together to solve tough problems, and delivered results for the people of Pennsylvania. Since 2017, he has served as the People’s Attorney General, working every day to stand up to powerful institutions and protect Pennsylvanians’ rights.He has held more than 90 public officials, Republicans and Democrats alike, accountable for breaking the law. Working with law enforcement partners at the local, state, and federal level, he’s arrested thousands of mid- and high-level drug dealers while getting thousands of illegal guns off our streets.In January 2021, Josh was sworn in for his second term as Attorney General, and he continues to stand up for Pennsylvanians, take on big fights, and deliver real results.
24:01 03/17/2022
Gautam Raghavan
Gautam Raghavan serves as Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. Before that, he served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel since January 20, 2021. Previously, he was the first employee hired by the Biden-Harris Transition Team where he served as Deputy Head of Presidential Appointments.Raghavan served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and advised organizations focused on advancing civil rights and social justice, serving as an Advisor to the Biden Foundation and as Vice President of Policy for the Gill Foundation.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
43:41 03/10/2022
Maria Teresa Kumar
Business among the 100 most influential Latinos in America. Fast Company called Maria Teresa one of the top 100 Creative Minds for her work at Voto Latino, using technology, celebrity voices, media and youth themselves to empower a generation of young voters. Under her leadership, Voto Latino has become a key factor in national elections by directly registering over a half million voters and influencing millions more through viral, celebrity-driven campaigns.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
44:45 02/10/2022
Awenate Cobbina
Awenate Cobbina is the CEO of Bedrock Group LP, an investment firm primarily focused on retail and consumer-facing companies, including Detroit-based Shinola. In his current role, Awenate advises all of Bedrock Group LP’s current operating companies and leads new investments. Previously, Awenate was the Vice President of Public and Business Affairs for Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) and the Detroit Pistons, as well as the Executive Director of the Detroit Pistons Foundation. In those roles, Awenate worked on PS&E’s business deals, including the Pistons move to Detroit, and all aspects of the Foundation, including fundraising, grantmaking, and reporting to the Foundation’s Board.
52:32 02/03/2022
Fiona Hill
Fiona Hill is the Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. She recently served as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019. From 2006 to 2009, she served as national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at The National Intelligence Council. She is co-author of "Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin"
33:28 01/06/2022
Michael Strautmanis
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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
56:25 12/16/2021
Senator Chris Murphy
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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
41:02 12/09/2021
Paul Brathwaite
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57:07 11/11/2021
Anthony Ruggiero
Anthony Ruggiero is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).  Anthony's broad experience in the fields of counterproliferation and nonproliferation spans more than 21 years, including more than 19 years in the United States Government in both Democratic and Republican administrations.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
56:32 11/04/2021
Mona Sutphen
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52:34 10/28/2021
Jim Shelton
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54:30 10/21/2021
Ed Skyler
Ed Skyler is the Executive Vice President and Head of Global Public Affairs at Citi where he oversees the primary functions that shape the reputation of Citi, including Communications, Government Affairs, Marketing, Sustainability/ESG, Community Investing and Development and Citi’s compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). He also has responsibility for corporate operations including the company’s aviation, client and internal event management and conferencing units, and chairs the Citi Foundation. He also shares leadership of investor relations, regulatory affairs, and environmental and social risk management.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
56:18 10/07/2021
Katie Hill
Katie Hill is the Senior Vice President of Communications for the National Football League. Hill brings more than 15 years of strategic communications and public affairs experience to the League, spanning the White House, Capitol Hill, the private sector and political campaigns. As Senior Vice President, Hill is responsible for leading the NFL's day-to-day communications operation, aligning the League's communications strategy with its priorities. She works closely with the leadership team across departments to ensure consistency of messaging and strategy, and to elevate success stories. In addition, she leads efforts in identifying reputational issues for the League and across the 32 clubs and developing strategies to mitigate their impact.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
50:44 09/30/2021
Will Kinzel
Will Kinzel is the Vice President of Molson Coors Beverage Company (commonly known as Molson Coors), a Canadian multinational drink and brewing company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to that, he served as the Government Affairs Managing Director for Delta Airlines for over five years. Will also worked in the Office of the Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) from 2011-2013 as Assistant to the Speaker for Policy.
48:36 09/23/2021
Kelly Burton
Kelly Burton is the President of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), an organization chaired by former Attorney General Eric Holder that is executing a comprehensive redistricting plan to achieve fair maps. She also serves as the President for NDRC's affiliates, the National Redistricting Action Fund and the National Redistricting Foundation.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
51:45 09/16/2021
Kelly Craighead
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. She is responsible for overseeing the management of the global operations and CLIA leadership teams across its seven regions around the world. Ms. Craighead comes to CLIA with extensive experience serving in executive leadership positions in the public and private sectors. As the first executive director of the National Travel & Tourism Office at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 2014 to 2017, Ms. Craighead served as the senior government representative for all travel and tourism matters on behalf of the administration. In addition to providing overarching coordination of federal government tourism policies and programs, Ms. Craighead led initiatives that generated more than $250 billion annually from international visitors to the USA while also representing the United States as the key point of contact with other government tourism ministers in critical travel and tourism policy efforts.
51:48 06/24/2021
Father's Day Special
We share some of the stories our guests have shared about their father's and grandfather's on this Father's Day special. Parents can inspire their children to make a career in public service and our guests share how their father's made an impact on their lives. 
14:16 06/17/2021