I graduated Cum Laude from Allegheny College in 2009 with a bachelor of arts in Political Science and environmental studies. During my undergraduate career, I was captain of the Men’s Swimming & Diving team and an active member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. I had always been passionate about public service, and after my sophomore year, landed one of eight internship positions with Senator Casey of Pennsylvania in Washington, DC, where I interacted with constituents and assisted with policy issues surrounding climate and the environment.
Shortly after graduation, I moved to DC to attend the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at The George Washington University, where I specialized in budgeting and public finance. In early 2010, the Census was starting, and I was offered a management position for the DC Non-Response Follow Up operation. I was 23 years old, managing of team of 10 people from ages 19 – 75; it was my first professional management opportunity, and I was proud that my area finished its operation with some of the best numbers in the District.
I grew tired of school, and once I completed by first year, left the Census, took a sabbatical from GWU, and moved to Vicksburg, MS to volunteer with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps in the fall of 2010. Over the following nine months, I lived and worked with eight peers in cities across the Gulf Coast and performed over 1,700 hours of service. We worked on residential energy efficiency programs in New Orleans, renovated homes for an assisted living facility in Mobile, and built a community from the ground up in Miami, FL.
As my time with AmeriCorps neared its end, I looked ahead to my return to DC and was offered an internship at the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. While there, I reviewed submittals for grants and provided briefings and recommendations to senior staff. The Bureau is responsible for quietly supporting the advancement of human rights, democracy, and labor in troubled nations, so much of the focus of my tenure was spent assessing programs that expanded internet access, supported women’s rights and LGBT rights, and strengthened fair election processes.
I was offered a full time position with the Bureau at the end of my internship, but only if I would remain on for an additional 3-6 months unpaid. Given my options, I did what any twenty-something would do and began waiting tables and bartending at some local restaurants while completing my degree and taking interviews. Somewhere along the way, I made a friend at Tesla Motors and was hired part time to sell cars in October 2011. My intention was to have some fun and stay on just through the end of my studies.
Just before graduation, my manager took a role at our headquarters in CA and offered me his job. I graduated from GWU in the summer of 2012 and spent the next year overseeing sales of the Tesla Model S in DC, Virginia, and Maryland at our flagship store on K Street. Operating a Tesla showroom could not be more different from a traditional car dealership. All sales employees are corporate, and the experience is built to mirror the experience an Apple store provides with an emphasis on education and non-negotiable prices. During my time as sales manager, I helped open some six new locations and trained staff across the east coast and in our UK headquarters near London; all while building a successful operation that consistently exceeded its targets.
As 2013 came to an end, I accepted an offer to manage Tesla’s infrastructure program across the American Southeast. I was tasked with siting and constructing Supercharger stations, which allow Tesla vehicle to quickly recharge and enable easy long distance travel. The role required me to be a real estate broker, contract negotiator, engineer, architect, and salesperson all at once. Over the following three years, I successfully built a portfolio of corporate retail real estate partners who host Superchargers on their properties across the country, while simultaneously inking deals with small, local businesses in towns across the South. To date, I can claim to have built over 50 Supercharger stations of the 300 or so that constitute Tesla’s current North American network.
In the summer of 2016, the White House began an effort to accelerate the installation of electric vehicle charging stations and I was asked to join our policy team to assist. The part time project quickly unraveled into a new full time position, and I am now Tesla’s Senior Manager responsible for EV Infrastructure Policy. There are a variety of state and federal policies that require our vigilance and input, as well as opportunities made available through the Justice Department to advance the development of this technology. It is my charge to work with government employees and elected officials to ensure that future public actions continue to enrich and strengthen the market for EV infrastructure.