Jim Papa

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.

Trailer 1 min 11 sec

All Episodes

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Nov 11

57 min 7 sec

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

Nov 4

56 min 31 sec

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Oct 28

52 min 33 sec

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Oct 21

54 min 29 sec

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

Oct 7

56 min 18 sec

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

Sep 30

50 min 44 sec

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.

Sep 23

48 min 35 sec

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

Sep 16

51 min 44 sec

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.

Jun 24

51 min 47 sec

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. 

Jun 17

14 min 15 sec

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.  Parikh has spent two decades at the nexus of science, policy, and business.Immediately prior to joining AAAS, Parikh was senior vice president and managing director at DIA Global, a neutral, multidisciplinary organization bringing together regulators, industry, academia, patients, and other stakeholders interested in healthcare product development.  Sudip was also general manager of the Health and Consumer Solutions business unit and vice president at Battelle, a multibillion-dollar research and development organization. From 2001 to 2009, Parikh served as science advisor and professional staff to the United States Senate Appropriations Committee, where he was responsible for negotiating budgets for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and other scientific and health agencies.

May 20

53 min 35 sec

Raymond H. LaHood  served as the 16th United States Secretary of Transportation from 2009 to 2013 under President Barack Obama. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served in the Illinois House of Representatives (1982–1983) and United States House of Representatives (1995–2009). Apart from Secretary LaHood’s achievements at the helm of the Department of Transportation, he has set an example for bipartisanship and leadership in Washington. As a lifelong Republican, Secretary LaHood worked across party lines and frequently reminded partisans that, “there is no such thing as a Democratic road or a Republican bridge.” LaHood served from 1995-2009 in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 18th District of Illinois, the same district once served by President Abraham Lincoln. Prior to his election to the House, he served as Chief of Staff to U.S. House Republican Leader Robert Michel, whom he succeeded in representing the 18th District.

May 13

49 min 42 sec

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.

May 6

31 min 38 sec

These stories were shared on the STAFFER Hotline. To share your story, call the number 1-888-416-2132.

Apr 22

15 min 3 sec

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.

Apr 15

48 min 44 sec

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.

Apr 8

52 min 20 sec

These stories were shared on the STAFFER Hotline. To share your story, call the number 1-888-416-2132.

Mar 25

28 min 59 sec

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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Mar 18

48 min 45 sec

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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Mar 11

55 min 2 sec

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.

Mar 8

14 min 35 sec

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. ___Scott Fairchild grew up in Long Island, NY and earned a Bachelor’s degree in government and history from Wesleyan University in 2000. After graduation, in 2002, he worked on Matt Dunne’s campaign for Vermont State Senate, and during John Kerry’s 2004 run for president, Scott worked in the field offices in New Hampshire and Toledo, OH.In 2005, Scott Fairchild worked on Tim Kaine’s campaign for governor of Virginia, and in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles, Scott served as Campaign Manager for Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), and subsequently served as his Chief of Staff in Congress. This victory of Murphy in 2006 in a conservative-leaning district helped Democrats take control of the House in 2006. Scott is credited with leading a skilled get-out-the-vote effort that put Murphy over the top to win the seat. He eventually took a leave of absence from Murphy’s office to run Bill Foster’s campaign for Congress in the Illinois special election in 2008.From November 2010 until election day, he managed Rahm Emanuel’s successful Chicago Mayoral campaign in 2011 and beginning in June 2011, he served as the National Campaigns Director for the League of Conservation Voters. He led the efforts for the victory of Catherine Cortez Masto’s (D-NV) 2016 Senate race as her campaign manager, and subsequently served for two years as her Chief of Staff, and ahead of the 2020 election cycle, Scott was named Executive Director of the DSCC by then-Chairwoman and him former boss Sen. Cortez Masto.Scott is now the former Executive Director of the DSCC and is returning to his role as Sen. Cortez Masto’s Chief of Staff.

Feb 18

41 min 14 sec

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. Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Feb 11

45 min 26 sec

Anne Caprara was born and raised in the Philadelphia area and graduated from American University in 2001 with a B.A. in communications, law, economics, and government. She graduated from The George Washington University in 2003 with an M.A. in political management, while concurrently working as a Business Development Assistant at Cassidy & Associates – a government relations firm in Washington DC.After graduating from GWU, Anne started working as a Research Tracker at EMILY’s List – a year later, she became Deputy Research Director, a role she worked in for just over two years. After leaving EMILY’s List in 2006, Anne worked as Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-OH). She left this role in 2007 to become the Campaign Manager for Congresswoman Betsy Markey’s (D-CO) first congressional campaign – a campaign she was victorious in. After the win, Anne continued on as Congresswoman Markey’s Chief of Staff for two years, leaving the role after her reelection loss in 2011. With this stint, Anne served as COS for two members of Congress before the age of 30.In May 2011, Anne took a job at the DSCC as Deputy Political Director (where she covered all races east of Wisconsin), and in January 2013 moved into the role of Political Director, where she helped oversee Senate races in 33 states. She was in this role for two additional years, leaving in December 2014. In February 2015, Anne returned to EMILY’s List as the Vice President of Campaigns, but she only remained in this role until May, at which time she became the Executive Director for Priorities USA (Hillary Clinton’s $190 million PAC), which, at the time, was the largest in presidential campaign history.In January 2017, Anne became a Senior Advisor for Priorities USA, but only remained in this role for 3 months, as in March 2017, she became Campaign Manager for then-candidate JB Pritzker’s ultimately victorious campaign for Governor of Illinois. The campaign lasted just under two years (until January 2019), at which times Gov. Pritzker was sworn in and Anne became his Chief of Staff, a role she still holds today.She was named to Politico Playbook’s Power List “19 to Watch in 2019,” after her win in the Pritzker race. At the time, Pritzker’s gubernatorial campaign was one of the nation’s most expensive and expansive statewide campaigns and was hailed by Politico as a campaign that could have a huge influence on how politicos approached national office campaigns in 2020, due to the enormous investments in the field and in digital. In April 2020, Anne was named by Chicago Magazine as one of “The 50 Most Powerful Women in Chicago” and has been working as Governor Pritzker’s point person for the state’s coronavirus response.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Feb 4

51 min 3 sec

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. Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Jan 28

48 min 20 sec

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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Jan 21

51 min 1 sec

We compiled our favorite "In the Vault" answers from our first 15 episodes. It’s one of Jim's favorite questions and it goes like this: "Tell me a time when you royally screwed up, how did you recover, and what did you learn from it?"Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Jan 14

18 min 23 sec

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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Jan 7

37 min 42 sec

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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Dec 2020

49 min 47 sec

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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Dec 2020

54 min 12 sec

Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign, joins STAFFER to discuss spending his life fighting for change. Inspired in his youth by watching others — including his father — fight for change against oppressive policies, Alphonso became a lawyer, fighting 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 Counselor to the Governor.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Dec 2020

47 min 43 sec

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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Nov 2020

46 min 52 sec

From Big Law to the Justice Department and 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 Corporation and General Counsel of NBCUniversal.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Nov 2020

38 min 41 sec

At 19, Luis Miranda emigrated to the United States from Puerto Rico and found a life in politics and public policy. He has since spent nearly four decades as a leader in both the public and private sectors within New York City. His life is the subject of a new HBO Documentary, Siempre, Luis, which follows his life and work, as well as his relationship with his son, Lin-Manuel Miranda.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram


Oct 2020

52 min 34 sec

Fred Hochberg is a successful businessman and public servant. He helped grow his mother’s business from a small mail-order company into an international, publicly-traded company corporation. Forbes described the success of the company under his control as “one of the great success stories of American entrepreneurship.” Fred brought this same spirit to his career in public service by becoming dDeputy aAdministrator of the Small Business Administration in 1998. He continued his service in 2009 under President Obama as Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, where he became the longest serving Chairman in the agency’s history. In this episode, hear how Fred’s experience in both the private and public sectors gives him a unique perspective on leadership and getting results from the team.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Oct 2020

39 min 2 sec

From Wall Street to the White House, Katie Fallon has had an illustrious career in politics working alongside Senator Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama. She left politics in 2016 to work in the private sector, accepting a role at Hilton Hotels as Executive Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs and recently has accepted a new position at McDonald’s as Chief Global Impact Officer. In the episode, she discusses how she got interested in politics, shares stories working in Senator Schumer’s office, and reflects on her time working for President Obama and Hillary Clinton. This episode was recorded remotely on July 22nd, 2020.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Oct 2020

1 hr 6 min

David Clunie joins STAFFER to discuss his journey from the Bronx to becoming the Executive Director of the Black Economic Alliance (BEA). David 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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Oct 2020

53 min 37 sec

Congressman Tom Cole has served as the representative to Oklahoma’s 4th district since 2002. As a member of the Chickasaw Nation, he is one of only four registered Native Americans in Congress, a community for which he is a fierce advocate. In this episode, learn how Congressman Cole was raised in a political family under his mother, Helen Cole, and how his work in public service has afforded him the ability to make his community stronger.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Oct 2020

56 min 4 sec

Steve Israel served the state of New York in the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years and is currently a novelist and the Director of the new nonpartisan Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University. But, he first got his start as a staffer for Representative Richard Ottinger. The congressman dives into what he finds are the traits of a great staffer, shares stories from his time in office, and discusses his new role at Cornell.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Sep 2020

46 min 13 sec

Neera Tanden joins Jim Papa to discuss her long career in politics and her role as a staffer. Neera is the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress and a veteran staffer. While attending UCLA, she found her interest in politics and public policy while working on Michael Dukakis’s presidential run in 1988. She then received her law degree from Yale University and moved to DC to continue her pursuit of a career in politics in the Clinton White House. Neera has gone on to have a storied career working closely with the Clintons, from President Bill Clinton’s administration to Hillary Clinton’s race against Donald Trump in 2016, she has been a close ally, trusted advisor, and friend to the Clintons over the years. Today, she plays a critical role in leading progressive Democratic policy and fighting back against the Trump White House.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Sep 2020

1 hr 1 min

In this episode, Jim Papa is joined by political strategist, Steve Schmidt. Steve has been working in politics for 30+ years and has managed election campaigns ranging from state Attorney General to, most notably, John McCain’s 2008 presidential run. Today, he is a founding member of The Lincoln Project -- a group of current and former Republicanpolitical operatives dedicated to the defeat of Donald Trump in 2020. Go back in time to when Steve 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.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Sep 2020

1 hr 5 min

Paul Hodes and Matt Robison interview Jim Papa, one of the most experienced staffers in Democratic politics. Jim gives a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to help new members of congress to do their jobs and win their re-election campaigns, explains what it was like working for President Obama and Rahm Emanuel, and shares some of the best insider stories from his own new podcast "Staffer."Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Sep 2020

48 min 21 sec

On this episode of STAFFER, Symone Sanders joins host Jim Papa to discuss her life in politics. In August 2015, she joined Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign, serving as the youngest national press secretary on record (25 years old). Currently, she is a Senior Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign. In this episode, they discuss her upbringing, getting her start in politics, and she shares stories about life on the campaign trail.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Sep 2020

50 min 36 sec

Our host, Jim Papa, joins The Electables hosted by Doug Thornell to discuss the launch of STAFFER and to reminisce on their times working as staffers at the White House and on The Hill.Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Aug 2020

55 min 55 sec

There are many titles for these over-caffeinated, overworked, underpaid Washingtonians, but just one name - STAFFER. There is no other workplace on Earth where employees 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.

Aug 2020

1 min 11 sec