Letter from New GAI Director
Kristin Nicholson | February 27, 2017
It is with excitement that I write this note, my first of many for our GAI newsletter subscribers. On February 1, I became the Director of the Government Affairs Institute, a role I am thrilled to take on following the retirement of my predecessor, Dr. Ken Gold. So, allow me to introduce myself.
I grew up in DC, graduated from Northwestern University and earned my law degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I landed an internship in the House of Representatives in 1997 and proceeded – to my surprise – to stick around Capitol Hill for the next two decades. I served first as a legislative assistant for Congressman Glenn Poshard and later as legislative director for Congressman David Phelps.
For the last sixteen years, I was Chief of Staff to Congressman Jim Langevin, a nine-term representative from Rhode Island and a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. In that role, I was involved in every aspect of managing the staff, systems and strategies that form a congressional operation.
Despite its frustrations, I care deeply about the institution, and I have a passion for teaching others about the people and processes that make Congress what it is, how decisions get made, and why it all matters. I also have the highest respect for those who serve in the executive branch, and it has been an honor to work with so many of these dedicated public servants over the past twenty years.
During my time on the Hill, I was fortunate to speak for GAI’s courses dozens of times. Along the way, I developed a great respect and appreciation for GAI – its mission, its programming and its faculty. It is a dream for me to find myself now leading this organization, and I feel lucky to be surrounded by a team of exceptional colleagues, supporters, alumni and friends.
I am looking forward to the challenges ahead, to the opportunity to work with many of you, and to the chance to help further GAI’s mission of equipping civil servants to work more effectively with Congress. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can ever be of service to you.