You’re 29 years old, and you’ve just been given a job in the White House. How do you quickly figure out how the US Executive Branch behemoth actually works, so that you can have as much impact as possible – before you quit or get kicked out?
That was the challenge put in front of Tom Kalil in 1993.
He had enough success to last a full 16 years inside the Clinton and Obama administrations, working to foster the development of the internet, then nanotechnology, and then cutting-edge brain modelling, among other things.
But not everyone figures out how to move the needle. In today’s interview, Tom shares his experience with how to increase your chances of getting an influential role in government, and how to make the most of the opportunity if you get in.
He believes that Congressional gridlock leads people to greatly underestimate how much the Executive Branch can and does do on its own every day. Decisions by individuals change how billions of dollars are spent; regulations are enforced, and then suddenly they aren’t; and a single sentence in the State of the Union can get civil servants to pay attention to a topic that would otherwise go ignored.
Read more here.