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.

Available on


79 episodes

Louisa Terrell

President Biden’s first two years in office resulted in several landmark laws: the American Rescue Plan Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS & Science Act, and more. During that time, this episode's guest, Louisa Terrell, served as Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. In this episode, hear Louisa discuss her journey to the West Wing and how she helped the President achieve historic wins under incredibly challenging circumstances. Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Nov 09
Mike Harney

Mike Harney knows the federal government like few others. Prior to his position as Senior Vice President and Head of Public Affairs at Clear, he held a range of impressive positions as a staffer. Hear about the joys and challenges of each position on this episode of STAFFER. Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Nov 02
Steve Haro

On this episode of STAFFER, Steve Haro dives into his experiences throughout his over two decades in government and politics. He has served as Chief of Staff to two senators, worked in the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Obama Administration, and now works at TelevisaUnivision. He talks about what makes a good staffer, how he finds the private sector after life in government, and more. Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

1h 4m
Oct 26
Patrice Willoughby

Patrice Willoughby joins on STAFFER to discuss her career from Capitol Hill to the private sector. Patrice currently is the Senior Vice President, Global Policy and Impact at the NAACP.

1h 2m
Oct 19
Greg Butler

In this episode, Greg Butler, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Eversource Energy, talks about his time as a staffer in the NYS Assembly and U.S. Department of Justice, and what lessons he’s taken with him in the decades since then.   Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Sep 21
Janno Lieber

Janno Lieber is a New Yorker through and through. He worked in the mayor's office during Ed Koch’s administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the private sector (where he oversaw major projects including Port Authority Bus Terminal and the new World Trade Center), and now at the MTA, where he serves as the Chair and CEO to largest public transportation network in North America. Hear about his experiences as a staffer and so much more on this episode of STAFFER. Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Sep 14
Patrick Gaspard

To say that Patrick Gaspard has had an impressive career as an activist is an understatement. Listen to this week's episode of STAFFER to hear more on his experiences: fighting against South African apartheid as a teenager; working in several presidential campaigns, including for Jesse Jackson, Howard Dean, and Barack Obama; running politics and policy for labor giant SEIU 1199; working in the Obama White House and DNC; serving as U.S. Ambassador to South Africa; and today, as the CEO of Center for American Progress Action Fund. Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Sep 07
Tiffany Muller

Tiffany Muller talks about her role as President of End Citizens United, which has more than 4 million members and 1 million grassroots donors. Together with Jim Papa, they dive into her journey through the political world – from her time on the Topeka City Council to campaigns in Kansas to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the fight for LGBTQ equality – and how she stays motivated to fight day in and day out.

May 18
Quentin Fulks

Quentin Fulks and Jim Papa talk about Quentin’s new role as the Principal Deputy Campaign Manager for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ reelection campaign, the values that drive him, and the twists and turns that brought him to this moment. Along the way, they cover Quentin’s experience as Campaign Manager for Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock’s re-election campaign, and his role as Deputy Campaign Manager and Political Advisor to Governor J.B. Pritzker.

May 04
Sharon Werner

Sharon Werner is currently Chief Counsel at PNC Bank. But prior to PNC, Sharon served in the Obama Administration as the Chief of Staff to US Attorney Generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch and spent five years as Chief of Staff to Congressman Jason Altmire (D-PA). Jim and Sharon discuss the traits of high-achieving staffers and developing a career in Washington and the private sector.

Apr 27
Mike Boots

Mike Boots, Executive Vice President of Breakthrough Energy, joins Jim to discuss his life and career from politics to advocacy. Mike previously held the position of Senior Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He provided advice to the institute and philanthropic foundations on topics relating to business, civil society, and the environment. Prior to that, he was the environmental advisor to President Obama in 2014 and 2015, leading the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Hear more STAFFER stories on our website

Apr 06
Portia Reddick White

From flight attendant to labor leader with the Transport Workers Union of America, from Senior Advisor to the Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to policy and government relations expert at AARP and NAACP, Portia Reddick White has seen a lot from the skies and the trenches. On this episode of STAFFER, host Jim Papa speaks with her about her experiences and so much more. Find more episodes at

Mar 30
Shelly Stoneman

This episode's guest is Shelly Stoneman, who has worked everywhere from Capitol Hill, the Balkans, the White House, and the Pentagon. She is a leader in the national security community and leads Government Relations for BEA Systems, where she is also on the Board of Directors.  Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also appointed Shelly to chair the Department of Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service, and in her “spare time,” Shelly also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security. Listen now. Find more episodes of STAFFER on our website

Mar 23
Polly Trottenberg

Polly Trottenberg is the Deputy Secretary of Transportation under Pete Buttigieg. She was previously the commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation from 2014 to 2020. Trottenberg's more than 20 year career has taken her from working as a staffer on the Hill to helping to manage an agency of 55,000 people. Find more stories from staffers on our website /

Mar 09
Greg Speed

Greg Speed is president of America Votes. He is a leading progressive campaign strategist with a broad experience in politics, having worked for advocacy organizations, the Democratic Party and elected officials. He and Jim discuss his career in politics from staffer to political strategist. 

Mar 02
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

Dec 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

1h 3m
Oct 27, 2022
Hildy Kuryk

Hildy Kuryk joins STAFFER to discuss her career spanning from politics to the private sector. She currently is the founder of Artemis Strategies, a consulting firm helping businesses communicate their core values, but she got her start in politics working in state and federal roles and serving two presidents. Hildy shares stories from her career which has taken her from Washington D.C. politics to working directly with Anna Wintour at Vogue and Teen Vogue. 

1h 0m
Oct 20, 2022
Tim Miller

Tim Miller joins Jim Papa to discuss his time working as a staffer in politics and on the campaign trail. Tim discusses his views on where politics are in America and elaborates on his feelings he put in his book, "Why We Did It: A Travelogue From the Republican Road to Hell".  Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Oct 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

Sep 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

Sep 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

Sep 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.

Jul 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.” 

Jun 30, 2022
Jano Cabrera


Jun 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.

Jun 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.

Jun 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 ,  , and among other publications. Since 2018, Mark has hosted When Science Speaksa 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.

May 27, 2022
Josh Shapiro

Follow STAFFER on Twitter • Facebook • Instagram Throughout 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.

Mar 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

Mar 10, 2022