As Chief Operating Officer of the Campaign for America’s Future (CAF), I supervised Nathan’s work as our summer 2009 communications fellow and developed a deep respect for Nathan’s personal and professional habits. CAF is a strategy center for the progressive movement that offers message development and framing around current political issues, so our communications capacity is central to our mission. The length of the summer fellow position is only a few months, yet he contributed to our communications work in a far more substantial way than his short tenure would suggest.
From the start, Nathan impressed me with his ability to manage a diverse set of tasks while simultaneously taking initiative on projects he was assigned to lead. As one of his primary responsibilities, I asked him to identify new ways for us to create political discourse online. He produced a report that suggested actions I had not yet considered such as creating specific participatory features on our website and more clearly defining our target audience. Throughout the summer I relied on him when I needed a quick but thorough work product, even when I knew he was juggling projects from the web, development, and research departments.
His friendliness and professionalism made it a pleasure to work with him. The day he started working with us was the first day of our annual national conference, a hectic time to say the least, yet Nathan successfully dealt with often ill-tempered media contacts and I was proud to introduce him to my colleagues at other organizations. He was punctual, reliable, responsible and intelligent. Throughout the summer he would drop by my office to share his thoughts on speeches and conferences he attended. We had long discussions about the state of health care reform and he even showed me a few tweets I had not seen about the issue. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversations and learned from them.
Nathan was flexible when a project had a setback. For instance, when the head of our organization made it clear that he didn’t want to tweet, Nathan quickly moved to get the rest of our team on social networks instead. Nathan also impressed me by how quickly he redirected our online outreach efforts from unsuccessful activities to more promising strategies. He helped us focus on two social networks instead of seven, and pushed us to focus and refine what we already had in place rather than extending ourselves into new technology. Since projects rarely go as planned, this kind of adaptability and creativity is necessary. I’m confident Nathan has the ability to creatively solve any problems he confronts.
It has been a pleasure to participate in the development of this bright student deeply committed to creating more space for political discourse. I would not hesitate to hire him again.
Brian D. Albert
Chief Operating Officer