Category Archives: Life After Politics

Life After Politics 2017

2017 Panelists

Haley AndersonHaley Anderson

Haley Anderson ’09 is a clinical speech-language pathologist, working with adults following brain injury in the acute rehabilitation setting. Prior to returning to school at Boston University for her MS-SLP, Haley worked in the legal field, with experience in government and nonprofit workplaces, and in the fundraising field, at Harvard College. Originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, Haley lives in the DC area with her husband, who is also a U.Va. Politics alumnus. Areas of interest in politics include issues of social justice and policy implementation, particularly in the complicated field of healthcare. Community involvement through mentorship and networking is a passion.


Michael BluesteinMichael Bluestein

Mr. Bluestein is the Managing Partner of Grindstone Partners, a provider of direct private equity investment and corporate finance advisory services in Northern Virginia. He founded the firm in 2009 to address a lack of capital and expertise in the small and mid-cap markets and brings over 25 years of investing and financial advisory experience to the firm. Grindstone targets family run businesses for investment, always in partnership with great management teams.

Previously Mr. Bluestein co-founded Oakcrest Capital and was a partner in Winston Partners, both small cap private equity firms. His sectors of experience include outsourced business services, building infrastructure, niche manufacturing and healthcare services. Mr Bluestein’s early experience was in commercial and investment banking with First Union, PaineWebber and SunTrust Bank where he advised on M&A and capital markets transactions. Mr. Bluestein has served as Chairman or Director on nearly two dozen company boards and has advised many others. He currently serves on the five corporate boards including Fulcrum IT Services and SageWater Renew.

Mr. Bluestein received a BA degree in Political Science from the University of Virginia and earned an MBA in Strategic Management and Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife of 25 years and two sons.


Kadeem CooperKadeem Cooper

Kadeem Cooper is a litigation associate at Covington & Burling LLP. Kadeem graduated from the University of Virginia in 2010 and New York University School of Law in 2014. During law school, he interned at Brooklyn Defender Services, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Criminal Law Reform Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. Kadeem has represented indigent defendants in a variety of criminal matters at both the trial and appellate level. 


UVA ’88, Foreign Affairs
Democratic Staff Director, House Of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Affairs

Jason Steinbaum serves as Democratic Staff Director of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Previously, he was Staff Director for the majority and minority of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere from 2006-2012. He has also served as Washington Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), the Ranking Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. In the early 1990’s, Mr. Steinbaum worked for Senator Donald Riegle (D-MI), having served as his Legislative Assistant for foreign affairs and defense.

During his career in Congress, Mr. Steinbaum wrote the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 and the law providing normal trade relations with Albania, has been a leader on policy toward the Balkans, and has monitored elections in numerous countries.

Mr. Steinbaum received a law degree and a Master’s in law and international affairs in 1993 from The American University in Washington, DC. He graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia in 1988. Mr. Steinbaum is a member of the bars of the States of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He and his family live in Northern Virginia.

Jayme SwaimJayme Swain
PBS, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Operations

In this role, she oversees human resources and facilities and leads strategic and operational planning. As a trusted advisor to the CEO and COO, Ms. Swain manages organization-wide projects and develops solutions on behalf of the entire public broadcasting system.

Ms. Swain joined PBS’ digital department in 2008 as the Senior Director of Strategic Growth. Her role included conceiving and implementing digital strategies for PBS and affiliated producers, increasing audience engagement and viewership on all digital platforms, focusing on content creation and distribution, and streamlining Web development operations. She developed the content strategy for the 2011 Webby award-winning iPad app and, the 2011 Webby “People’s Choice” award-winning website, and launched the PBS Online Film Festival.

Prior to joining PBS, Ms. Swain developed multimedia content, consumer-focused digital products and social media strategies for top brands such as CNN, FOX, U.S. News & World Report and Revolution Health.

Ms. Swain is a graduate of the University of Virginia.


What can you do with a degree in Politics? What is life like after graduation?

Life After Politics is our annual event featuring alumni mentors, panel participants, and networking opportunities. Presented by the Politics Alumni Board and The Career Center, this half-day interactive session reveals career paths and insider advice to all politics undergrads. Alumni participants come from a wide range of fields, demonstrating the great diversity of career choices.

Life After Politics 2016

2016 Life After Politics


What Next? Life After Politics 2016

Friday, October 28th in Nau Hall 211

Box Lunch Networking

Alumni Panel (Register here, includes box lunch)

Stuart Pape
Shareholder, Head of FDA Practice, Polsinelli PC
Ethan Thrasher
Legislative Correspondent, Senator Mark Warner
Kyle Matous
Chief of Staff, U.S. Representative Pete Sessions
Vicki Ballagh
Director, The Incite Agency
Langdon Greenhalgh
Director & Co-Founder, Global Emergency Group

Flash Mentoring (Register here)

Haley Anderson
Speech-Language Pathologist
Margaret Brennan
CBS News Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Mary Kate Cary
Speechwriter, Columnist, Documentarian
Jennifer Clarke
Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice
Cameron Kilberg
Partner, Rubin & Rudman
David Mrazik
Managing Partner at Hamburger Law Firm & Managing Director at MarketCounsel
Gabriel Noronha
Staff Assistant, US Senate
Peter Page
Founder and President, SageWater, Inc.

What can you do with a degree in Politics? What is life like after graduation?

Gabriel NoronhaLife After Politics is our annual event featuring alumni mentors, panel participants, and networking opportunities. Presented by the Politics Alumni Board and The Career Center, this half-day interactive session reveals career paths and insider advice to all politics undergrads. Alumni participants come from a wide range of fields, demonstrating the great diversity of career choices.

Additional information at the Career Center Life After Politics page.

2015 Participants
kimAlbert Kim
1st Sergeant
Arlington Police Department



Gabriel NoronhaGabriel Noronha
Staff Assistant
U.S. Senate



Anna SchollAnna Scholl
Executive Director
Progress VA and Progress VA Education Fund



Margaret BrennanMargaret Brennan
Foreign Policy Reporter
CBS News



Katherine FauldersKatherine Faulders
Reporter & Digital Journalist
ABC News

Life After Politics: A Near Life Experience

Life After Politics 2015Fifty students had their eyes opened when eight alums showed up to share what actually happens after you get a degree in politics. Professor Paul Freedman’s Life After Politics panel and speed mentoring activities showcased five post-degree alumni now in the worlds of journalism, law enforcement, non-profit advocacy, and the U.S. Senate staff.

Five panel members spoke about their efforts at life/work balance, though only Albert Kim, First Sergeant Arlington Police Department seems successful at this, including marathons and triathlons into his days. The two journalists Margaret Brennan and Katherine Faulders have chosen careers where politics are a major part of their coverage. They both emphasized how necessary it is to be available all the time, carrying several cellphones and other devices. Like the journalists who have to be hyper-responsive, Gabriel Noronha, Staff Assistant U.S. Senate also has a 24/7 workday. He recommends working on a presidential campaign, if you can find a place as an intern and don’t mind sleeping on the floor. Anna Scholl, Executive Director, ProgressVA & ProgressVA Education Fund, had a less stressful early career, but recommends just saying “Yes” to the menial work and smile as you do it—it will set you apart from those who don’t.

Speed mentoring works much like speed dating, except each alum migrates from a circle of students to a circle of students. At this level of interaction the students get close exposure to ask specific questions and get an immediate response at a personal level. Alumni gain by adding potential employees, associates, and peers to their networks, as well as giving back to the University on a fundamental level. In addition to the panel members, Haley Anderson, Speech and Language Pathology, Jennifer Clarke, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and Cameron Kilberg, Attorney and Entrepreneur participated in speed mentoring.

Life After Politics was sponsored and hosted by the Career Center in conjunction with the Department of Politics. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for an announcement of next year’s event and other thought-provoking seminars.