Life After Politics 2018

Life After Politics [ Batten Edition ] What can you do with a degree in Political Science? Life After Politics is the Department of Politics’ annual event featuring alumni mentors, panel participants, and networking opportunities. Friday, October 26 12:30–1:00 Student Registration and Complimentary Lunch 1:00–2:15 Life After Politics Alumni Panel 2:15–4:00 Flash Mentoring!  Garrett Hall Great Hall Room 235 McCormick Road Charlottesville, VA 22903 Registration required via Handshake at

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.

David M. Mrazik, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Merchant

David M. MrazikDavid is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Merchant, a private partnership providing growth capital, management resources, strategic opportunities and direction to independent financial services companies, particularly those focused on wealth and asset management.  David leads a variety of Merchant’s strategic and financial initiatives, including mergers and acquisitions, structuring, transaction execution and risk management infrastructures.

Prior to Merchant, David was Managing Partner of MarketCounsel and the Hamburger Law Firm, a boutique consulting firm and law practice specializing in helping financial advisors transition to independence.  Previously, David served as Managing Director and General Counsel at Focus Financial Partners, LLC, a leading international partnership of independent wealth management firms.  In this role, David oversaw all of the company’s mergers and acquisitions, implemented risk management infrastructures and worked on the company’s inbound private equity investments and credit facilities.  David previously practiced as a corporate attorney at Willkie, Farr & Gallagher LLP and Vinson & Elkins LLP, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, venture capital and capital markets.

David holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. with High Distinction from the Distinguished Majors Program in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.  In addition to being a member of the Benefactors Society Board, David is an active member of the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics Alumni Advisory Board, the Virginia Athletics Foundation and the UVA Club of Fairfield/Westchester.

Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times Congressional Correspondent

Sheryl Gay StolbergSheryl Gay Stolberg is a congressional correspondent. In 21 years at The Times, she has been a science correspondent, national correspondent, political features reporter and White House correspondent. Previously, at The Los Angeles Times, she shared in two Pulitzer Prizes won by that newspaper’s Metro staff.

Liz Thomas, Legislative Director for Congressman Andy Barr

Liz ThomasLiz Thomas is the legislative director for Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and where she manages the Congressman's policy operations and oversees the tax, trade, labor, and healthcare portfolios.

Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Liz graduated from the University of Virginia's Frank Batten School of Public Policy in 2015 with a Master's Degree in Public Policy and also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from UVA in 2014 as a Jefferson Scholar. At the University of Virginia, Liz served as president of UVA’s chapter of College Republicans and was elected a vice chairman to the College Republican National Committee in 2014.

Prior to assuming her role on Capitol Hill, Liz worked as an economic policy research associate at the American Enterprise Institute, focusing on health and labor economics. She also served as a policy contributor to Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign and Ed Gillespie's 2017 gubernatorial race.

Liz has appeared on media outlets including Fox News, Al Jazeera, and the BBC, and has been featured in news publications including the Economist, the Weekly Standard, and the Washington Post. She lives and works in Washington, DC with her husband Alec.