Life After Politics 2019: Global Edition

November 1, 2019

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 Department of Politics and The Career Center, this year’s Life After Politics: Global Edition invited four politics alumni to share their experiences working in various fields, as well as offer insider advice on how to navigate the “life after politics,” demonstrating the great diversity of career choices a politics major can lead to.

In this year’s Life After Politics: Global Edition, the panelists also shared their personal stories and anecdotes from working in various locations and organizations around the world. Many of them mentioned the global perspectives they gained while studying at UVA (and abroad), which proved to be influential throughout their careers.

Jason Steinbaum, 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.

Megan O’Donnell, Assistant Director, Gender Program and Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Global Development

Megan O’Donnell is the Assistant Director of the Center for Global Development’s gender program and a Senior Policy Analyst. She works on issues related to women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion, gender data and measurement, and development effectiveness. Prior to CGD, O’Donnell worked at the ONE Campaign, an international advocacy organization focused on sub Saharan Africa, where she led the development of ONE’s gender and inclusive growth-focused policy recommendations to donors and country governments. Before joining ONE, she coordinated CGD’s gender research program and has also worked with the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Center for Research on Women, CARE USA, Banyan Global, and the Middle East Institute. She has a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree in Politics and French from the University of Virginia.

Jerry Rubin, Senior Counsel at Williams Kastner & Gibbs

Jerry Rubin is currently senior counsel at the Seattle law firm of Williams Kastner & Gibbs. Jerry’s law practice concentrates in the area of labor and employment law. Jerry began his legal career as a Federal Government Trial Attorney. Over the past 40 years, he has represented private and public corporations and governmental entities throughout the United States and Asia. Jerry holds a B.A. in Political Science from UVA (1966). His daughter Julia graduated from UVA in 2010.

Christian Yarnell, Brookings Legislative Fellow, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

Christian Yarnell is currently a Brookings Legislative Fellow at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, focusing on Europe and Russia. When not on loan to the Foreign Affairs Committee, Chris is a career State Department official, most recently serving as the deputy director of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs’ Office of Policy and Regional Affairs, which covers political-military, arms control, and nonproliferation issues in Europe. He has served overseas at our U.S. Embassies in Lithuania, Ukraine, and Bulgaria working on a broad range of political and economic matters. Chris has an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University and a B.A. in foreign affairs from UVA (2002). He is, however, married to a Hokie.