Working in DC: From Internship to Chief of Staff and Beyond
Raul Alvillar, Executive Vice President at Resolute; Maria Meier, DC Veteran and Consultant on Leadership and Political Empowerment; and Aaron Trujillo, Senator Ben Ray Lujan's Deputy Chief of Staff
Thursday, March 04, 2021 | 05:30 pm
Join us for a panel discussion for advice on how to start a career in the federal government and what it takes to land, keep, and thrive professionally in our nation's Capital City. Panelists include Raul Alvillar, Executive Vice President at Resolute; Maria Meier, DC Veteran and Consultant on Leadership and Political Empowerment; and Aaron Trujillo, Senator Ben Ray Lujan's Deputy Chief of Staff.
Raul M. Alvillar is a senior executive with two decades of expertise in external affairs, strategic planning, community relations, and political affairs; most recently serving as the Biden/Harris New Mexico State Director for the 2020 Presidential Campaign. Raul began his journey with then-Senator Obama as the 52nd hire on the campaign in 2007. He performed a variety of roles including Arizona State Director during the primary and western Political Director. Raul went on to serve in several roles for President Barack Obama’s administration including Associate Director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, where he was interim LGBT liaison and the liaison between the White House and task makers. In this role, he facilitated White House interactions with policy influencers so that they would articulate the President’s message to mass audiences. As interim LGBT Liaison, he managed the White House rollout of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal. Raul’s other appointments include Senior Advisor and Congressional Relations Officer to Secretary Shaun Donovan at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) where he advised senior officials regarding issues related to housing, Sustainable Communities and Promise Zones. He also served as HUD’s liaison to state, local, and national elected officials. Raul has also served as the National Political Director at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) where he led political strategy and managed all of the organization’s relationships at the national, state, and local level. He collaborated with decision makers to disseminate Democratic priorities. Raul is a native of New Mexico where he can trace his roots to Queen Isabela’s land grants.
Maria Robles Meier is an inclusion expert and leader on diversity in the public sector. Her multi-faceted experience includes legislative strategy, multicultural marketing, communications, and professional development training. Most recently, she founded the organization, We Are The People, which trains diverse professionals who impact politics and policy and promotes careers in public service. Previously, she had a career as a senior leadership staffer on Capitol Hill that included serving as director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and in other Democratic leadership offices in both the US House and Senate working on a wide range of policy issues. In addition, for over five years, she led the Senate Democratic Diversity Initiative, and office created to increase staff diversity where she developed professional development trainings and counseled over 1500 individuals, nationally and abroad on career and personal development. Maria resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Aaron Trujillo is a tested Hill operative with over a decade of experience in local and national politics and government. Most recently, Aaron was the Vice President of Fulcrum Public Affairs, a firm he helped get off-the-ground in 2019, which is the first entirely Latinx and Black owned Public Affairs firm in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Fulcrum, Aaron was the Chief of Staff at the DCCC under Chairman Ben Ray Lujan during the 2018 midterm election cycle. In this capacity, Aaron not only recruited and supported the successful campaigns of the most diverse freshman class ever elected to Congress, he also led efforts to expand diversity and inclusion initiatives within the DCCC, especially among senior staff and vendors. A native New Mexican, Aaron grew up in the small rural community of El Rancho, NM surrounded by 4 indigenous Pueblos. He went to University of New Mexico for undergrad and earned an MBA at American University’s Kogod School of Business while working full time. He became involved in local politics as a college student at UNM and after graduation helped lead, now Senator, Ben Ray Luján's first congressional campaign to victory in 2008. Following this success, Aaron joined the Congressman's Washington D.C. staff and learned to navigate the halls of Congress and federal agencies. In 2014 he was appointed by President Obama to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce's office of legislative and intergovernmental affairs and was Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Native American Affairs. In this role he helped oversee the legislative operations of 6 federal agencies and liaise Senate and House offices to execute the priorities of the Department.
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