How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have two children, Teddy who is two and a half, and Jack who is 10 months.
What do you love about living in Stamford?
I love our diverse population. We also have many devoted residents in Stamford who give back to our community every day, from our teachers, nurses, first responders, non profit leaders, small business owners, parents, and community members who give back to our city every day and it makes it such a rewarding place to live.
Tell us about your career.
After graduating from Harvard, I worked for President Obama’s transition team and then I was fortunate enough to get a job at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where I worked for four and a half years. I served in a variety of roles including as a Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary, a Policy Analyst in the Office of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, and as a Director of Special Projects in the Counterterrorism Coordinator’s Office. I also provided support for DHS’s domestic and international counterterrorism programs and helped support DHS’s program and budget for the team in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Since 2014, I have been serving as state representative for the 144th district, serving as co-chair of the Commerce Committee.
Currently, I also work at Yale University at Elevate: a Policy Lab to Elevate Mental Health and Disrupt Poverty. I work on maternal mental health policies to help families thrive. Prior to this, I also worked at the Women’s Business Development Council, helping women with entrepreneurial, financial, and professional development training.
Why did you decide to run for State Representative in 2014?
After the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I decided to come home and run for state representative. While working on President Obama’s transition team, I was frustrated with the gridlock in Washington D.C., regarding inaction on gun violence prevention legislation. I was motivated by the legislation that was passed by the Connecticut General Assembly and that inspired me to run for office.
What’s been the highlight of your time in the state legislature?
Passing Paid Family Leave and codifying the ten essential benefits for women and families from the Affordable Care Act into CT state statute was a highlight of my time in the legislature. Additionally, working in a bipartisan fashion to pass bills to spur small business growth and job creation across our state. I also love the moments where I get to help my constituents, whether it is getting someone unemployment benefits, fixing a health care issues, or helping get someone a handicap pass from the DMV.
How do you juggle work and mommyhood?
I juggle work and mommyhood by trying to do my best but remembering that no day will be perfect! Embracing the chaos and trying to be present before and after work with my kids and giving them my full attention as best as I can. Allowing the house to get messy and not expecting things to be perfect! I’m grateful to have a supportive spouse who is a devoted father, as well as help from my sisters, mom, mother-in-law, and lots of babysitters – it takes a village!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
My friend told me that it’s about quality not quantity, in terms of the time we spend with our kids, and that it’s important to be present and engaged with kids for those quality moments.