Well, I’m back. It’s been months since my last blog post and the blog czarina at W&M informs me that I am now officially a “slogger,” rather than a blogger. Ouch! For my first post after a long blogging sabbatical, I would like to highlight another one of our graduates from the College. Andrew Langer was once an international relations concentrator back in the day when my hair was mostly not grey, and he took my course about the legislative process. Who knows, that may be why he decided to concentrate in IR rather than government. Andrew was a very active undergraduate, deeply involved in student government and a host of other organizations, and as a result he was well known around the College. Since then, he has done a bunch of interesting things, and most recently has headed up a libertarian foundation in Washington. For one, he’s played a visible leadership role in the ongoing “Tea Party” movement. I periodically see him appear in major media outlets (Fox News, etc.) and always get a kick out of it. I asked Andrew a while back to update us on his activities since graduation. Here’s his response….
All through my time at William and Mary, my intention upon graduation was to take my degree in International Relations (Soviet Studies) and to go to work for one of the alphabet-soup intelligence agencies within the federal government. But by the time I graduated, the Soviet Union was no more, the Cold War was essentially over, and those agencies weren’t looking for someone with little in the way of real-world international experience.
I had, however, spent every summer during college working for a law firm in New York, and I would end up becoming the reader for a blind environmental lawyer in DC—a former Assistant Attorney General whose focus was on the constitutional impacts of federal environmental law. I found myself essentially getting a graduate education in federal public policy, reading the law for 8+ hours per day—and I found myself developing a deep passion for the intricacies of constitutional law, regulatory policy, and efforts to reform federal agencies. It didn’t hurt that my father is an environmental scientist, and we would spend hours discussing the role that science plays in determining public policy prioritization.
Because of my activism at William and Mary (I was deeply involved in student government, where we were dealing with attempts to reform the Honor Council, student opposition to the then-new University Center, and a host of other issues), I’ve always felt comfortable in an advocacy role. When I left the law firm, I went into the non-profit world, doing outreach for a public-interest legal foundation focused on property rights. I spent six years as the White House and Executive Branch Lobbyist for the nation’s largest small business association, focusing on the impact of regulations on America’s small businesses. And two years ago I was asked to take over the Institute for Liberty.
It has been an interesting change of pace—while we still focus on small business here at IFL, because we’re not a member-driven organization we move much more quickly, and can deal with a broader variety of issues. We’ve also been involved in the Tea Party movement at all levels—speaking at events (I spoke at the first tea party in DC in February of 2010, and spoke at the 912DC event this past September), sponsoring events, and assisting local grassroots organizations and activists with the planning of their own.
I have remained in close contact with my friends from William and Mary – and still consider my 5 closest friends then to be my 5 closest friends now. And what has always struck me is the strength of the William and Mary alumni network in DC—a connection that has always opened doors.