The Hamilton College Program in Washington D.C. students had the privilege of attending a dinner hosted by Tom Vilsack ’72, P’00, Barbara Stein K’72 and Christie Vilsack K’72, P’00 on April 8. Tom Vilsack is the former governor of Iowa and current secretary of agriculture in the Obama administration. Christie Vilsack is senior advisor for international education at USAID, and Barbara Stein is director of strategic partnerships for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

During the evening, the Vilsacks and Stein asked each student about their future career goals, and provided valuable advice and suggestions for career advancement. The Vilsacks and Stein also imparted their wisdom on having a successful career in Washington, D.C. Specifically they all stressed the importance of developing genuine long-term personal networks for a fruitful career in the nation’s capital. 

During the dinner, Secretary Vilsack discussed cabinet meetings with President Obama, the interaction between Congress and executive branch agencies, and his daily responsibilities as Secretary of Agriculture, an agency with a yearly budget of approximately of $140 billion dollars. Christie Vilsack recalled her congressional election campaign experience and her speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

The Vilsacks and Stein also talked about their time at Hamilton College and Kirkland College, and how small liberal arts colleges provide a unique opportunity for students to develop long-lasting relationship with their college peers.

 The Vilsacks and Stein also hosted a farewell dinner for Hamilton College D.C. students during the fall 2013 semester.

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