Fels’ Public Policy in Practice speaker series started the fall 2020 semester by welcoming Paul Monteiro, Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice President of External Affairs at Howard University. Monteiro previously worked at the White House as an associate director of the Office of Public Engagement and coordinator of the White House Mentorship Program. He also served as the national director of AmeriCorps VISTA and is currently a member of Biden-Harris transition team working with the Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
During the interview, moderated by Distinguished Fellow Elizabeth Vale, Monteiro spoke of his experience working in the White House describing “high highs and low lows.” When asked what his proudest moment was from his time there, Monteiro cited the Iftar dinner at the White House in 2009, which invited Muslim community members including teachers, lawyers, and firefighters to celebrate Ramadan with President Obama. He wrapped up his time with Fels by offering advice on running for office and how to best use mentorship, including listening to your intuition and showing you care about others.