WGR Featured Member: Jennifer Rosen

Jennifer Rosen
Senior Associate Director, State Affairs, Alzheimer's Association

Hometown: All over New York (we moved a lot)
Fun Fact: I have visited 45 of the 50 states, and I'm obsessed with 90s rock.
About Jennifer: I have has spent more than a decade working within all realms of the government affairs arena including local, state and federal relations, issue education, coalition-building, grassroots advocacy, communications, media relations, event planning, fundraising, and strategic planning. I currently work in the Alzheimer’s Association's National Public Policy Office and engage our Chapter network in all 50 states in support of their efforts to enact state legislative and regulatory priorities nationwide.  

What attracted you to WGR and how has it helped you personally & professionally?  While I was always aware of WGR and would occasionally attend an event here and there, it was the launch of WGR’s State Relations Work Group, which later was established as a Task Force, that attracted me and led to my active involvement with WGR. Through my engagement with this Task Force I have gained many professional contacts, forged new friendships, and I have grown my presence among state officials by having the opportunity to help plan and execute WGR’s signature Governor’s Reception and Hall of States Day events as well as participating in various networking opportunities with state legislative organizations.

What skills do you think are most important in government affairs and why?
Understanding how to communicate effectively is the most important skill set to have in government affairs. You need to know your audience and package information in a way that it will be both well-received and engender related action/desired outcome. If you have this skill, you can work in any policy arena and be successful, regardless of your background or experience in working on specific issues.

What advice do you have for young women entering the field? Don’t be afraid to be bold. Even though you may be comfortable in your current job, always keep an eye open and an ear out for new opportunities when you are first starting out in this field. It is important to gain as much experience as you can early on, so do not allow yourself to get stuck in one position for more than two years at the start. And – connect, connect, connect! Never pass up an opportunity to make a new connection and work to maintain relationships with professional contacts even as you move on from job to job – you never know who might turn into your saving grace down the road – this industry really is all about who you know!

What originally brought you to Washington? In 1988 I was a huge fan of the “Weekly Reader” publication we used to receive in elementary school. I remember reading about the Bush-Dukakis presidential race that year in one of the editions, which also asked readers to cast their Weekly Reader ballot for their preferred candidate - I was hooked immediately and just like that another political news junkie was born. Fast-forward two years later and I would head home from school every afternoon and turn CNN on to watch the Gulf War coverage – it was that year that I decided I would work in government and politics and head to Washington. I first arrived in DC for college my freshman year and I haven’t turned back since!

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