I was going to major in English but my mother convinced me I'd never find a job. So I studied engineering. And now I make my living as a writer.
Professionally, I've worn more hats than your Aunt Millie. While I worked, variously, as a public policy analyst, nonprofit administrator, technical editor, teacher, and engineer, the one constant I found was the importance of writing well. Whether conveying a complicated technical issue or persuading a potential donor, I've found that how I get my point across is as important as what I have to say. Sometimes more.
I quit my first engineering job to join the Peace Corps. When I returned from two years in Africa with no game plan, an engineering degree and a love of writing, I took a job as a technical editor. It was boring stuff really, environmental remediation plans, but I loved bridging the gulf between the tech geeks and the creative writer types, making the plans comprehensible.
That led to a master's degree with a public policy emphasis from the Yale School of Management. At Yale, I realized I was compulsive about words when I couldn't stop myself from editing a professor's grammar on an accounting exam.
As a public policy consultant in both Washington, DC, and Denver, I worked with the EPA, the Department of Energy, cities and Native American tribes on energy and economic policy issues. My colleagues relied on my ability to restructure dry reports, knowing I could develop better logical flow, clarity and style, all of which are central to the purpose of written works — to inform, persuade and communicate.
But it was when I started writing as a communications consultant in 2000 that I found my passion—and my niche. I now provide a host of communications services, particularly in higher education. I especially enjoy the public affairs aspect of higher ed: writing speeches and opinion pieces for college presidents and other administrators, and stories on, for and about the intersection of higher education and the legislature. I am frequently published in written features, profiles and news stories for various college publications. I also write and edit newsletters, brochures and appeal letters for nonprofit and government organizations.
I am married to Jason Salzman (see his bio here). Among our happy collaborations are Effect Communications and two great kids, Dylan and Nell.