Brian Callahan
Name: Brian Callahan
Position: Congressional Relations Director
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Hometown: Ben Lomond, CA, USA
College: San Francisco State University

 

How did you get interested in global poverty?
On a trip to Kenya and Uganda in 2009, after I graduated college. I went to visit my cousin, who was working on a microfinance project there. It was my first time in a developing country, and my first time seeing extreme poverty up close.

 

What’s your favorite thing about being part of The Borgen Project?
The passion of our interns and volunteers! I also love conducting the lobbying 101 training sessions and hearing later about how lobbying meetings went.

 

What advice do you have for people who’ve just joined the organization?
Explore the website – there are a ton of great articles, resources, etc. that can get you up to speed on global poverty, lobbying, policy, etc. in no time.

 

What does your typical day look like?
On any given day I might be:

  • Going to Capitol Hill here in Washington, DC to meet with the staff of Representatives and Senators and discuss global poverty and the legislation The Borgen Project is supporting. I’ve had as many as 16 of these meetings in a day.
  • Attending hearings of committees that are focused on foreign policy.
  • Rushing home to conduct a lobbying training or join our weekly team meeting.
  • Doing research on a policy or piece of legislation to answer a question from a congressional staffer or intern.

 

Where’s your favorite place in the world?
Hawaii and Cape Town, South Africa.

 

Top three life highlights?

  1. Moving to Washington, DC after graduating college.
  2. Watching from the House of Representatives gallery as a bill I helped write was voted on.
  3. Meeting my girlfriend’s family in South Korea.

 

Favorite book?
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon.

 

Favorite movie?
V for Vendetta

 

Any random facts you can share with us?

  • I have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of airline routes and schedules.
  • I can wiggle my ears.
  • I’m a reluctant and late convert to CrossFit.
  • I was on a CNN town hall and got to ask James Comey a question.