Name: Jen O’Malley Dillon Job Title: Deputy Campaign Manager Hometown: Jamaica Plain & Franklin, MA Based in: Chicago, IL
Q1. What does a day at work look like to you?
Wake up, catch up on the news, and try to get to the gym before heading into work. I start my days with an iced coffee and a series of staff and planning meetings. Throughout the day, I get updates from staff in HQ and across the country on our daily progress in the states and on our voter contact programs. My days tend to be pretty busy, but I try and steal a couple minutes over lunch to catch up on what’s going on with my favorite Boston sports teams and maybe a little celebrity gossip (don’t tell Jim Messina). Each day is different, but the theme is the same: staying connected with our incredible staff, volunteers, and supporters across the country and doing everything I can to help prepare the states to bring us the 270 electoral votes we need to win on November 6th, 2012.
Q2. How did you first come to the campaign?
I started working for President Obama in 2008 as the Battleground States Director. It was an amazing experience and I am so proud to have been part of it. Within a week of the election in 2008, I was headed to Washington, DC to work on the presidential Transition Team. I was honored to then serve as executive director of the Democratic National Committee and work closely with President Obama’s supporters all across the country and serve with then-chairman Governor Tim Kaine. As much as I loved the DNC, I knew the minute we entered into 2011 that I wanted to be part of the Obama campaign. I’m so glad to be in Chicago working with this amazing team. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else!
Q3. What's your favorite part of your job?
I love my job! Every day I am fortunate enough to do work I believe in for a President who I believe in. I know how lucky I am because of that alone—but there are so many other reasons! I work with such amazing people who are not only talented but who are just wonderfully good people—people you want to get to know and learn from. Working with President Obama’s volunteers and supporters—meeting them, hearing about their lives and why they support President Obama or take time out of their busy schedules to volunteer for him—always reminds me that this election is a lot more than just politics, it’s about people’s lives. The people all around me keep me focused on why I’m here and why re-electing President Obama matters so much.
Q4. What's the most unexpected part of your job?
I’ve been working on campaigns for nearly 15 years and the most unexpected part of my job is that still, every day, I’m inspired by the people around me. Young and old, volunteers and staffers, community organizers and community leaders, team members and team leaders, supporters and undecided voters—each and every one of them inspires me and challenges me to work harder and do more.
Q5. Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
This is one of my favorite questions—we ask this of our staff all the time in order to get to know them better (and laugh a bit, too). I’m a huge fan of the “Sound of Music”—HUGE! In fact, this year for my birthday, staff in the office (led by my partner in crime Maia Johnson) had two singers dress in period garb and sing "Sound of Music" songs to me! It was amazing!