Ask Erica Elliott what she's looking forward to in her new role as vice president of public affairs for Franklin Square Capital Partners and she'll tell you she's excited about the future of the company she's moving to. Give her another chance and she'll add another reason that likely won't surprise the Washington press corps that worked with her when she was in now-House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's office.
She's excited to work with journalists again.
The 31-year-old, who moved to D.C. from Atlanta in 2008 to look for a public policy job, left the Capitol halls in January, much to the dismay of her counterparts with notepads and recorders . She set up shop at Crowell and Moring, then shortly after the elections announced she was headed to Franklin Square. "I'm most looking forward to talking to reporters that cover the financial services again," Elliott said. "You really have to know your stuff to engage with them." The investment structures she'll be working with, which are known as business development companies, are relative newcomers to Washington, Elliott said. They're highly regulated and transparent, and, according to her, they provide a high level of investor protection. "It's certainly a big challenge with a lot of opportunity," Elliott said. "It reminds me of when I was working with Kevin McCarthy and we won the majority in the House. ... Just like then, this is an incredibly exciting time."
In her new role, she will be in charge of working with policymakers on Capitol Hill and spreading the word to national and industry press about the investment structures she represents. Just like earlier this year, though, a new job doesn't keep her from talking about other passions.
"I am an opera fanatic," Elliott, said, pausing midway through the interview about her new gig to talk about her role as the chairwoman of the Washington National Opera's Bravo Club. And her loves and goals outside of the office — which includes visiting the world's great art collections — might help her with what she calls her biggest obstacle.
"I'll be splitting my time between D.C., Philadelphia and New York," Elliott said, "and I think the biggest challenge will be to figure out what to do with all the Amtrak points I'm racking up."
Her solution? A rail-bound trip to cities with art collections she needs to cross off her list.
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