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Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life

Top Obama Advisor Reflects on the Future of Politics

Saturday, December 10, 2016

We hosted David Simas, Director of the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, for a Civic Life Lunch.


David Simas, an Assistant to President Obama and the Director of the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, visited Tisch College on December 8 to share insights from his experience in the West Wing and to encourage students to fend off discouragement and engage in politics with empathy and passion.

Simas, who was a leading figure in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, spoke at Tufts as part of our Civic Life Lunch series of informal chats with civic leaders from various fields. He was also a guest speaker in the Tisch College Course “Topics in American Politics: Changing America, Changing Politics,” taught by Simon Rosenberg, founder of the New Democrat Network and a member of the Tisch College Board of Advisors. Rosenberg praised Simas as a singularly effective leader who keeps colleagues and stakeholders engaged.

Addressing both the recent election and politics going forward, Simas addressed the need for people to connect and seek to understand each other. He also highlighted that citizens’ participation in public life is a necessity. “Civic engagement isn’t just an action to fill the day. It literally goes to whether or not a pluralistic democracy can function.”