Washingtonian – s forty Under 40, Washingtonian
Washingtonian’s forty Under 40
These twenty- and thirtysomethings are already shaping local politics, business, the arts, and other industries. Here are names you should know now—because they’ll be part of the conversation for years to come.
thirty nine , Founder, Greater Greater Washington
Alpert moved here with his attorney wifey in two thousand seven and found himself flummoxed by the city’s 1950s-style treatment to zoning—and the lack of voices criticizing that treatment. The former Google employee founded Greater Greater Washington, a roiling online community of urbanists that advocates for vibrant neighborhoods. Alpert’s advocacy has made him a lightning rod for folks who favor lighter parking and less big-city density, but its point of view has increasingly become policy.
Best advice: “Work on the most significant thing you can. You can end up spending time on a lot of things, but concentrate on what’s most significant.” Paraphrased from Jonathan Rosenberg, former Google VP of product.
Kristen Soltis Anderson
thirty three , Cofounder, Echelon Insights
Even with Donald Trump’s win in last year’s election, Anderson—whose polling rigid advises clients on how to reach junior audiences—will remind you that the President won only thirty seven percent of voters under 30, continuing a pattern she says should alarm her fellow GOPers. “Republicans are continuing to do badly with the millennial generation,” she says. “The long game is to suspend onto the voters who voted for Trump because they desired something different, but find a way to empower people who have not felt included in Trump’s message.”
Her very first job: “Running the tram on the King Kong rail at Universal Studios Orlando. I had to get all the guests onto the rail and then take them on a tour through a ruined Manhattan and a confrontation with a 50-foot-tall robotic ape. Superb summer job for a high-schooler.”
thirty eight , Publisher, Vox Media
Bell was the Washington Post’s digital-platforms director, bridging the paper’s content with social media, before she was part of the exodus that led to the creation of the explanatory-journalism site Vox.com. She was promoted to her current role in July, putting her in charge of the flagship site as well as SB Nation, Eater, Curbed, and the tech blogs Recode and the Brink. Today Vox Media is valued at more than $1 billion and attracts about eight hundred million page views a month.
On failure: “I find it wise to fail at one thing every day. It’s the best way to learn.”
twenty nine , Chief political correspondent, Slate
With work that careens inbetween political reporting and meditations on race and history, Bouie went from rookie writing fellow at the American Prospect in two thousand ten to high-profile observer of the two thousand sixteen election. (A staffer at Slate, he also pops up on CBS’s Face the Nation and talks to some 158,000 followers on Twitter.) We might see more of him in the Trump years. Among other things, Bouie’s writing is infused with a sense of tragedy, that history can go backward as well as forward, which is likely to resonate in liberal Washington.
About his job: “It involves way more reading and having conversations with people than it does writing or having opinions.”
thirty two , Cofounder and COO, Pacify Health
You wouldn’t peg a single boy in his thirties as having an interest in breastfeeding, but George Brandes and his cofounder, Ben Lundin, have made it their mission to improve breastfeeding and minimize medical woes for fresh moms. The pair launched Pacify—an app that permits subscribers to voice- or video-call nurses, dietitians, and lactation consultants in seconds—in the summer of 2015. Pacify also teamed up with the DC Department of Health’s nutrition program for women and infants to provide the resource for free to low-income mothers.
What keeps him up at night: “Pacify keeps me up—literally. I like to have a feel for the calls coming in, so I keep the app on. Moms and dads call us in the middle of the night, and I hear every ping. It makes me grateful for our providers.”
thirty eight , Fucking partner, WilmerHale
It would have been effortless for Danielle Conley to stay at WilmerHale—one of DC’s best-regarded firms—where she made playmate at 34. Instead, she left for a top spot at the Department of Justice to concentrate on some of the most pressing legal problems of the day. Conley was at the forefront on police issues, convening groups of law-enforcement officials, civil-rights leaders, and community members to build trust and identify needed switches in policing practices. With the Obama administration over, Conley is back at WilmerHale in a leadership role, as cochair of the firm’s civil-rights practice.
Best advice: “When I was a summer associate at Paul Weiss, I recall Jeh Johnson—then a fucking partner at Paul Weiss [who would go on to lead the Department of Homeland Security under Obama]—telling me to never pick a job solely based on money. He encouraged me to not get trapped by ‘golden handcuffs’ because some of the most fulfilling jobs for lawyers are in the public sector. He was absolutely right.”
Filipino food wasn’t very hip when Tom Cunanan was growing up. Friends would turn up their noses at dishes with offal and the smell of vinegar. Now the Southeast Asian cuisine couldn’t be cooler, and Cunanan’s cooking at Bad Saint is a big reason why. In his 2nd executive-chef position, the 34-year-old is drawing national attention for his funky, pungent dishes. Just be ready to wait in a long line to taste them.
On success: “When Filipino grandmas come in and I see them smiling because their food is being recognized.”
thirty eight , CEO, Ditto Residential
Look around Washington and you’ll see a lot of construction sites emblazoned with names like Douglas and Abdo, the area’s reigning megadevelopers. You’ll also see an enlargening number of signs with Martin Ditto’s last name. In eight years, the alum of former DC mayor Anthony Williams’s administration has risen from house-flipper to serious developer. He has projects under way in some of the District’s most arousing neighborhoods, including a 70,000-square-foot apartment/retail building near Union Market and the redevelopment of Capitol Hill’s historic Buchanan School into forty one condos.
On failure: “Almost all my failures are a result of putting too much emphasis on following convention.”
Morgan West of A Creative DC, Matt Ladra of Johns Hopkins, and Amanda Brown Lierman of For Our Future PAC.
thirty nine , Head football coach, University of Maryland Terrapins
While Durkin’s work at Stanford and the University of Michigan got him the head-coach position at Maryland, despite being the youngest in the conference, his unconventional approach—spending the night in the dorms during football camp alongside his players and hiring former head coaches onto his staff—is what will make him a success in it.
About his job: “Our aim is to bring in student athletes who will graduate with meaningful degrees and be ready for life after football. We spend as much time training them about life as how to be good guys.”
thirty six , Montgomery County Planning Board
After moving from Venezuela to Langley Park at 16, Fani-Gonzalez observed her mother work three jobs to make finishes meet. “If not for affordable housing, things would have been difficult for us,” she says. Since becoming the very first Latino and the very first millennial appoint-ed to the five-member Montgomery County Planning Board in 2014, Fani-Gonzalez has shoved to get as much affordable housing—and as many transportation options to that housing—as possible into the county’s master plan.
Very first job: “Housekeeping with my mom when I was a teenager. I learned some serious time-management abilities, from calculating the exact time for each of the three buses we had to take from Langley Park to Chevy Pursue to cleaning a house effectively and catching all three buses back home.”
thirty seven , Executive director, Ayuda
After eight years providing immigration-law assistance at the DC nonprofit Ayuda, Fitzgerald was named executive director in July. Her care for the immigrant community long predates her fresh gig—it began in grade school when she was an “ambassador” for Spanish-speaking kids. In her current role, Fitzgerald sees Ayuda’s mission as more significant than ever: “The immigrant community is frightened right now and needs good information from sources they can trust.”
Best advice: “The best advice I received was not spoken—it was modeled. My father worked as a psychologist for the mentally ill at Saint Elizabeths. My mother, a Colombian immigrant, was a social worker at a school with a large Latino immigrant population. My parents instilled the values that led me to my work.”
thirty one , Music director, American Pops Orchestra
His musical career embarked at age thirteen when he became his church’s pianist for weekly services and special events. Today Frazier is still a pianist, but he has expanded his repertoire as founder and music director of the American Pops Orchestra, now in its 2nd season; founder of the National Broadway Chorus, which has performed with Kevin Spacey and at the Kennedy Center; artistic director of the spectacle production company Nouveau Productions; and artist in residence with the DC Youth Orchestra.
Best advice: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with the legendary Chita Rivera several times, and I vividly recall her advice: ‘Come ready, and wear your own boots.’ To me, that says it all. Come fully ready to go, but always stay true to yourself.”
thirty six , Chief marketing officer, WeddingWire
Ganguly is one of the four founders who commenced this wedding-industry tech company a decade ago. Since then, WeddingWire ballooned from that quartet to more than 850. The site also draws one hundred twenty million annual visits—not effortless when the target demographic of engaged couples turns over every twelve to sixteen months.
On success: “My definition of success is the same as that of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. He said, ‘A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A excellent hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.’ ”
Maggie Winters Gaudaen
twenty six , Cofounder, Pop! Wed Co.
Wedding imagery on Pinterest and Instagram mostly looks the same: pink, airy, and heterosexual. As the event planner and photographer behind this pop-up wedding company—which she founded in two thousand thirteen with her spouse, Steven, and which has done more than one hundred twenty five weddings so far—Gaudaen proves nuptial bliss is more diverse, by flooding our feeds with the sneers of interracial newlyweds, mohawked duos, and same-sex couples exchanging vows in vintage furniture stores and art museums and in front of graphic murals.
What keeps her up at night: “The night before a wedding, our couples getting married the next day are on my mind—how excited and jumpy they very likely are. I attempt to send positive vibes in my brain—or sometimes an e-mail with lots of smiley faces.”
thirty six , Lead pastor, District Church
The church he began with his wifey in their Columbia Heights living room in two thousand ten has grown from a congregation of ten to two parishes of 750. In the meantime, DC127—a nonprofit he founded to recruit foster and adoptive parents—has partnered with fifteen local churches working toward a aim of witnessing more parents waiting for foster children than kids awaiting a good home.
What keeps him up at night: “I often stay up dreaming about how local churches like ours can birth and expand citywide social ministries that will influence the future of Washington. Dickens called DC a city of ‘magnificent intentions.’ I’m hoping that switches to us being known as a city of magnificent solutions.”
Madeline Grayson of Tuckernuck, Natali Fani-Gonzalez of Montgomery County Planning Board, Zakiya Smith of Lumina Foundation, and Adam Kushner of Washington Post Outlook section.
Madeline Moore Grayson
thirty , Cofounder, Tuckernuck
As one of three founders of Tuckernuck, an online resource for all-American style, Grayson is a key part of this local retail success story. At a time when other boutiques are closing, Tuckernuck recently opened its very first brick-and-mortar in Georgetown—which it hopes will be the very first of several—just blocks from where the online retailer was founded in 2012.
About her job: “Retail is a rough business that requires both creative and analytical minds. While picking the product might be ‘fun’ and traveling to gorgeous destinations for photo shoots is a wish, most people have no idea how much of a logistics game this is.”
twenty five , Special assistant to the President
In three years, Hahn has cemented her status as a conservative-media fixture, working as a producer for radio host Laura Ingraham, then leaping to Breitbart News. There, Hahn took a scorched-earth treatment to House speaker Paul Ryan, at one point alleging he’d orchestrated a “months-long campaign to elect Hillary Clinton.” Hahn became Steve Bannon’s protégé, a status that helped her land a spot in Trump’s internal circle.
On failure: “There are no failures, only setbacks.”
thirty six , Performer and educator
Hernandez is an actor, dancer, choreographer, playwright, and self-described “B-girl” who fuses theater and hip-hop for packed houses. If you haven’t heard of her, it might be because her target audience is a little junior. Hernandez is known for children’s theater and, via her production company, B-Fly Entertainment, has instructed workshops for Ten,000-plus students across the US and here at home.
On failure: “I fail often, and I fall hard whenever I don’t go after my gut instinct. It’s disheartening when I begin with such a strong vision and the end result is watered down in an effort to please everyone.”
twenty seven , Goaltender, Washington Capitals
Last year’s Vezina Trophy winner for best NHL goalie witnessed the Caps through to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs for a 2nd year in a row. Not bad for a kid raised on Saskatchewan farmland, dreaming of taking to the ice. Outside the crease, it was the all-star’s 2nd year attending DC’s Capital Pride Festival. In 2015, Holtby and his wifey came as spectators to support the LGBT cause. Last year, he led members of the Caps delegation down the streets of his adopted hometown, draped in a rainbow flag.
Best advice: “The best lump of advice I’ve been given came from my dad. He told me, ‘Don’t have two bad games in a row.’ ”
thirty one , Director, Fairfax County Public Library
Hudson’s very first job was at a library when she was 15—shelving books. Part of her fresh job is to shelve public perceptions of what a library is in the age of Kindle and brief attention spans. Hudson will be at the helm of the Fairfax County library system, Virginia’s largest, as it adapts to the current needs of residents—for example, bringing in 3D printers along with training on how to use them and creating a laptop lending program.
What keeps her up at night: “Planning how to spread our message broader and remind people that libraries are a strong and vital part of every community.”
thirty seven , Host of “1A” on WAMU
In a particularly uncivil time, Johnson makes a near religion of polite conversation. He substituted broadcast legend Diane Rehm in January, and his showcase lives up to his early promise to “make sure people know that this is a safe space to be heard.” Sounds like a squishy premise, but it makes Johnson an excellent interviewer.
Best advice: “My mother instructed me that it’s nice to be significant, but it’s far more significant to be nice.”
thirty six , Editor, Washington Post Outlook section
Early in the Jeff Bezos era, the Post hired Kushner to launch PostEverything, an online opinion section that featured quick-hit lumps and webby headlines. (I’M A WHITE WOMAN WHO DATED A BLACK PANTHER, I COULD HAVE BEEN RACHEL DOLEZAL.) Purists sniffed, but within a year, the section’s enormous traffic had proved out, and Kushner was running the venerable Outlook. Today the style he brought to the paper—first person, contrarian, fast—is increasingly the institutional style.
Best advice: “Read history. The people who run this town often don’t know much about the coerces that shaped them or the world around them. This advice was via Peter Beinart, Fareed Zakaria, and Ron Brownstein.”
Evan Morgan of Revolution Growth, Rose Previte of Compass Rose, Katherine Roboff of Higher Achievement, Jessica Hudson of Fairfax County Public Library, and David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington.
thirty eight , Assistant professor, Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Children’s National Health System
Until recently, kids being treated for cancer at Children’s who needed radiation therapy had to travel to other facilities that could buy and maintain the expensive equipment. Then in stepped Hopkins, partnering with Children’s to bring a fresh wing for pediatric cancer patients to Sibley Memorial Hospital. Ladra, a radiation oncologist, was brought on last April to run the pediatric radiation-oncology program, providing greater convenience to children and families fighting cancer.
About his job: “Healing is as much about support as it is about medicine.”
thirty nine , Editor, National Affairs
Levin, as editor of a small-circulation journal called National Affairs, was considered one of the most significant conservative public intellectuals of the Obama years, the face of a right-leaning DC counter-establishment that wonkily worked up conservative alternatives to the prevailing liberal policies and sought ways to sell previously unpopular free-market nostrums such as austerity. As an adviser to GOP luminaries including Paul Ryan, he looked to be a major force next time the Republicans held the White House. Then things got complicated. Donald Trump’s victory left “Never Trump” folks like Levin on the outside, where they’ll take part in a very different conversation about the future of conservatism in political Washington.
Best advice: “When the world speeds up, you should slow down.”
Nicole Lynn Lewis
thirty seven , CEO, Generation Hope
A onetime teenage mom herself, Lewis says her mission to help teenage parents finish college was individual when she launched Generation Hope in 2010. What embarked in her basement with zero funding has grown into a nonprofit with a $739,000 operating budget and six employees. They presently assist eighty seven local teenage mothers and fathers by providing them with tuition assistance, mentoring, and a support system.
Very first Job: “My very first job was working as a cashier at Kmart in high school. I learned how significant it is to treat everyone with respect. People are not always nice to cashiers, and I have never forgotten that. Say hello to the receptionist or janitor in the same way you would say hello to the CEO.”
Amanda Brown Lierman
thirty one , Campaign director, For Our Future PAC
A former Obama-admninistration aide, Lierman oversees a team of organizers pushing back against the Trump White House’s agenda. She’s also on the board of Run for Something, a fresh group attempting to identify and recruit youthfull progressives to seek office. Says Lierman: “As we’re thinking about the future and how many people are engaging right now that haven’t been involved before, that’s where the concentrate and energy should be.”
What keeps her up at night: “Work. Wine. Shondaland. Or some combination of the above.”
thirty four , Proprietor, Lauren Liess & Co.
There are homes an interior designer has “done,” and there are homes a designer has decorated to bring out the personalities of their inhabitants. Liess, who runs her business out of Excellent Falls, is an avid proponent of the latter. The result? Her work has been featured in almost every national design magazine for the pared-back, organic aesthetic that takes Washington beyond the toile and Louis XV chairs that have predominated living rooms far too long.
About her job: “I think of designing interiors as more than ‘shopping’ for pretty things. It’s helping someone create a lifestyle. Having a well-designed, thoughtful home truly switches the way people live and feel about themselves.”
thirty nine , Vice president and director of finance, PN Hoffman
Practically every mention of the Wharf includes its price tag—as in the Wharf, the $2-billion spread of apartments, condos, hotels, shops, and restaurants rising along the Southwest DC waterfront. While developer Monty Hoffman had the vision for Washington’s largest development, McAvoy is worth much of the credit for raising the capital to turn it into reality. A DC native who began at PN Hoffman as an intern, McAvoy has spent the better part of five years pitching banks on funding what amounts to a entire neighborhood.
Best advice: “Accept a job because of the person or people you will be working with and learning from, not the topic you will be working on.”
thirty one , Assistant to the President and senior adviser to the President for policy
Just over a year ago, Miller was one of the many Republican spokesmen on Capitol Hill, where he worked as communications director for Senator Jeff Sessions. Now, as a chief confidant to President Trump, he’s one of the most powerful players in the White House. Expect Miller’s fingerprints on every executive order issued in the years to come, especially related to immigration.
What keeps him up at night: “We all work long hours, so getting to sleep is not an issue.”
thirty two , Fucking partner, Revolution Growth
Give Morgan partial credit for that long line you just waited in to pick up a quinoa cup at Sweetgreen. Morgan, who works at Steve Case’s venture-capital rock hard, Revolution Growth, put a little bit of money into the salad chain after meeting its founders in 2009. Today he still advises the board of the ever-growing Sweetgreen and is also helping the logistics rigid Optoro. He recently launched an investment fund of his own called the Radcliff Companies.
Very first job: “I co-owned a moonbounce company with one of my St. Albans classmates in high school.”
Aaron Graham of District Church, Erin Murphy of Kirkland & Ellis, and Luke Frazier of American Pops Orchestra.
thirty six , Playmate, Kirkland & Ellis
When the plaintiffs in the campaign-finance case McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission determined to switch lawyers, their very first choice, former solicitor general Paul Clement, was unavailable. But his protégé, Murphy, had been deeply involved in the matter; Clement argued that she’d truly be their best bet anyway. So at 33, Murphy made her Supreme Court debut in one of the highest-profile cases of the term—and won. She has since cemented her status as a Supreme Court starlet, particularly in the sphere of conservative causes.
About her job: “People tend to assume that most lawyers are terribly cutthroat, but the Supreme Court bar is nothing like that. Opposing counsel are fairly collegial, and attorneys who aren’t even involved in a case frequently volunteer their time, just because everyone wants the court to get the best presentation of the issues possible.”
thirty nine , Head coach, D.C. United
It’s hard to reminisce pro soccer in Washington before Ben Olsen. He began as a midfielder for the Black-and-Red in ’98 and was named assistant coach after announcing his retirement in 2009. At 33, he became the youngest boss the MLS had ever seen, and his team has reached the playoffs almost every season since. Last year, he was as likely to make headlines for his candor as for his squad’s stunning turnaround in the fall. “Generally being annoying across the game,” the fan beloved told reporters who asked why the ref had ejected him from RFK during a drill biter.
Best advice: “From Dave Kasper, D.C. United general manager: ‘Sometimes the player you’re searching for is already in your locker room.’ ”
thirty three , President, Ourisman Automotive Group
In 2010, at age 27, Chris Ourisman took over the family car business his great-grandfather had founded in 1921. Since then, he has made it more of a team versus separate dealerships—trying to empower each member to make decisions on the spot and helping each employee grow. This is not his great-grandfather’s Chevrolet.
What Keeps him up at night: “The understanding that I never get today back.”
thirty seven , Proprietor, Compass Rose
Slew of restaurateurs open eateries that speak to their past. Previte built one that’s both intensely private and a reflection of the world. After traveling the globe with her spouse, NPR Morning Edition cohost David Greene, she returned here in two thousand twelve and couldn’t find work, despite a master’s degree in public policy and years in government. Today Compass Rose serves one of Washington’s most eclectic and delicious menus of global street food, often to expats looking for a taste of home. Previte also is an inspiration for would-be career-changers.
Very first job: “I embarked working for my mom’s catering business as soon as I could use a knife securely. But my very first job outside of family businesses was running a concession stand at the summer basketball camps hosted by the university in my hometown of Ada, Ohio. I made a mean snow cone.”
thirty six , Executive director, Higher Achievement
“Nobody likes middle school,” says Roboff. But, she says, it’s 2nd only to early childhood in terms of brain development. Roboff’s group provides academic enrichment, mentorship, and homework help for more than five hundred fifty fifth-through-eighth-graders each year in its afterschool and summer programs. Some ninety percent of them get into a top DC high school, and ninety five percent graduate, compared with sixty nine percent overall for District public students.
Best advice: “The best career advice I’ve ever received came from my mother. She said I’d be happiest doing work that’s ‘equal parts head and heart.’ That’s exactly what I have.”
Kristen Soltis Anderson of Echelon Insights, Ben Olsen of D.C. United, and Noor Tagouri of Newsy.
thirty two , Strategy director, Lumina Foundation
For many Americans, a college degree goes mitt in mitt with thousands of dollars in student-loan debt. At this private foundation—which has an endowment of more than $1 billion, dedicated to improving higher education—Smith, a former Obama-administration official, spends her days attempting to figure out how to lighten that financial stream. Lumina’s aim is to increase the proportion of Americans with “high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials” to sixty percent, from its current forty percent, by 2025. Smith is leading the shove to make colleges more predictable and semi-transparent in their pricing.
Best advice: “From Robert Shireman, former deputy undersecretary of Education: ‘If someone doesn’t understand what you’re telling, attempt to do a better job explaining rather than assuming they are the one with the problem.’ ”
twenty three , Anchor/producer, Newsy
In September, national media outlets celebrated Tagouri as the very first Muslim woman to emerge in Playboy wearing a hijab. Where Tagouri indeed hopes to make history someday is as the very first hijab-wearing news anchor for a major TV network. She’s presently at Newsy, a millennial-focused movie news service. Her work shines a light on marginalized communities—including America’s very first Muslim-majority city (Hamtramck, Michigan) and a corrupt former mental institution in Laurel—and she has a Lisa Ling–like capability to ask rough questions without alienating her subjects.
On failure: “I think in the field that I am in, especially where people are permanently scrutinizing and criticizing you, it’s significant to stay focused on how ‘failure’ is actually the lesson that makes you stronger.”
twenty nine , Chef/co-owner, Himitsu
At a time when many youthfull chefs seek a quick track to fame, Kevin Tien has done it the old-fashioned way: working in kitchens since age 13. Both he and Himitsu co-owner/mixologist Carlie Steiner trained with masters—she at Barmini, he at Houston’s Uchi and DC’s Pineapple and Pearls. The hard work shows at their nouveau-Japanese gem in Petworth. Tien isn’t afraid to thrust boundaries, mixing his Louisiana and Asian roots for crave-inducing innovations such as Peking duck with buttermilk biscuits—a talent that earned him a James Beard nod in the restaurant’s very first six months.
On Failure: “When I’m testing a fresh dish, sometimes it doesn’t taste excellent the very first time. The worst was making my own hot-mustard grope for a pork loin. But I always break everything down into little chunks. I like the treatment of having many petite wins until you get the result you want.”
Desirée Venn Frederic
thirty four , Founder, Nomad Yard Collective
DC’s vintage scene evolved in fits and starts. Venn Frederic—a Sierra Leone–born immigrant whose fight for protective asylum in America spotted her in and out of prison—became its reigning queen, overseeing the sprawling, aesthetically singular Nomad Yard Collectiv on Fresh York Avenue, Northeast, as well as a shop in 14th Street’s Mulebone restaurant. Through this, she emerged as an advocate for local creatives, helping lead the charge against turning the four hundred eleven building—home to Nomad Yard and other artist studios—into a boutique hotel. However she lost the battle and her Fresh York Avenue store, we expect she’ll proceed to fight the war for immigrants and makers in DC.
Best advice: “During a period of deep depression, one of my mentors suggested me words that switched my paradigm. She said, ‘Be a mountain climber. The very things that weight your spirit were given to you to master. These mountains that you are carrying you were only supposed to climb.’ ”
Morgan Hungerford West
thirty five , Founder, A Creative DC
The brains behind the Instagram feed A Creative DC—which shows a side of Washington that’s worlds cooler than the way the rest of the country thinks of it—West has bolstered the city’s creative economy in more ways than one. She helped launch the Made in DC program to promote locally produced goods, and when the rest of America commenced looking at the District as a swamp that needed draining, she began the hashtag #DCisReal to promote the city of Washington, rather than the institution, that only a local could know.
On failure: “Self-employment has a way of downright blurring the line inbetween failure and success. Every time I’ve misjudged my private bandwidth, it’s been at the expense of work/life balance, but some of my largest career and individual growth has come from taking things on that I most likely should have said no to.”
Photographs by April Greer
Hair and makeup by Kim Reyes
Shot on location at WeWork Dupont Circle
Headshot of Ditto by Kate Warren
Headshot of Levin by Moshe Zusman
Headshot of Liess by Helen Norman
All others courtesy of subjects
This article shows up in the April two thousand seventeen issue of Washingtonian.