I launched Tambala Strategy in February 2009 for two reasons: I want to continue working in public policy, and I believe that informed interaction between the government and the governed benefits our nation.
I have been involved in the public sector for almost 13 years. The majority of this service was during my time in the Washington, DC office of former Congressman Richard H. Baker. I started as an unpaid intern in Representative Baker’s office in January 1996, and when my friend resigned in 2008, I was serving as his chief policy and political aide in Washington, DC.
After closing Rep. Baker’s office, I was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. My appointment offered a quick education in how federal agencies work and how decisions (big and small) are coordinated through the Executive Branch. It was courtesy of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and implementing new rules governing home mortgage closings that I learned to represent the department before Congress and other federal agencies.
The differences between these two experiences could not have been greater. However, there was one common need that was as pressing for a Legislative Assistant in a congressional office as it was for a special advisor to the Secretary. This was the need for accurate, timely and unbiased information. I refer to this point as the intersection of government and enterprise; it is the place where decisions are made and policy takes shape. And, my experience has taught me that it matters a great deal who meets the need for information at this intersection.
As with most, my personal background impacted my choice of profession and explains why I use the methods I do. I was born in Louisiana, but was raised in Malaŵi, a small, impoverished country in sub-Saharan Africa where my parents served as missionaries. While in Africa, I attended secondary school at the Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe, Kenya. In 1993 I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Louisiana State University and have completed coursework in pursuit of a Master of Arts in U.S. Foreign Policy from American University in Washington, DC.