I’ve devoted my life to my family, my colleagues, my community, and my nation.
When I enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I thought I would major in music, and I did play trumpet in the UNC Jazz Band and study piano. I also discovered new passions for policy, history, and economics. My parents were very proud when I graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in history and international studies. After college, I earned an MBA in finance and international business from Columbia University Graduate School. I also earned a master’s degree in history from New York University.
These degrees, and the skills they provided me as a business executive and policy analyst, have shaped my work and how I would act as your Congressperson. They have also given me a deep and continuing appreciation for the value of education. I’m devoted to the humanities and serve as treasurer of the national Phi Beta Kappa Society, which promotes the value of a liberal arts education in America. While serving as an elected member of the Scarsdale Board of Education, I fought for the arts and new programming like Scarsdale’s Center for Innovation, which promotes ideas that support deeper, richer learning and the critical thinking skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century. In my volunteer work with Yonkers Partners in Education, which mentors Yonkers high school students as they prepare for college, I fight for the same ideals because I believe a great democracy requires a broadly educated citizenry.
I believe strongly in giving back. In addition to my service with Yonkers Partners in Education and the Scarsdale Board of Education, I have served as president and a trustee of the Westchester chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Scarsdale Forum, a nonpartisan group focused on the study of local civic issues. I also serve as a member of the American Jewish Historical Society.
During my business career, I worked in a variety of roles at Dean Witter Reynolds, Skandia Insurance, and OFFITBANK. These positions prepared me for a career as an entrepreneur and laid a foundation enabling me to co-found my own company, Samson Capital Advisors, in 2004. My partners and I felt that the big banks were becoming detached from their customers, and we sought to start a smaller company that could more directly serve its clients. As a steward of people’s savings, Samson cautiously invested in high-quality municipal bonds that provided the capital to build our nation’s roads, bridges, schools and universities. I am now on leave from my position as Chief Investment Officer of Fiera Capital, which acquired Samson in 2015, to run for Congress. We need substantial national investment in infrastructure, education, and entrepreneurship, and my experience as Chief Investment Officer of my company will help me be a strong spokesperson on these important issues.
My NYU master’s in history focused on U.S. Foreign Policy. My professor, McGeorge Bundy, had been President Kennedy’s national security advisor. Through my work with Bundy, I met the chief economist of the Marshall Plan, Richard Bissell, and co-authored his 1996 memoirs, “Reflections of a Cold Warrior: From Yalta to the Bay of Pigs.” My work with Bissell, who had also served as deputy director of the CIA, has influenced my thinking about the importance of economic development in foreign policy, and, importantly, helped me understand the limitations of projecting U.S. power. I also wrote a second book on the intersection between venture capital and national security, “Spy Capitalism: ITEK and the CIA,” published in 2002. Both books were published by Yale University Press. My work as a scholar in these areas informed my work with Business Executives for National Security, a nonpartisan group composed of senior business and industry leaders seeking to apply best business practices to the nation’s pressing security challenges. For 25 years I have worked with BENS to strengthen our intelligence community, so our nation is safer from foreign threats, and our homeland security system. For my work I received the CIA’s Agency Seal Medal in 2004.