Kirsten Chadwick didn’t think she was going to have a career in politics.
“I actually wanted to be an architect,” she said. “Then I got a D in physics, so I thought, ‘The building is going to fall down — time for a new major.’ ”
Chadwick, 43, is a partner at Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock, one of Washington’s most prominent lobby shops. The Republican-leaning firm is in high demand, signing up a number of brand-name companies, like Apple and Oracle, since the GOP took over the House in the 2010 midterm elections.
The Penn State University graduate said the lobbying process — the vote-counting, the interaction with lawmakers and their staffs — is appealing to her.
“I like being up on the Hill and having my finger on the pulse,” she said.
Chadwick lobbies for several clients, including the Business Roundtable, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Ford and JPMorgan Chase.
The Newton, Mass., native said that while architecture was her first love, politics was always on the horizon. Chadwick’s mother is at Fox News, and has worked with Roger Ailes for more than 25 years, including a stint as a political strategist crafting advertising for George H.W. Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign.
Chadwick worked as an assistant to Airlines for America President and CEO Nick Calio when he was the legislative affairs director in the first Bush White House. She followed Calio to K Street and then back to the White House after the election of George W. Bush, serving as a legislative affairs special assistant.
Calio “taught me all of the essentials,” she said. “I really attribute it to learning from one of the best.”
“Keep providing the good service that we do, keep working on the politics,” Chadwick said. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Chadwick said she is happy at the lobby shop, which feels like family.