TheBridge profile: Chris Massey

TheBridge profile: Chris Massey

Chris-Massey.jpg

Name: Chris Massey

Current city: Washington, DC 

Current job: Head of Global Government Relations & Policy at Square

Past job: Led government relations and business development at Zenefits. Led government relations functions at Lyft. Founded State & Local Impact which represented clients to Mayors, Governors, State Legislators, and Congress. Senior staff at the City of Los Angeles. Lots of other GR jobs (much to my mother’s chagrin).

Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Any Square seller (Swings, Philz, and Cups)

Q. Describe one skill you learned in a previous job that has helped you in your current job. If you are not learning every day, you are destined for mediocrity. I think the main skill I have learned in each role is one of adaptability. In my last three roles, I’ve been focused on the tech sector, which operates completely differently than most of D.C. or the state capitals. In one day, you have to move at the fastest possible speed within your company—and then bring steady experience to your conversations with policymakers. It’s a tightrope act. Once you find the balance, your value to each will increase.

Q. Job advice in three words? DON’T HIT SNOOZE!

Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech? Our products are built to address a fundamental gap in services to underserved communities. In our case, we make it easier for small businesses to do what many take for granted: to take card payments and never miss a sale. When your purpose meets the needs of policymakers and helps such an important constituent group like a member’s small businesses, you get to take politics out of the equation. At that point, your job is to make that value apparent which will naturally show that technology was the guiding principle, and then just get out of the way.

Q: Morning routine? Workout, pick 3 things I can’t not get done today, spend the morning with my kids

Q: Most underrated virtue in an employee? A personal perspective on the issue. You have to make your take on an issue relevant to you or the audience. If you deliver a canned approach it won’t be remembered.

Q. What can Silicon Valley teach DC? How to wear a hoodie

Q. What can DC teach Silicon Valley? How to wear a suit

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