TheBridge profile: PJ Hoffman

TheBridge profile: PJ Hoffman

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Name: PJ Hoffman

Current city: Washington, DC

Current job: Director of Regulatory Affairs at the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA)

Past job: Attorney - Pepper Hamilton

Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Paul Coffee - The closest thing to being in Paris outside of France.

Q. Describe how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your current job. Being curious, willing to learn, and interested about all aspects of your profession. You can do any job well and still be good others too. A former boss once said successful advocates share three traits. 1. They are extremely smart people who know their issues cold; 2. They maintain good relationships; and 3. They are genuinely nice people, and people genuinely like to be around them.

Q. Job advice in three words? Never stop learning!

Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech / innovation and regulation? ETA is the leading trade association for the Financial Technology (FinTech) and payments industry, representing over 500 companies that span the traditional financial institutions, new innovative FinTech companies, and all the folks that make the payments system work. In my role, I lead our federal regulatory advocacy and ETA's 50-state advocacy program. It is an amazing time to be working in technology and policy and I'm lucky to work for some of the most innovative companies in the world.

Q. What can Silicon Valley (innovators) teach DC (regulators)? How to be positive, innovative, think outside the box, and shoot for the moon.

Q. What can DC (regulators) teach Silicon Valley (innovators)? To remember that experience is an asset. It is a good thing to have experience with an industry, how policy is made, and the laws surrounding it.

Q. Looking back, what advice would I give myself in the beginning of my career? Be patient. I spent too much time early in my career focused on the next job and not enough time focused on the job I was doing. 

Q. How do you unwind after work? After I hug my family, I play water polo. I find that it is the one place I can completely forget about the stresses of the outside work and stay in the moment.

Q. Last time I was completely unplugged? My wife and I took a trip to France and enjoyed wine country for 10 days earlier this year. Being unplugged is a reminder that the world will not fall apart if you take some time for yourself. We're all not as important as we think we are.

Q. My morning routine? My morning routine consists of a good cup of iced coffee and herding my children through getting dressed, breakfast, and off to preschool. Balancing family and work is an underrated challenge for parents of small children.

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