TheBridge
Community connecting tech, policy and politics
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TheBridge Leaders Directory

Our profiles highlight the work our wide-ranging community is doing at the intersection of technology, innovation, policy and politics. Our Profile Archive (here) has become an excellent resource, a speaker's bureau of sorts, of leading speakers in these industries. It already includes hundreds of profiles. Check it out and nominate someone!

TheBridge Leaders Directory is an excellent resource of leaders in technology, innovation, policy and politics. All leaders are nominated by others in the community. Take a look through and nominate a leader today!

TheBridge profile: Janaye Ingram

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Name: Janaye Ingram

Current city: Washington, DC

Current job: Director of National Partnerships, Airbnb

Past job: National Executive Director, National Action Network

Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Commissary in Logan Circle, DC; Peet's in Soma, SF

Q. Describe how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your current job? I've learned the value of building and maintaining relationships and networks. So often, how you treat people and the relationships you build will help you become more successful in your career. But often, you can also find value beyond the working relationships. So many of the people who I call friends are people who I've met in professional settings. These relationships help ground me when life gets hectic, help lift me up when I'm doubting myself or feeling down, or help me meet other people and make connections that lead to new opportunities. In my current role, the relationships I've built along the way helped me secure the job and enable me to connect people and communities to my work.

Q. Job advice in three words? Know your worth.

Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between innovation and regulation? My role is about engaging communities (racial/ethnic, women, disabled, veterans, seniors, etc.) to help them understand what Airbnb is and how it can be an economic lever for themselves, their families and their communities. Some of that engagement is with policymakers, often with me working alongside our Federal Affairs team or local policy teams and ensuring that elected officials understand how we are engaging with a variety of communities who are also their constituents or groups they care about.

Q. What can innovators learn from policymakers? One thing that policymakers do differently than innovators is public engagement. Because policymakers are representing the masses, there is a much easier way for people to give ideas, thoughts and criticism. Within tech and innovation, oftentimes those things are harder to navigate and many people feel like tech operates in secrecy. I think innovations could perform even better if there was an easier way for people to communicate their feedback.

Q. What can policymakers learn from innovators? The speed at which innovation happens nowadays has allowed us to really revolutionize the way we do so many things in our lives. Policymaking often takes more time to happen. For example, bills and policies can be considered, studied, introduced without passage for decades. If policymakers could learn anything from innovators, it would be how to move more quickly.

Q. Favorite book/podcast/long-form article you recommend? I have trouble picking one, but two of my favorite long-form articles I would recommend are: "The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration" by Ta-Nehisi Coates from the Atlantic, September 2015 and "I Wanted to Know What White Men Thought About Their Privilege. So I Asked" by Claudia Rankine in the New York Times Magazine, July 17, 2019.

Q. If you had to live in another city, which would it be? If I had to live in another city, I would choose LA. There is something calming about the vibe there with the ocean, mountains, hills and warm weather. I think I'd enjoy it if I didn't have to worry about the traffic.

Q. Morning routine? My morning routine typically involves caring for my mind, body and spirit before I do anything else. I begin with meditation, followed by a morning workout and then as I'm getting ready for work, I listen to motivational speeches or affirmations. It helps me be prepared for any and everything I might encounter in my day. 

Q. Favorite app? My favorite app right now is ClassPass. I travel about 80% for work and keeping a workout routine can be hard. It's important for me to be able to stay active and ClassPass helps me find whatever I'm in the mood for. 

Q. What's one piece of advice you are still trying to master? The one piece of advice I'm still trying to master is to live more balanced. While I don't fully believe that balance can ever truly exist, I think it is important to find time for yourself, time for others, time to play, be creative, and time to relax, in addition to giving your all at work.