TheBridge profile: Jessica Nigro
Name: Jessica Nigro
Current city: Washington, DC
Current job: General Manager and Head of Technology & Innovation Policy, Daimler
Past job: Various positions within Daimler (in Washington and Stuttgart, Germany), Director of Programs at US Chamber of Commerce, Public Affairs at Dept. of Homeland Security
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Thankfully there are Compass Coffee shops near my office and my home (for mobile work days)
Q. Describe how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your current job. My first job out of college was with the public affairs shop at Homeland Security/TSA. It was a great job for a young person with a lot of energy but it didn't take long for me to learn not to sweat the small stuff (and we defined small stuff as anything short of a terrorist on a US-bound plane). Keeping things in perspective keeps stress levels in check and also enables me to take a beat and approach projects and roadblocks in a more thoughtful way.
Q. Job advice in three words? Passion + Judgment > Expertise
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech / innovation and regulation? I have always said I have the most exciting job in my company for precisely this reason. Most people understand that for innovative technologies to succeed and achieve market penetration (thus making people's lives safer, easier, better), sound public policy is a necessity. Being able to translate the innovative products and business models for policymakers - as well as interpreting what policies would mean for our business strategy - is never dull.
Q. What can Silicon Valley (innovators) teach DC (regulators)? That much of the time innovation does not wait for policy implementation.
Q. What can DC (regulators) teach Silicon Valley (innovators)? Forward-thinking policy can assist and amplify great technology and innovative business ideas!
Q. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself in the beginning of your career? Listen more, talk less. Think things through more.
Q. What's one piece of advice you're still trying to master? "Be quick but don't rush."
Q. If you had to live in another city, which would it be? Tel Aviv. I love the vibe there and the people are some of the coolest I've ever met. Plus, beach!
Q. Last time you were completely unplugged? A couple times a year my husband and I go camping. We always pick places that have no cell service and I suspect I came around to camping solely for that reason, since it certainly isn't the great food or comfortable bed.
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