TheBridge profile: Nicole Isaac
Name: Nicole Isaac
Current city: Washington, DC
Current job: Senior Director of North America Policy at LinkedIn
Past job: Head of U.S. Public Policy at LinkedIn; Special Assistant to President Obama for legislative affairs; Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs for Vice President Joe Biden
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Anywhere that I can have a nice cup of tea.
Q. Describe how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your current job. One of my first internships was as a help desk assistant manager at an indemnity company over 20 years ago. I was responsible for answering every call, returning any missed calls, and helping our technicians to support the employees in a swift manner. These skills were critical for my work on Capitol Hill and in the Administration. These skills only became even more necessary as time passed, and are invaluable in my current role.
Q. Job advice in three words? Always be learning.
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech / innovation and regulation? We work closely with governments around the world to leverage aggregated insights to support workforce development challenges. This includes working with multilateral organizations such as the World Bank to support information around skills gaps across developing countries. For example, insights such as linkedindata.worldbank.org are useful for policymakers who can access information about the skills that are most in demand by employers, industries that are growing in a particular city, and how to best align skills in demand and supply.
Q. What can innovators learn from policymakers? Policymakers have traditionally been focused on maximizing access to resources for their constituents. They do this by understanding the policies and processes that can best provide for inclusion, access, and development. Working with policymakers can better inform how to create solutions that work for the world's most vulnerable.
Q. What can policymakers learn from innovators? Innovators are able to see the world for how it could be, and specifically that there are tools and products that can accomplish ones goals--with diligence, persistence, development, and scale. The best products are derived from policymakers and innovators identifying a space for mutual alignment and collaboration.
Q. Favorite book/podcast/long-form article you recommend? I loved the Washington Post series on our nation's Presidents, by Lillian Cunningham.
Q. What's one piece of advice you are still trying to master? One piece of advice that I am still trying to master is the art of saying no and being OK with disappointing people.
Q. Favorite app? LinkedIn.
Q. Best advice you’ve received? Best advice I've received is there are no perpetual failures, there is only learning.
Q. How do you unwind after work? I unwind after work by walking by sweet pup.
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