Name: Aparajitha Vadlamannati
Current city: San Francisco, CA
Current job: Policy Associate, Hack Reactor
Past job: Assistant Director, Strategic Foresight at the Atlantic Council
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting: In DC, The Wydown on 14th or H. In SF, Mazarine (especially for that avocado toast).
Q. Describe one way how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your new job: Running and organizing events honed my ability to keep calm under pressure. Something will go wrong but it's okay. Pretty much anything can be fixed or, at least, be smoothed over with a graceful, honest apology.
Q. Job advice in three words?: Know your story
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech?: I'm drawn to how governments are contending with rapid technological change. I used to analyze the policy impacts of tech, such as AI or robotics, at a high level but my work at Hack Reactor, a software engineering school, is now focused on the more practical application of policy. Vocational training is evolving to prepare students for the modern workplace and teach skills and a new way to think. So as we work to adhere to sensible consumer protections, we also create dialogue with governments about how our 21st century education model may diverge from older practices.
Favorite restaurant: Beau Thai in DC and Udupi Palace in SF
If you had to live in another city, which would it be? Probably LA but, also, maybe back in DC. Maybe.
How many hours of sleep do you get? I usually can't sleep past 7:00 a.m. regardless of when I get to bed but 7-8 hours on average.