Welcome to our “Decade of Delivering” blog series, where we shine a spotlight on the remarkable individuals driving Waxman Strategies’ success.
In this edition, we are excited to introduce Noah Rothstein, a Senior Associate in our Environmental Practice. Noah joined #TeamWaxman in 2021 and has expertise in climate and clean energy issues, which is coupled with his unwavering dedication fueling our mission to create positive change.
Q: What inspired you to pursue a career at Waxman, and what do you enjoy most about working here?
A: I have always been really passionate about and fascinated with the natural world and the outdoors. As I grew older, this evolved into an appreciation for the interconnectedness of the environment and all of us who rely on it. I wanted to revolve my career around helping people through smart environmental and energy policy. For those of us self-proclaimed “climate nerds,” Chairman Waxman’s long history of climate leadership, namely his sponsorship of Waxman-Markey, meant that we spent a lot of time studying his bills and ideas. When I realized there might be an opportunity to work on pressing climate issues and build upon Waxman’s work, it was a no-brainer for me. What I enjoy most about working here is the chance to contribute to meaningful policy initiatives and be part of a team that shares my values.
Q: What are your primary responsibilities at the firm, and how do they align with your professional goals?
A: My primary responsibilities at the firm encompass three main areas: research, advocacy, and administrative support. I spend a substantial amount of time researching issues and monitoring activities in Congress to gain a clear understanding and offer strategic advice. This research informs our advocacy efforts, which involve engaging with Congressional staff and other stakeholders to shape policy conversations. Additionally, I provide administrative support to ensure smooth operations within our team. These responsibilities align perfectly with my professional goals of growing in the federal environmental policy world and making a positive impact through informed advocacy.
Q: What has been your biggest achievement or proudest moment while working at Waxman, and how did you contribute to its success?
A: One of my proudest moments at Waxman Strategies was witnessing the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last year, which stands as the largest federal climate law ever enacted. Throughout my first year and a half here, our team was deeply involved in the development of the bill, which provided me with invaluable learning experiences. I contributed to its success by supporting provisions that allocate billions of dollars to help low-income Americans make their homes healthier and address climate change. The day when Senator Manchin and Leader Schumer announced the deal on the Inflation Reduction Act will be etched in my memory for a long time. It represents a monumental piece of legislation and a generational achievement.
Q: In your opinion, what are two things that Waxman excels at and sets it apart from other firms?
We are a firm that is driven first and foremost by our values. The public interest is our number one priority, meaning we only work on progressive issues that will ensure a more prosperous future for everyone. There are a lot of advocacy firms out there that do great work but maybe are motivated by other factors such as a particular region or issue portfolio. But, the chief mission of our firm is to build on the profound progressive legacy that Chairman Waxman has established. This clear-eyed approach enables us to work with leading organizations across the climate space. Our ability to work on diverse climate and energy issues makes us more effective policy practitioners. Recognizing the interconnectedness of these issues allows us to facilitate conversations across the policy arena and have a broader impact.
Q: What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned in your career, and how have they influenced your approach to work and life?
A: Throughout my career, I’ve learned three invaluable lessons that continue to shape who I am both professionally and personally: asking questions, stepping out of my comfort zone, and practicing relentless curiosity – a term coined by my boss, Michael Goo. I am really fortunate to work on a team who genuinely wants everyone to learn and grow. If you don’t ask questions, if you stay in your comfort zone, it becomes difficult to push forward in your skills and knowledge base. Approaching issues with a sense of curiosity and making sure to ask questions when you have them, even if it may be uncomfortable, will ensure that you can grow and contribute in ways that are gratifying and meaningful. Stepping out of my comfort zone has been transformative, fueling personal and professional growth.