#6: Joe Hurd, U.S. Department of Commerce

Listen to the interview by clicking the arrow on the audio player below.

This episode of the Work Stew podcast features an interview with Joe Hurd, who works at the U.S. Department of Commerce in a role focused on the National Export Initiative discussed in President Obama’s most recent State of the Union. I chose to interview Joe in part because he works for the federal government, and government employees have been a hot topic of late. But I was also interested in Joe’s story because he has spent most of his career in the private sector. I was curious to know what prompted him to switch gears.

About Joe Hurd: In October 2009, Joe Hurd was appointed Senior Director, Export Promotion and Trade Policy for the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. (Better yet, he can actually explain what that means—check out the podcast to hear for yourself.) Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Joe spent ten years in senior business development and international sales/operations positions for a number of Silicon Valley start-ups. Before Silicon Valley, Joe was responsible for business development in Tokyo and Sydney for America Online. He also practiced corporate and securities law in London with the British law firm Linklaters.

#5: ACLU Attorney Ben Wizner

Listen to the interview by clicking the arrow on the audio player below.

The last lawyer I spoke to pursued a career in corporate law before becoming an entrepreneur. This episode showcases a very different path: a career in public interest law with one of the most high-profile and controversial organizations in the country, the ACLU.

About Ben Wizner: Ben Wizner is the Litigation Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. He has litigated numerous cases involving post-9/11 civil liberties violations, including lawsuits challenging the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program, lawsuits challenging unlawful airport security policies, and, most recently, a suit challenging the government’s authority to use lethal force against U.S. citizens without due process. He has written widely on issues relating to detention, military commissions, state secrets, and accountability for torture. He has also appeared regularly in the media, testified before Congress, and traveled several times to Guantánamo Bay to monitor military commission trials.