BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Lisa Kountoupes, president and founder of KDCR Partners

·2 min read

How/where are you celebrating your birthday and with whom? “First, I am playing hooky. Please don’t tell anyone. Then, a quiet dinner with my husband. And socially distanced, bundled up s’mores roasting with cocoa, hot toddies and extended family.”

How did you get your start in your career? “I did an internship program in college through American University. I did not [know] much about Capitol Hill, but an adviser said to request it on my application. I was fortunate enough to end up with then-Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), whose excitement for the work was infectious. After graduation I landed an entry-level job answering phones for then-Chair John Dingell (D-Mich.) at the Energy and Commerce Committee. And I was hooked.”

What’s an interesting book/article you’re reading during coronavirus social distancing? And why? “Reading is helping me push through the pandemic lifestyle. I’m escaping with fiction including ‘The Vanishing Half’ by Brit Bennett and ‘How the García Girls Lost their Accents’ by Julia Alvarez. I made an exception for ‘Heartland,’ a powerful memoir by Sarah Smarsh about growing up broke in the Midwest. Sherrod Brown said it was a must read and it really is.”

What’s a trend going on in the U.S. or abroad that doesn’t get enough attention? “Middle-aged parents trying to learn the Renegade on TikTok to impress their kids. (If it’s not a trend, it really should be.)”

What are you watching for in the Biden presidency? “A little less drama, a little more problem solving, a lot more Kamala Harris.”

What’s a fun fact that people in Washington might not know about you? “In the early days of quarantine in search of some levity, one of our clients and I started a ‘hat challenge’ at our weekly meetings. I’m competitive and am proud to have been declared the winner after five weeks of intense competition, of the ‘Are we still doing that hat thing?’ contest. My kids were pretty excited about the cupcake prizes. I look forward to defending my title.”