When I realized that becoming a candidate for President might be a practical result of my desire to make other people’s lives better, I was presented with a stark choice:
- Follow the political process directly, involve myself, make contacts and create name recognition, or
- Use life choices to learn about, experience and form a skillset that would inform the decisions and responsibilities inherent in the role of President itself, where the consequences of every action are felt primarily by every single member of the United States, and the world, understanding that the effect on me would always be secondary and necessarily so.
I chose the second option because I could not reconcile taking any steps towards this role unless I knew that I could withstand the responsibility and do justice to the capabilities it required for guiding us into the future.
Management Consultant, Healthcare
January 2015 – current
On-site engagement at Accelacare Physical Therapy in Garden City, Kansas. Garden City is a community in the southwest corner of the state and has a population of around 30,000.
I needed to know how to apply information to someone else’s life, in such a way that they could use the information and framing I provided for their direct benefit that increased over time.
The company, owned by a childhood friend, requested that I help restructure their operations to address material changes that had occurred in healthcare over the preceding several years. Reimbursements had dropped, and they hadn’t figured out a way to offer better care while reducing costs or holding costs steady while increasing patient service. The managers and staff had great ideas, but they didn’t believe that they could execute on their implementation and found themselves, responding to the human need for survival and fear of failure, avoiding taking risks that would directly result in better care, and would generate the potential for increased demand due to higher quality healthcare delivery.
In short, they were concerned that a good product and effective marketing weren’t enough. Their confidence was the only real impediment. With increased knowledge, operational advice, management support and a focus on identifying market needs, they realized that by focusing on areas of the patient’s emotional experience, to which they were directly in tune, as front-line providers, they were able to improve the tools they offered and build patient confidence in the structure of their healthcare delivery.
Currently, the clinic managers and staff are working on rolling out a new concept for a general practice clinic, a remote check-in process to address current pandemic concerns and an advisory program to help explain to patients how to understand more fully how their bodies work and help them understand what resources are available before spending significant money trying to find the right provider.
Candidate, Kansas State House of Representatives, 87th
June 2012 – November 2012
Candidate for the Democratic Party in a district with a history of bi-partisan voting.
I needed to verify whether it would be possible as a member of a party, given the way in which people thought about and practiced politics, to discuss problems, ideas, and solutions in a setting where the ideas constructed to address voters’ needs would be considered primary.
What I found was that in most interactions, party politics became the primary prism through which voters thought about the issues, regardless of my interpersonal approach. While it was true that every one of my constituents faced similar challenges, I found my conversations becoming far more about identifying topics that would exclude someone else’s perspective, rather than groups of either Democrats or Republicans seeking to include each other’s perspective to broaden their own understanding of the scope of the problem and proposed solution.
My conclusion was that the challenges arising from our political discourse wouldn’t be solved by changing the parties themselves, from inside, but simply by demonstrating how the topics could be framed with respect to everyone, where individual party perspectives would highlight the needs of individual members of society, so that we could more fully do justice to the opportunities afforded us by our constitutional structure.
Export-Import Consulting, China
September 2010 – April 2012
As I observed the interactions in business, both domestically and internationally, a primary question took hold:
Is it possible that, when presented with a solution that will require each party to directly opt into learning or taking a path defined by an explicit risk, will people choose to accept that risk, or will they only choose to do so as a last resort?
I felt that this question was relevant to all human interactions, including foreign policy solutions and business ventures, because its answer would determine how public policy would be constructed to facilitate joint risk-taking for a solution into the future, rather than incentivizing parties to look for an opportunity to exploit the other party for individual, short-term gain.
I concluded that any policy solution so constructed would need to include an explicit process that ensured both parties felt some sort of comfort with how the interactions would occur in the future. They needed a mechanism for trust facilitated by the market itself, reconciling first principles of capitalism and democracy to individual freedom, from which both parties could ascribe certainty. Otherwise, as we have so often seen, the opportunity to generate or take advantage of asymmetrical information absent such a solution would offer a higher return than working together.
Practically, this meant that policy should explicitly create responsibility for actors one to another, rather than presuming it will happen simply as a matter of practice.
Retail and Commercial Banking, Bank of the West, A subsidiary of BNP Paribas
April 2002 – September 2009
I needed a job when this opportunity presented itself. When I accepted my role as a banker at a rural branch, I realized that I had little knowledge of how or why finance functioned. I did not see the link between the products that the bank offered and the relationship to profits and the broader economic growth needs of the system that my role was providing.
Yet, as clients came in to request loans for cars or homes, I began to realize that how I performed my role had a direct effect on their experience of life. If I offered them a loan that didn’t meet their needs, I would set back their financial growth for years into the future. If I did a good job of educating my clients, they would walk away with more knowledge about financial decision-making and a confidence that they had made a good decision for their future. So often, these individual incentives seemed opposed, rather than mutually shared as a result of my performance of my job.
My roles with the bank demonstrated that an understanding of economics was fundamental to doing my potential job, because understanding how people actually lived, and consumed goods, was the only way to reconcile my own incentives behind making money with the needs of my clients.
My educational path has been defined by interests and questions that I could never quell, knowing that without having access to the information that defined them and the opportunities to discuss, analyze and challenge the underlying assumptions, I would never have the capability to apply the solutions I hoped for in life.
General Course, London School of Economics
September 2009 – June 2010
Course of Study: Monetary Economics, Public Economics
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
August 2007 – December 2010
Course of Study: Economics, B.A.
Foreign Language: Mandarin Chinese
John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas
August 1995 – May 1999
Course of Study: Political Science/Pre-Law, B.S.
Tax Returns (PDF format)
FEC Form 2 (Statement of Candidacy)
Initial and Amended Statement of Candidacy Forms attached in link below. Amended form references our party affiliation as Unaffiliated.