Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Student Meeting with David Wade '97 and Silvia Spring '03 on Careers in Politics and Policy

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

South Common Room

This event is for students only. Registration is required. Register here.

Come meet with David Wade '97, CEO, GreenLight Strategies, and former Chief of Staff to Secretary John Kerry; and Silvia Spring '03, US Foreign Policy Manager, Airbnb, for lunch and a casual conversation about careers in politics and policy.


David Wade '97 is a consultant helping global corporations and organizations with strategic advice, public affairs and thought leadership, crisis communications, political intelligence gathering, and federal and legislative strategy. He draws upon close to two decades in Washington, D.C. at the highest levels of the State Department, on Capitol Hill, and on two national presidential campaigns.

Before starting his own business, Wade was the Chief of Staff to Secretary of State John F. Kerry and the Department of State for more than two years. Foreign Policy Magazine noted that at the State Department, Wade was "the driving force behind the Department's day to day operations...." who "consumed himself with the personnel and management decisions that go along with running a huge bureaucracy.” Wade was awarded the Department's highest honor -- the Distinguished Honor Award -- when he left government service in the summer of 2015 to found GreenLight Strategies.

For five years from 2008 through January, 2013, Wade served in the Senate as a Chief of Staff, overseeing and directing John Kerry’s operation as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as well as his broader political operation, including a Leadership PAC, Re-election Committee, and Kerry’s work on President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign presidential debate prep.

Wade is a veteran of two presidential campaigns, serving as the National Traveling Press Secretary for John Kerry for President and Kerry-Edwards 2004, and the national spokesperson and traveling communications chief for the successful 2008 vice presidential campaign of Joe Biden. 

Wade’s opinion and analysis columns have been published in The AtlanticForeign PolicyThe Boston GlobeThe HillPolitico, and The Boston Herald in addition to being a featured “Newsmaker” on Sidewire and a regular contributor at The Huffington Post.  He is a graduate of Brown University, a 1996 Harry Truman Scholar, 2011 John C. Stennis Fellow, serves on the Advisory Board to the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, served on the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, and is a Fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


Silvia Spring '03 is the U.S. Foreign Policy Manager for Airbnb. Before joining Airbnb, she was a foreign service officer in the US Department of State, where she has served as a consular officer in the Beijing Embassy, as a desk officer for Laos and Burma, in the US Mission to the Organization for American States, and in the office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Before joining the Foreign Service, Silvia was a Newsweek special correspondent in London, Nairobi and Baghdad. Silvia holds a BA from Brown University and a MA in Development Studies from the University of London. As an undergraduate, she rowed on the Brown women's crew team, and worked at the Office of Overseas Programs.

Watson Career Series