William McQuillen (Young Leader 2010)
Vice President for Public Affairs, JDA Frontline
What do you like most about Switzerland?
People with different languages, different religions, and different histories all getting along - a novel idea. It should be tried other places. Trains that run on time are pretty great, too.
What do you like most about the U.S.?
This changes on a day-to-day basis. The idea of a land of opportunity where anybody can grow up to be President, the open road that seems to go on forever, Tex-Mex food, the optimism of anything - like that the Buffalo Bills might one day win a Super Bowl. Last night when I couldn't sleep, it was Netflix streaming all 11 seasons of Cheers.
What defines your leadership style?
Really simple - treat others like you want to be treated. Don't ask anybody to do anything that you wouldn't do yourself. And be nice - until it's time to not be nice.
Who inspires you?
My grandfather. He is long gone, but his work ethic and sense of responsibility were incredible.
What is your greatest achievement?
After numerous epic basketball games, the first time I beat my dad playing one-on-one was a pretty remarkable accomplishment.
Do you have any weaknesses?
A hatred of my alarm clock. My love of Irish whiskey. My ambivalence toward vegetables.
Where do you live?
Washington, DC - next door to a Thai restaurant.
What is your favorite place in the world?
An outdoor bar in nice weather, engaging in intelligent or not so intelligent debate about the events of the day.
What is the best book you ever read?
Best book? The Great Gatsby is pretty close to flawless and keeps getting better with every read. Most inspiring book? Walking With the Wind by John Lewis, chronicling his upbringing and non-violent efforts through the Civil Rights Movement. Most entertaining / enjoyable book? Learning to Fly, the autobiography of Victoria Beckham. Book I am reading now? The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire by Neil Irwin, a fellow Young Leader.
What is your goal in life?
I'm planning to figure that out tomorrow.
About William McQuillen
Bill is the Vice President for Public Affairs for JDA Frontline, a strategic communications and public affairs firm based in Washington, DC. He works on a wide array of client and public interest causes, including taxes, trade, and financial regulation. Previously, Bill had been a reporter at Bloomberg News where he covered topics such as international trade and labor, politics, economics, and legal affairs, which included terrorism and the U.S. Justice Department’s response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Additionally, he covered the White House during the Bush administration, as well as the 2004 presidential election. Bill is currently the advisor of the student newspaper at the Catholic University of America and served as Associate Producer for “Diabetesville USA,” a 2011 documentary on the diabetes epidemic in south Texas.