Lady of Liberty

July 17, 2012 | By Lauren Hart

Nena Bartlett, in her late 20s, is already making huge strides for lovers of liberty.  

She’s worked on a presidential campaign, a U.S. Senate campaign, for think tanks, and now for Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on Capitol Hill while also leading a libertarian non-profit, Ladies of Liberty Alliance.

“When I was growing up, I knew I wanted to make a difference,” Nena told the Leadership Institute. “I studied international trade in college because I thought that improving business operations in those resource-rich, and yet chronically impoverished countries could help families who need it the most.”

“I came to realize that it is the governments themselves that most significantly impede wealth creation
and thus, their country’s development… Liberty, on the other hand, accelerates progress and improves more people’s lives than anything else can, and this is my motivation in promoting it,” Nena shared.

In 2007 and 2008, she was the field director for Ron Paul’s 2008
presidential campaign.

Nena first learned of the Leadership Institute (LI) through her job with Ron Paul.

“Many of my colleagues on the Ron Paul campaign in 2007 were former LI employees,” Nena said. “These were people I liked and respected very much. When the campaign ended, a number of people told me about LI’s job board, ConservativeJobs.com, and the training opportunities offered by LI that I could now take advantage of.”

Since, Nena has taken five LI trainings: Public Speaking Workshop 2 in May 2008; Capitol Hill Job Seminar in June 2008; Advanced Internet Technologies Workshop in August 2008; High-Dollar Fundraising School in September 2008; and Public Speaking Workshop in February 2012.

“When I attended LI’s Capitol Hill Jobs Seminar, I had no idea I would someday end up on the Hill,” Nena recalled.  “I had just finished working on the Ron Paul campaign of 2008 and had an open mind as to what I would do next. I ended up interviewing with congressional offices -- through my profile on LI’s ConservativeJobs.com -- that would not have been a good fit philosophically.  I learned at the jobs seminar that if you had the goal of working on the Hill, you should be flexible about who you began working for, and that you should look first at members from your state.”

After Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, Nena went to work for the Cato Institute as a development associate and as the executive assistant to the President until March 2010.

“I attended the Leadership Institute’s High-Dollar Fundraising School while working in the development department at the Cato Institute,” Nena remembered, “and I will be able to use some of the ideas I learned at this training to raise money for Ladies of Liberty Alliance someday as well.”

She left the Cato Institute to campaign for Rand Paul for U.S. Senate in Kentucky. She was a scheduler, then the assistant campaign manager, and now Nena works as one of his legislative aides in the Capitol.

“Senator Paul is a great boss because he encourages his staff to raise concerns or suggest legislation regarding what we are interested in, whether it is improving the U.S.'s reputation overseas, food and farming freedom, getting the government out of health care, or keeping the government away from the internet. It is a busy Senate office indeed,” Nena told the Leadership Institute.

Since May 2011, she’s also stayed busy leading her own non-profit organization—Ladies for Liberty Alliance (LOLA)—as its executive director. The group’s mission is to educate and empower female leaders in the liberty movement.

“My hope is that by encouraging leadership among liberty-minded women, we can share our ideas more effectively and attract exponentially more people so that the ideas of liberty are pervasive and even mainstream,” Nena said.

She’s taking what she’s learned in LI trainings and applying the techniques to her organization.

“I have loved all of the trainings that I attended at LI over the years so much that I am trying to model a lot of LOLA's work after it!  It seems that LI practices every level of ‘best practices’ and I have appreciated the little things, like having attendees write notes to donors to thank them for the training. What a wonderful idea! I'm even attending another LI training event this summer,” Nena said.

In her “free” time, Nena serves as the treasurer of DC Liberty Toastmasters, the chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus of DC, and as vice president and treasurer of the Norwich Alumni DC Chapter.

Nena also interned at the Organization of American States in its external relations office and for the Committee for Justice.

She received her B.A. in language and international trade from Eastern Michigan University and an M.A. in diplomacy from Norwich University in Vermont.

“It is an honor that an organization I admire so greatly would choose to highlight my work,” Nena shared.

Please welcome Nena Bartlett as LI’s Graduate of the Week.

To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.

LI offers training in 50 states and dozens of countries each year. Please go here to register for an already-scheduled training or contact LI to request training in your area.

“I tell everyone I know about the excellent experience I have had with LI, especially job-seekers," Nena said. "The Leadership Institute is a great, professional resource for anyone wishing to build their resume or expand their skill-set.”