Fall '16 Fellow Martin O'Malley speaking to his student strategy team at the Fellows' farewell.
Category: Alumni

Title: Alumni Spotlight: Aaron Bennett (C’19)

Aaron Bennett (C‘19) first met his future boss in the spring of 2018 at a GU Politics townhall event. Inspired by her vision for the Democratic Party, her passion for the next generation and the conviction with which she spoke, he wrote some notes on his phone from that day, knowing that someday he would want to work for her. 

Fast-forward five years, Aaron was handed a set of notecards and given two hours to draft her a speech for the House floor. Specifically that Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not be re-running for democratic leadership.

As a student in the inaugural fall of the Institute, Aaron was a pioneering force at GU Politics. He was a member of student strategy teams for Spring ‘16 Fellow Jackie Kucinich and Fall ‘16 Fellow Martin O’Malley and was also a member of the Student Advisory Board

7 students from The Fly, student-run podcast smiling and posing in the Living Room.
Seven students from The Fly, GU Politics student-run podcast in the Living Room. (Bennett pictured on the right)

Most notably, he launched Fly on the Wall (now The Fly), GU Politics’ flagship student-run podcast and helped launch On the Record, GU Politics’ student-run publication. He left a lasting impact on GU Politics but shares that it truly goes both ways.

“I wouldn’t have a career if it weren’t for the conversations had in the Living Room or the mentorship with Mo, the relationship-building with the Fellows… being able to talk to the folks that they brought in as guests. DC really is such a small town, and there’s a real wealth of relationships that GU Politics can create and does create for students.”

Aaron started his career as press and digital assistant for Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), press and speechwriter for Senator John Hickenlooper’s campaign (D-CO) and surrogate speechwriter for the Biden presidential campaign, before landing in the Office of the Speaker of the House. When asked about the most valuable skill he learned from the GU Politics Living Room, he cited relationship-building.

“You grow to understand that a little bit while you’re in school, but once you’re in the real world — especially of communications — it’s all about

Aaron Bennett and Fall '16 Fellow Martin O'Malley.
Aaron Bennett and Fall ’16 Fellow Martin O’Malley.

building relationships with coworkers, with reporters, with outside organizers and other congressional offices. This whole town trades on strong relationships, and that I think, is instilled in you at the Institute of Politics. There are so many ways to build a community and build lasting relationships within the institute.”

He advised students to do the same and to take full advantage of the programming at GU Politics.

“Lean all the way in. Meet everyone, go to everything, soak up as much as you can.”