You may know Linda Shim from her work as Chief of Staff of CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27). Now, she’s headed to the External Affairs team at Comcast, bridging policy with the private sector. APAICS asked her some questions about her life and career – read what she had to say, below!
“Follow your heart and don’t give up. I’ve loved every job I had working for the House of Representatives. Each role gave me an opportunity to address problems and contribute in different ways.”
APAICS: What is your morning routine to get your ready for the day?
LS: When I open my eyes, I check my emails and turn on the news. Then I grab a cup of iced coffee on the way into work. My day cannot get started without iced coffee.
APAICS: What is your favorite memory from working on the Hill?
Linda Shim: I have so many great memories from working on the Hill and it is too hard to choose! Most of them center around working with a team of people and reaching our collective goal. They include passing landmark legislation, putting on a hearing for an issue that we want to highlight, getting government officials to show up for our community, and helping Members to get elected and rise up.
APAICS: Favorite boba flavor, and favorite drink?
Boba: Honey milk tea
Favorite drink: I can’t live without iced coffee.
APAICS: Tell us about your new role at Comcast.
LS: I am excited to join the External Affairs team at Comcast in DC. I will be a liaison between Comcast and external stakeholders, which includes AAPI policy and political organizations.
APAICS: What drives you?
LS: My passion to make life a little easier for people.
APAICS: Who inspired you to work in public service?
LS: My dad inspired me to become a public servant. He always spoke about how he wanted to go into the foreign service, but life took him on a different path. Witnessing his empathy and passion for helping people inspired me to pursue this field.
APAICS: How do you think the Hill has changed for POC since you first started?
LS: There are more of us! The number of diverse Members of Congress and staff have multiplied since I started working on the Hill over a decade ago. It has been empowering to see how POC can collectively raise our voices and influence policy and political debates. And now, people listen and pay attention.
APAICS: What’s one thing you learned being an AAPI woman Chief of Staff about navigating DC?
LS: Listen, then speak up. One thing that I learned from the Members that I worked for is that you should never leave a meeting or a room without contributing to the discussion. They taught me that if we as elected officials and staff have a seat at the table, then we need to make our voices heard. There were many times during my time as a Chief of Staff when I was the only AAPI or Person of Color in the room. I always tried to provide my perspective as an AAPI woman chief in the discussions I was fortunate to be a part of.
APAICS: Favorite vacation spot?
LS: Anywhere with a beach or a body of water!
APAICS: Do you play an instrument? Favorite artist?
LS: I haven’t played an instrument in years, but I played the piano and clarinet. (Yes, I live up to the stereotype)
I love all types of music and I go through phases of what I listen to. Right now I’m going through another EDM phase – Avicii and Martin Garrix are on non-stop in my car.
APAICS: How do you see the private and public sector working together to influence policy?
LS: The public and private sector must work together to create effective policy. As the federal government creates and implements laws, it is prudent to get input from private sector actors who would be impacted by those laws.
APAICS: Favorite book?
LS: Pachinko was the last book I couldn’t put down.
APAICS: Do you have a message for someone seeking to work in public service?
LS: Follow your heart and don’t give up. I’ve loved every job I had working for the House of Representatives. Each role gave me an opportunity to address problems and contribute in different ways. It was a very difficult decision to leave because I love this work so much. If you’re thinking about a career in public service, it’s likely that you also want to make a difference and help those who are vulnerable. And if that is the case, then going into public service will be very fulfilling work. Let that passion guide you.