Eric Feldman, long-time aide and now former chief of staff to Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., is transitioning into the private sector after nearly two decades of service on Capitol Hill.
Feldman is leaving the public sector to be the head of Airbnb’s Federal and International Affairs Team in Washington, D.C. Caitlyn Stephenson, Peters’ former deputy chief of staff, will now serve as his chief of staff.
Feldman, a University of Michigan alum, studied political science before serving in various roles on Capitol Hill for several other high-profile members from other states, including current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Feldman told The Michigan Daily in an email about his experiences working on Capitol Hill and shared advice for students looking to pursue a career in public service. He emphasized how meaningful it was to work for Michiganders as a member of Peters’ team.
“More than twelve years later, the work I did with Senator Peters and our team to help rescue the auto industry still stands apart from everything else,” Feldman wrote. “It’s hard to describe now how precarious the position of the auto industry was back then, and there wasn’t a clear path to a more stable future. Every day we went to work knowing that family and friends were counting on you, and if we had failed Michigan would not be recognizable today. The stakes were that high.”
Feldman wrote that his experiences at the University laid the foundation for his work on the Hill in Washington, D.C.
“My experiences at the University of Michigan taught me the fundamentals that would serve me well on Capitol Hill: organizing, planning and executing,” Feldman wrote. “Michigan’s campus, like Capitol Hill, is a dynamic environment where you needed to build diverse coalitions and react to events.”
Feldman encouraged students with aspirations in public service to explore opportunities to learn and get involved outside of the classroom to both gain real-world experience and develop a network for the future.
“The classroom will teach you to think critically and the campus environment will challenge you to act critically,” Feldman wrote. “If you want to pursue a career in public service you need to start pursuing it while in college by interning or working on campaigns, not just to build your skills but also to help begin to build a network for your future career. Lastly, if you want to work in public service I recommend focusing on your writing skills.”
In a speech on the Senate floor, Peters thanked Feldman for his work as an “extraordinary public servant” as his long-time chief of staff.
“In many crises impacting Michigan and our country, I entrusted Eric to help ensure that we were able to come together, solve tough problems, and, ultimately, deliver results,” Peters said.
Feldman discussed his next steps at Airbnb, which would require his continued involvement on Capitol Hill.
“I am excited to take on this challenge at a dynamic company with global reach,” Feldman wrote. “In my role I will help represent Airbnb to federal stakeholders like Congress, the White House and government agencies and help tell Airbnb’s story of how its platform connects people throughout the world while creating millions of new memories, experiences and home sharing entrepreneurs.”
Daily Staff Reporter Sarah Payne can be reached at email@example.com.