Department of Public Policy Leadership

University of Mississippi

Austin SpindlerAustin Spindler

Assistant for Government & Policy Affairs, Transamerica Corporation

Q&A

How, when, and why did you decide to study public policy leadership?
When I came to Ole Miss, I was undecided in what my major would be; after becoming involved in the Associated Student Body and other campus organizations, I got to know others in the Lott Leadership Institute and learned more about the program. Realizing the unique attributes of the program, especially the plethora of alumni working on Capitol Hill, I quickly worked to join the Lott Leadership Institute and learn how policy was crafted, shaped, and implemented throughout the United States.

Please discuss highlights of your undergraduate experience?
My campus involvement was the highlight of my career at the University of Mississippi. Whether it was working with the BIG Event, serving the Associated Student Body as a senator, on the ASB Vice President’s staff, as ASB Secretary, and as senior executive assistant to the ASB President, volunteering with the Food Bank, or working as Vice President for Public Relations for the Interfraternity Council, being able to hone the leadership skills that the Lott Leadership Institute nurtured in me provided me the opportunity to make long-lasting, quantitative changes and impacts on our university community – and that made the entire experience.

Please talk about your path since graduation and career path goals at this point?
Following graduation, I joined National Journal’s government affairs consulting and research group, organizing partnerships between the research arm of the company with senior executives in government affairs for Fortune 500 companies and leading trade associations in Washington, D.C. Since then, I have joined the government and policy affairs team of Transamerica, a leading life insurance and asset management company in the financial services industry. My ideal career path would take me to being a lead lobbyist for a major corporation in the financial services industry or head of a trade association within this industry.

Outline your career.
At Transamerica, I provide administrative support to our entire government and policy affairs team, while overseeing our Political Action Committee activities and relationships with the various trade associations and coalitions that make up the financial services industry. Additionally, I cover a portfolio of legislative issues key to our company, our policyholders, and everyday Americans, such as data privacy, diversity and inclusion, and retirement security.