A 1987 graduate of the TFAS Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems, Eric Tanenblatt (ICPES 87) has built an illustrious resume since his summer in Washington. He has worked on presidential campaigns, in governmental affairs, and for the governor of Georgia. As an economics major, Tanenblatt believes his experience in the program enhanced his overall college experience.
“The program was tremendous. I liked the diversity of the program participants and being able to interact with students from all over the country,” he said, “I made lifetime friends, and during that six-week period I became closer with some people than I did with people in college. It is just different learning about government and politics in D.C.”
Tanenblatt also believes that the program helped solidify his opinions. “My ideology became better defined. I’ve always been the way I am, but it made me reflect and hone in on my ideology,” he said.
Returning home to Atlanta, the EmoryUniversity graduate knew he wanted to enter politics. Tanenblatt started researching candidates in the 1988 presidential election and found that he identified ideologically with George H.W. Bush. Determined to work for the campaign, he began as a volunteer, organizing over 20 college groups supporting Bush. Tanenblatt was eventually hired to manage 3 phone banks, and from there, moved on to field work.
“It was not easy, and I was very persistent,” he said, “I had to prove myself. I see today that a lot of younger people expect too much. You have to pay your dues. When a job opened eventually, it was mine. The keys are persistence and paying your dues.
After working in the private sector at a law firm, and serving as state Chairman for President George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign, Tanenblatt began working for Gov. Sonny Perdue, the first Republican governor elected in Georgia in 135 years. Serving as Chief of Staff for one year, Tanenblatt then became the state coordinator of the 2004 G-8 Summit on SeaIsland, acting as liaison between the state and federal government
“It was very exciting. I got to see the president, and I have a great picture of me and Tony Blair having a beer,” he said
Tanenblatt currently serves as Senior Managing Director for McKenna Long and Aldridge’s National Government Affairs Group in Atlanta.