Michael Amato

Position: Communications director for Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.)
Age: 27
Hometown: North Wales, Pa.
Marital status/children: Single, no kids
Last job: A legislative aide for a city councilman in Philadelphia until January; contract work until mid-August for a company called Sage Communications and a nonprofit called American Rivers.
First job: A cook at Friendly’s restaurant
Most unusual job: I was the lead guy for summer help at a local water authority.
Number of cups of coffee you drink per day: One or two
Religion: Christian
Favorite political TV show or movie: “Blood Diamond”
Most inspirational figure: My parents
Dream job (not including present one): President of a nonprofit that relates to children and youth or education
College: Temple University
Passion outside work: Friends and family

Michael Amato earned his way into politics.

After graduating from Temple University, Amato was eager to get a job in public service but wasn’t finding the right fit. He decided to walk into the Philadelphia mayor’s office to see if he could somehow get involved there.

Amato met with the mayor’s communications director, who, for various reasons, had just lost several employees.

“I walked in and told him I’d work for free for a month,” Amato says.

A month later, the mayor’s office hired him as an assistant press secretary.

In his new position on the Hill, Amato has two messages he wants to convey: the thoughtfulness of his new boss, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), and the human element of government.

Smith “is a really good guy, a really caring guy,” Amato says. “I can’t speak for every member of Congress, but at least for Adam Smith, he puts a lot of thought into every decision he makes.”

The other point he wants to make as a new Hill communicator: “It’s not a big, dark, scary government that just kind of runs your life. It’s real people making real decisions that affect other real people, and there’s a lot of thought and care that goes into making those decisions.”