By The Hill Staff - 07/25/12 09:00 AM EDT
Hometown: Asheville, N.C.
Political party: Democratic
Relationship status: Single
Alyssa Dack caught the political bug early, which didn't always make for smooth sailing growing up. In grade school, she recalls begging her parents to let her stay up to watch the 1996 Clinton-Dole debates.
It didn’t end well.
“Apparently I pitched quite the fit when I was told I had to go to bed," she says with an almost-guilty smile.
“I was just really stubborn and really determined to think for myself,” she says of being the black sheep.
Dack praises her hometown of Asheville, N.C., for encouraging her independence. There, she says, “It’s all about being who you are, [because] if you don’t, you stick out like a sore thumb.”
Happily single, the 24-year-old says the space makes it “easier to learn who you are.”
“You have to take that risk of being on your own a little bit,” she says.
A graduate of Duke University, where she studied public policy, journalism and English, Dack says Capitol Hill caters well to her interest in combining communications and public service. It’s also been a lesson that you don’t have to go overseas — she’s spent time in Turkey and Italy — to discover new worlds.
“You come out of college and you think you’ve figured out how to do everything, and then you come to a place like this and realize you don't really know as much as you thought,” she says. “I felt like I had gone back abroad.”
Outside of work, Dack plays tennis and hikes, with a particular fondness for treks to Old Rag, the rugged peak in Shenandoah National Park. She’s also a “West Wing” fanatic, known for watching her favorite episodes upwards of 10 times.
Friends, at such moments, “leave me to my nerdiness,” she says.
— Mike Lillis