Talent Market’s Placement Profiles feature interviews with individuals we have helped place in the free-market movement. Our Placement Profiles provide insight about how our successful candidates found their way to the free-market nonprofit world, what their jobs are like, and how they got interested in liberty in the first place.
Our March Placement Profile features Jennings Kuzmier, who Talent Market placed in 2019 with Pacific Legal Foundation as their Coalitions Manager, where she focuses on cultivating issue-based, mutually beneficial, partnerships that increase the impact of PLF litigation toward a more free, just, and prosperous society. If you’re interested in outreach and coalition building roles or working for a litigation center, this is the interview for you!
Talent Market: First thing’s first: what got you interested in liberty?
Jennings: The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program at UNC- Chapel Hill. I stumbled into the PPE minor and was enamored with the ideas – we discussed public choice theory, the war on drugs, and the role of incentives in good governance.
Talent Market: Give us the nutshell version of your career trajectory and tell us why you decided to work in the free-market nonprofit world?
Jennings: My ‘nutshell’ is rather long. My college PPE program initially got me interested in working in the liberty space and thanks to several amazing programs, I have had the opportunity to work in numerous roles in DC.
During my senior year of college, I had the good fortune to attend the State Policy Network Annual Meeting as a Generation Liberty Fellow. Through that program I heard from Talent Market’s own Claire Kittle Dixon and learned about the Koch Associate Program (KAP). As a KAP I joined the Mercatus Center as an Events Associate working with academic programs. From there, I switched to an outreach role, working with university-based research centers. I left the non-profit sphere and went to the private sector to learn more about public affairs and communication. Thanks to Talent Market, I moved back into the nonprofit space to work for an organization whose ideals and culture inspire me.
Talent Market: What is your job like day-to-day?
Jennings: One of my favorite things about my job is that I don’t have a day-to-day, which, I know, sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. I am a part of a small team and we all get to wear lots of different hats – planning events, working on media content, connecting with partners; each day brings something new.
Talent Market: What is the most challenging part of your job?
Jennings: Staying abreast of all the amazing work other movement groups are doing. There is so much excellent work being produced by liberty minded organizations across the country that it can be difficult to stay up to date on all the different opportunities for collaboration.
Talent Market: What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
Jennings: Working with our clients. They are relentless in their pursuit of their Constitutional rights, and it is such a delight to work with them and to be able to share their stories of both injury and triumph.
Talent Market: What has surprised you the most about your job and about working in the free-market non profit world?
Jennings: The passion that people have for their work. It never ceases to amaze me just how many smart, thoughtful, and dedicated people I have had the pleasure to work with.
Talent Market: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in doing what you do?
Jennings: Be genuine and take time to learn about people.
Talent Market: If you weren’t working to advance liberty, what would you be doing?
Jennings: I would likely be working either in international development and impact investing or in the for-profit space on branding and messaging.
Talent Market: Tell us something interesting about you that your friends in the free-market nonprofit sector don’t know.
Jennings: I am always ready with a book recommendation. Reading is one of the best ways for me to decompress, and as a result, I fly through about 50 books a year. I will happily talk your ear off about books and offer a recommendation (or five) for what you should check out next.
Talent Market: What is your favorite liberty-oriented quote?
Jennings: “Anything Peaceful”. The Foundation for Economic Education use to hand out these stickers with that phrase on it, and while it is not a quote per say, to me, it always represented the truest distillation of the ideas of liberty and the world that I was interested in building.