Alumni in Focus: Kaitlyn Long, BA ‘07

With her sights set on Washington, D.C., Kaitlyn Long, BA ‘07, chose to attend GW and propelled her passion for advocacy into a career with the Brotherhood of the Teamsters.

October 27, 2023

Kaitlyn Long headshot

Where did you grow up and how has your background influenced you today?

“I moved around a bit when I was growing up. Born in New York, moved to New Jersey, then spent most of my teenage, growing-up years in Michigan. That gave me experience both with coastal city-folk and main-street America. I have a deep desire to work for the greater good, which I would say comes from the deep democratic values of Michigan as well as my moral upbringing.”

Did you receive a scholarship at GW? If so, how did your scholarship help you succeed?

“I received the Presidential Academic Scholarship throughout my time at GW. It was essential to funding my dream of working in Washington, D.C. It was also pretty motivating.”

What is your most memorable only-at-GW moment?

“I was privileged to learn from amazing professors who were at the top of their field. I continue to be in touch with some of them today, and they are an invaluable resource. I also worked on the award-winning GW Hatchet. You can't recreate the experience of reporting on D.C. events unless you are living and working in D.C.”

Tell us about your current professional role and why it excites you.

“I serve as a Chief Economist for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. I am building a team of economists, experts and analysts to support the Teamster mission, which is to become a bigger, faster, stronger union. It's an incredible opportunity to build a team. Our biggest recent success was providing economic and financial expertise and data management for the UPS Teamsters National Master Agreement negotiations. The new Teamster leadership under Sean O'Brien is fired up to get the best deal for workers. Because of the strong leadership, everyone was rowing in the same direction. And with a clear mission, it made the intense, fast-paced negotiations a challenge that we navigated successfully. The cherry on top is that we not only benefit our UPS Teamster members when we negotiate a successful contract. That contract is having ripple effects across union and non-union workplaces, and I couldn't be more proud to be part of that positive change in the world. I also can't wait until five years from now, when we get to do it again!” 

What is a fun fact about you that you'd like to share?

“A meeting with Joe Biden while in DC with a Close-Up government program in 2002 motivated me to pick GW as my college. We had a Q&A session scheduled with Senator Carl Levin (who I also remember fondly). Senator Levin was running late, so his good friend Senator Joe Biden fielded questions from a rambunctious group of Michigan high-schoolers. As Senator Biden was answering my question about Afghanistan, Senator Levin came by and Senator Biden didn't get to finish his answer. When I happened to see Senator Biden on the corner shortly afterward, I marched my plucky self over and politely explained that I would love to hear the rest of his answer. He was so generous with his time in answering, and I felt he really cared about Americans. From that moment I knew I wanted to work in D.C. with people like him.” 

What is a piece of advice you would offer to students seeking to pursue your field of work?

“If you have a passion for advocacy and a solid foundation in academics you'll go far. Use your network here at GW, it's one of the best.”