Leah Szarek, Communications

Master of Arts, Media and Public Affairs, The George Washington University
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina

 

What inspired you to choose the MSRB? 
As former reporter, I firmly believe in open government and accountability. I continue to be impressed with the MSRB’s emphasis on providing objective, useful information to citizens, bondholders, local officials and anyone interested in how infrastructure projects are financed. It’s rewarding to apply my strategic communications skills to making information more accessible, not less.

What do you do on the job? Describe a typical day: 
Each day brings new and different challenges for the communications team. I get to work closely with lawyers to communicate new rules to the market, website developers to create engaging online resources and market experts to answer questions from the media and other stakeholders. It reminds me of working in a busy newsroom – we may have the best-laid plans for tomorrow’s edition, but we have to stay nimble to respond when something unexpected crops up.

What I love most about my job is... 
The opportunity for continuous learning. The MSRB’s tuition-assistance program allowed me to get a master’s degree in my field, all while learning more on the job than I could in any classroom. My colleagues come from such interesting backgrounds and are so generous with their time and knowledge.   

My greatest achievement at the MSRB was when...
We launched an online Education Center to help anyone interested in the municipal market access free multimedia resources, from fact sheets to podcasts and videos. The communications team often collaborates closely with the MSRB’s talented group of web developers on new website features, and the Education Center is a great example of what we can accomplish working together.

When I am not at work, I am...
Wearing out my walking shoes exploring Washington, DC and other great cities around the globe, or kicking up my feet with a good book.