Alumni Spotlight: Congressman Mike Levin

Congressman Mike Levin represents California’s 49th Congressional District, which includes northern San Diego County and southern Orange County.  Throughout his career, Congressman Levin has been a passionate leader on environmental protection, clean energy, and combating climate change.  After graduating from Stanford University and Duke University School of Law, the Congressman worked as an attorney focused on energy and environmental issues.  In addition to his legal work, he served on the board of the Center for Sustainable Energy, and co-founded Sustain OC, helping accelerate the transition toward more sustainable power generation and transportation alternatives.

As a member of Congress, one of the Congressman’s top priorities is combating climate change, capitalizing on the economic benefits of a sustainable energy future, and providing solutions to move hazardous nuclear waste at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself!
One fun fact is that I have two kids, a boy and girl ages 6 and 4, and the best part of my week is flying back home from Washington after votes to spend time with them.

How do you bring Coro experiences to your Congressional role?
My experiences in Coro have been very helpful in my efforts to build relationships with other Members of Congress and find new ways to get things done in Washington. The exposure I had as a Coro fellow to various professional settings has helped me better understand other Members’ perspectives.

What moment(s) from your time as a Coro Fellow do you think back to most often?
I think back fondly to my time being placed with David Abel, who has been a trusted mentor and friend ever since.

If you could go back and give yourself some advice during your time in the Fellows Program in Public Affairs, what would you say?
If I could go back and give myself some advice during my time in the Fellows Program, I would suggest keeping an open mind about your future and the opportunities that come your way.  I have a passion for environmental protection and clean energy, and I was proud of the work I did in those fields as a lawyer, so I wasn’t necessarily planning to run for office but ultimately decided it was time to step up and try something completely new, and my time in the Fellows Program helped prepare me for that challenge.

What is the most important contribution that Coro is making in today’s leadership landscape?
Now more than ever we need young value-driven people in the world of public affairs.  The challenges our country and planet face – whether its climate change, national security, income inequality or others – are going to be solved by future generations who are determined to make our world a better place.  Coro’s work to develop those future generations and prepare them for the challenges they’ll face are hugely important in today’s leadership landscape.