Policy prodigy

David Lopez, CLA '13, was just 22 and working as a staff assistant in the Obama White House when his time came to speak.

image of David Lopez
Photo credit: Ed Caldwell

Only a few months into his job, he found himself at a conference table surrounded by military staff and longtime government personnel—many of whom were at least twice his age. Briefly intimidated by the collective years of experience in the room, Lopez considered keeping quiet. But when the time came, he did let not that stop him from voicing his concerns over a proposal which could have had profound consequences if adopted. “It was the moment I realized I would not let my age stop me from saying what needed to be said.”

Lopez spent nearly five years working in the administration. He was later promoted to policy advisor in the Office of the Chief of Staff, where he remained until President Barack Obama’s last days in office, focusing on many high-profile domestic policy issues such as immigration, healthcare and veteran affairs.

“While at the White House, our goal was to do as much good for as many people as we could, every single day,” Lopez said.

After his Washington, D.C. stint, Lopez went west to serve as advisor to the President and CEO of Kaiser Family Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit. In late 2019, Lopez joined Google, where he works to prevent bad actors from spreading abuse on the company’s platform—with particular focus on the upcoming U.S. 2020 Elections. 

—By Kyle Bagenstose, KLN ’11