Meet the New AFF-Capital Area Hub Leader, Kristen Underwood
This week, AFF introduced our Regional Hubs, a new way for you to connect with other rising leaders in your community. We’re excited to introduce Kristen Underwood, the leader of our Capital Area Hub. Kristin led the DC chapter and served as the DC programs manager since 2019, where she also helped to plan and coordinate AFF’s flagship events. In addition to her role at AFF, Kristin is the marketing and communications director at The Fund for American Studies (TFAS), where she leads TFAS’s social media, print, email, and digital marketing efforts.
Get to know more about Kristen!
1. What do you enjoy about your career path so far, and why?
The one constant thing I’m most grateful for from my time in D.C. is the people I’ve been fortunate to meet. Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to meet interesting and passionate people who want to make the world a better place.
2. Why did you decide to pursue a career in the liberty movement?
I interned at the Capital Area Food Bank through TFAS’s academic internship program in college. Through that program, I took courses on philanthropy and voluntary service, studying ethics and ideas surrounding de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America.” I learned about the important role nonprofits and individuals play in societies, and how it’s private citizens and local charities that can best solve problems, not the government. That summer, I realized I wanted to help teach other young leaders the importance of free societies, and I found that opportunity through my role at TFAS.
3. How long have you been in [insert name of city] and what brought you there?
I’ve been in D.C. for more than five years. Like many Washingtonian transplants, I caught “Potomac Fever” after interning here in college.
4. What has been your history with AFF?
I first came to AFF as a member of the Writing Fellows Program, and I haven’t stopped attending events since. AFF has provided me with some of my closest friendships, and I’m thankful for the chance we have to connect with young leaders who care about advancing liberty. In addition to the outstanding network, AFF has provided me with insight and education on important ideas.
5. What helpful skillsets do you hold that people could ask you for advice about?
Working at a nonprofit in digital media has given me the chance to learn a lot about the world of communications. I have experience working with a variety of communications channels, but I get most excited talking about new trends in social media and how nonprofits can leverage them to advance their missions. Outside of work, my biggest hobby is growing and caring for my large houseplant collection. I love chatting about propagation methods, plant accessories and care tips for a wide variety of plants.
6. What are you most excited about in your new role of Hub Director?
I’m looking forward to connecting with other millenials, zillennials and gen zers who want to make a real impact in their communities. Our growing Hub is going to be a place for real world connections, whether we meet in person or over a zoom call. I can’t want to help our friends – old and new – find ways they can get involved, make connections and learn new ideas in the process.
7. Coffee order?
A dirty chai latte from a local coffee shop
8. Favorite places to travel, OR places you would like to travel to.
In 2019, I took my first ever trip across central Europe, and I enjoyed learning about and seeing a new part of the world. My favorite city was Prague. I appreciated seeing the history of the country leaving communism come alive through its public art scene, and the mix of gothic, baroque and modern architecture was beautiful.
9. What is on your “Top 5 Favorite Things to Do In DC” list?
1. Picnic at Meridian Hill Park
2. Tour Lincoln’s Cottage
3. Walk around the waterfront at The Wharf
4. Watch the sunrise from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
5. Take in the views of D.C. from to the top of the Kennedy Center