After working for two failed presidential bids, Adam Conner was done with campaigning and ready to break into the business world.
But politics followed Conner, and just months later, he introduced the District to Facebook.
Starting up the social media network’s outreach efforts in the capital after graduating in 2007, Conner worked largely out of his living room as the office’s sole employee for two years.
The now multibillion dollar company’s D.C. office has since moved to a sleek building downtown at 1158 F St. NW. and employs about a dozen people.
Conner, the branch’s manager of public policy for the office’s politics and government, said his path to Facebook was paved by the two flopped campaign flops, working full-time for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner.
A semester off to work the Kerry campaign full-time in 2004, during his junior year, cemented his political passion, spurring him to continue traveling on campaign trails.
Conner also signed up for political science courses at GW, where he said he honed his understanding of the political system he had spent so much time navigating.
“I remember loving going from the campaign war room to the classroom and discussing what was happening in the election in real-time,” Conner said.
So the Pi Kappa Alpha member and leader of the progressive Roosevelt Institute, turned down GW’s coveted Presidential Administrative Fellowship for a position on Warner’s presidential exploratory committee.
“That 2008 campaign ended up ending before we even got to 2007,” Conner, who was also a Hatchet columnnist, said. “And though I didn’t know it at the time, [it] helped me eventually end up at Facebook.”
He keeps his passion for politics alive through Facebook, regularly working with members of Congress and government agencies across the District to convince public officials to create accounts and training them on strategic use and avoid tripping themselves up by violating campaign, privacy and finance laws.
Conner also serves as Facebook’s liaison to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, offering advice on how to best take advantage of resources on Facebook, beyond garnering “likes.”
“I came to GW interested in politics, but I developed my love for it at GW,” Conner said. “There are very few places where you can immerse yourself in something like you can in D.C.”
This article was updated June 29, 2012 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet reported that Adam Conner offers Barack Obama’s campaign reelection advice and that Facebook’s D.C. headquarters is located in Dupont. In fact, Conner provides the campaign advice on Facebook resources, and the D.C. office is located downtown at 1158 F St. NW. The Hatchet also reported that Conner was a chief lobbyist for the company. Conner has registered as a lobbyist in recent years but is not a 2012 registered lobbyist. He began as the first D.C.-based employee and now formally holds the title of manager of public policy for the office’s politics and government team.