Allison Ivie, Federal Policy Advocate for Eating Disorder Issues

What is your current position?

I am the Vice President at Center Road Solutions, a woman-owned, boutique lobbying firm committed to empowering nonprofits to achieve long lasting social change. We work with several eating disorders nonprofits and other clients to advance their federal policy initiatives.

How did you get started in your career?

After graduate school I moved to Washington, D.C. as I was selected as a Women’s Congressional Policy Institute Fellow and started working in federal policy for a U.S. House Representative. I had graduated with my Masters in Public Policy and Masters of Arts in Women and Genders Studies from Brandeis University. My passion was improving the lives of women and families, but wasn’t sure what that would look like. My fellowship helped put a finer point on what that could look like at the federal level.

What advice would you give to someone new to the field? 

It is not uncommon for individuals to have a personal connection to the work they do, which can make them excellent stewards for change. I have found it to be particularly important to have reached a steady point in one’s mental health where you’re able to engage responsibly and diligently in the work that is so close to your heart. That certainly doesn’t mean someone can’t have a lived experience and not get emotional during this work. However, it requires great self-reflection, healing and taking care of your health first. There are so many ways to support work in mental health fields without it consuming your 9-5. I would encourage individuals to think broadly about the contribution they want to make and how working on yourself is a cornerstone of whatever contribution we give to the world.

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