BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Clare Doody, senior editor at Pivotal Ventures, the executive office of Melinda Gates


Clare Doody is pictured. | Courtesy photo

Courtesy of Clare Doody

10/09/2018 05:19 AM EDT

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How/where are you celebrating your birthday and with whom? “Over queso in Georgetown — but it’s a 31st birthday on a Tuesday, so who cares? The more exciting milestone birthday this week is my best friend Liz Kenigsberg’s. We’re celebrating in Montreal, a place I haven’t been since I was six months old and my breastfeeding mother couldn’t get out of a work trip.”

How did you get your start in your career? “In January 2009, I bought my first ever winter coat (no hat or gloves because Texans don’t know about those) and moved to Washington for my ‘semester abroad.’ Liz and I interned by day and took classes at GWU by night, where one of our homework assignments was to write a campaign announcement speech. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a speechwriter when I grew up.”

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What’s an interesting book/article you’re reading now or finished? And why? “‘Give People Money,’ by Annie Lowrey. It’s about universal basic income — and, more broadly, about creating a more equal and inclusive society. It’s also a thought experiment in what the world would look like if we decided to answer the question ‘Who deserves to live a good life?’ with ‘Everyone.’”

What is a trend going on in the U.S. or abroad that doesn’t get enough attention? “Culottes. Just kidding. … It’s probably too soon to be throwing around the word trend, but there’s interesting work being done around unconditional cash transfers in developing countries. There’s some early evidence that they might be more effective than conventional aid at improving the lives of people living in extreme poverty.”

What’s a fun fact that people in Washington might not know about you? “I bet I’ve seen Lil Wayne in concert more times than you would guess.”

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