Photo of Sarah Swig
Policy Advisor, United States Senate
How does public opinion transform into legislative action? This is the question that informs Sarah Swig’s work as Policy Advisor for the United States Senate. Working for her home-state senator enables her to focus on issues that she cares deeply about, namely addressing the climate crisis and advancing environmental justice.
“I have the privilege of working with experts across a variety of fields-from scientists and researchers to state, local, and tribal governments, community members, and beyond –in order to inform the policies we push forward,” explained Swig. “With access to so many people and so much information, it is my job to figure out how to translate it into actionable recommendations for the Senator to help architect equitable policies that benefit our constituents. The work we do and the policies we choose to push forward will make a real difference for Californians.”
Before this role, Swig spent several years working at a nonprofit organization in Washington D.C. that worked to advance equity in K-12 education. As she searched for her calling, she decided to take an entry-level position answering phones for then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. She considers it the best decision she has ever made.
“It was hard for me then because I had to start over, but I realize now that you’re never too old to make a life change and follow your passion,” said Swig.
Public service has been a passion of Swig’s since her years at Tulane. She credits Newcomb and Tulane for reinvigorating her sense of community.
“Newcomb and Tulane reinvigorated my sense of community,” recounted Swig. “I learned to value not just the people and the importance of loving your city, but the importance of giving back to leave your community stronger than you found it. My current work embodies this mindset as I give back to California communities.”
Swig’s connections to Newcomb are deeply personal, as her grandmother, Bea Rault, attended Newcomb College and served as president of the student government. Swig received a grant from Newcomb Institute to present research on Argentinian media law at the 21st Annual Latin American Symposium at Birmingham-Southern College.
“It brings me joy to know that I walked the same halls my grandmother did as a student,” said Swig. “Maybe it is part of where I get my drive to improve the lives of others and give back to my community.”
As she looks to the future, Swig hopes she will always be doing work that brings her joy-and she sees a few Jazz Fest trips ahead of her as well.