Chief of Staff and Director of Communications
DJ Nordquist is chief of staff and director of communications in the Economic Studies program. She came to Brookings in 2008, having served as assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (delegated authority). Prior to joining HUD, she served as senior advisor in the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding—the office charged with overseeing the long-term rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina. She was also deputy chief of staff and director of the Office of Public Affairs at the FDIC and served as deputy assistant secretary and acting director of the Office of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education.
Prior to joining the government, Nordquist was director of communications for the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology; vice president of the Employment Policy Foundation; and director of communications of the Cato Institute. Before entering the policy arena, Nordquist worked at Burson-Marsteller in their Bangkok, Paris, Stockholm and Washington, D.C. offices. She started her career on Capitol Hill, first as deputy press secretary for Sen. Alphonse D'Amato (NY), then as press secretary to Rep. Bill Thomas (CA) and the House Administration Committee (minority staff). She is a graduate of Stanford University and holds a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.