Joshua S. Lamel
Chief Executive Officer
Josh is a seasoned communications, campaign, and policy professional with two decades of experience. He is a co-founder and CEO of InSight, running the firm’s day-to-day operations and meeting the advocacy needs of his clients.
Executive Director, Re:Create
Founder, Patent Progess
Biden-Harris Campaign Policy Team
Obama-Biden Campaign Policy Team
Juris Doctor, University of Michigan Law School
Bachelor of Arts, Colgate University
1. What spurred your move to D.C. to work in public policy?
I was a big-firm litigator in New York City and not happy. I was trying to think of things I could do with a law degree that would make me happy, and my father suggested becoming a policy adviser to an elected official. My first thought was, “Wait — I can turn my hobby into a career?” And with that, I made the decision to do it. And I have been making a living on a hobby ever since.
2. What has been your proudest moment in your career?
Definitely starting InSight. I took a big risk in doing this, trying to do something different: creating a policy-first firm that focuses on what’s in the public interest. Some people thought I was crazy, that this was not a business model that would work. It did.
3. What is your desert island five-song playlist?
Thunder Road (Bruce Springsteen), Sympathy for the Devil (The Rolling Stones), Creep (Radiohead), It Takes Two (Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock), and The Promise (When in Rome).
4. Favorite book?
This is tough. Here are five I love that have most influenced me: Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez, Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. The worst book is definitely Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
5. Favorite movie?
Godfather I and II as “one” movie. It’s not even close, and yes, I know it’s a cliche choice.
6. Five people everyone should follow on Twitter?
Besides InSight team members and me? That would be:
7. If you were not working in advocacy, what would you be?
A journalist or college professor.
8. What is your least favorite thing about your job?
The demonization and mistreatment of lobbyists as a whole. Some of us fight for good causes and take on what are often the more wealthy interests and their armies. The focus on lobbyists is an unnecessary distraction from the real issue going on — namely money in politics and the win-at-all-costs mentality that has permeated Washington.
9. You get one constitutional amendment. What do you do?
Fix our democracy to make a more perfect union. It would be a big one: national popular vote for president, fixing redistricting, changing the Senate makeup to better represent high-population states, repealing Citizens United, and public funding of all elections.
10. Coffee, tea, or neither?
I am a tea nut. I have a collection of literally over 20 loose-leaf teas and drink at least three cups a day.
11. Sparkling or still?
12. What is your favorite hobby when you are away from the office?
I am a huge sports nut, so Spurs soccer, Mets baseball, and Wolverine football/basketball top my list. I also coach baseball and soccer. Coaching youth sports is just wonderful, especially when you see it “click” for a kid.
13. What is the one piece of advice you have for people who want to work in advocacy?
Stay true to yourself. Continue to work on and fight for what you believe in, popular or unpopular, and you will be fulfilled by your work.