Tom Manatos in the 50 Most Influential People in DC
National Journal selected Tom Manatos as one of the top 50 people who are changing the political game in Washington D.C and whose work has a great impact in the nation’s capital. Tom comes from a family of key people in American politics: his grandfather Mike worked for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson as their liaison to the U.S. Senate and was the first Greek American to hold a position in the White House as Presidential advisor; his father Andy served in the administration of President Carter as Assistant Secretary of Commerce and he is the CEO of the public policy firm Manatos and Manatos.
As Jeff Dufour wrote in the National Journal, drop Tom Manatos’s name around Washington and you’re bound to get a reaction—though it may not have anything to do with internet policy or the music business, despite his nearly four-year stint as one of the top lobbyists for streaming giant Spotify. The reaction likely will be more along the lines of “Tom Manatos got me my job!”
Since 2002, whether employed by Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic National Committee, or the private sector, Manatos has moonlighted as a matchmaker between Hill offices and job-seekers. His miniature version of Monstr.com, called Tom Manatos Jobs, has morphed from what he calls a “gross, unwieldy Hotmail” list aimed at Democrats in its early days to a web-based, bipartisan membership site that’s posted more than 20,000 jobs and internships over the past 12 months—about 400 new listings each week.
While it’s become a side business for Manatos, he says the job board’s primary aim was always to “further the ethos of what this town is all about.”
Yes, that’s a more optimistic view of D.C. than many of his peers may take, but it’s rooted in his career path. “I’m a start-up guy,” he says. And start-ups need help getting staffed. That includes his experience joining Pelosi’s office when she assumed the role of minority whip in 2002, and helping staff the DNC when he began as senior adviser to incoming Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in 2011.
It’s continued since he jumped to the private sector in 2013, joining the nascent Internet Association as it tried to bring members of Congress up to speed on technology issues, and again at Spotify, where he’s one of only two employees working in government relations in Washington. Compare that to Google, which has about 300 employees in its D.C. office. “And this is why I don’t sleep, and end up editing jobs and internships many hours a night,” he joked.