• Faces of the Campaign—Anthea Watson

    Name: Anthea Watson
    Campaign role: Product Manager, Technology Department
    Hometown: Tallahassee, FL
    Organizing in: Chicago, IL

    Q1. What do you do for the campaign?

    I wake up and answer email while I eat breakfast.Then it’s off to the office for a round of meetings. My first meeting is always with the engineers who are building the new digital tools I’m working on. I have experience working in field organizing, digital strategy, and fundraising. Part of my job is to represent the perspective of the people who will be using our products. This involves lots of talking through projects, goals, and obstacles with people throughout the campaign organization. After a day full of meetings, at 6:30 or so, I sit down to write up documentation and memos. I try to leave work by 9:30 so I can eat dinner with my husband.

    Q2. How did you first come to the campaign?

    I started as a volunteer in 2007, and when the campaign started hiring field organizers in my home state, I jumped at the opportunity to become full-time staff. I organized in Wisconsin, Texas, Mississippi, and Indiana in 2008. After the campaign, I worked at the New Organizing Institute to standardize the digital delivery of polling place information. I always knew 2012 was going to be an important race. With the stakes so high, when the CIIO, Michael Slaby, called to offer me a position on the technology team, I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to work for President Obama again.

    Q3. What’s your favorite part of your role?

    I love the people who work with me on the campaign.The engineers, front-end programmers, and design team are a talented, creative group who are phenomenally fun. The technology they can create now that wasn’t even possible in 2008 really blows my mind. Think about it—in 2008, the iPhone had just come out! The campaign is doing amazing things to ensure we treat our supporters as whole people and can create community and quality conversations with and among voters.

    Q4. What’s the most unexpected part of your role?

    I’m surprised at how much of my job involves digging into our data systems. When we’re successful, users don’t notice when they pass from one program to another. To do that, we have to integrate many different databases as seamlessly as possible. I spend a lot of time digging through tables and tracking data as it flows throughout the campaign.

    Q5. Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

    I got married in December of 2010, and many volunteers from the 2008 campaign came to my wedding in Florida. We played the unofficial 2008 field anthem, “Signed Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder, and everyone danced. It was a mini campaign reunion.

    Faces of the Campaign