Carli Dimino, Policy Director, The LIBRE Initiative
Cato Intern Class Spring 2013
How did you learn about the Cato Institute? What made you want to be an intern?
I first really noticed the Cato Institute’s work after stumbling onto the Daily Podcasts as a Political Science major at Boston College, interested (initially) in supplementing the core curriculum. I continued tuning in, however, not only to augment the coursework but also to understand philosophies that my professors seemed to have been leaving out or glossing over. By graduation I was hooked. I wanted to work for the same organization that had so profoundly influenced my own views, which lead me to apply for the internship.
Full disclosure: I have yet to tell my father this version of how I learned about Cato – he is a big liberty fan and has admittedly been receiving Cato mail for years, and still takes full credit for encouraging me to read all of Cato’s marketing mail and carry around a pocket constitution. Which I still do.
How did the internship affect the way you think about public policy and/or political philosophy?
The assigned readings during the internship gave me a much deeper understanding of classical liberal and libertarian thought; over the past three years, I have been able to draw upon this foundation and apply it towards my current work.
What kind of work are you doing now?
I am currently the Policy Director for The LIBRE Initiative, a grassroots advocacy and educational organization that primarily focuses on educating the U.S. Hispanic community on the benefits of free markets and limited government. Each day, I get to work with a talented group of policy analysts and help guide the policy content for the organization.
What advice can you offer to fellow alumni who want to secure a job like yours?
First, equip yourself with broad-based knowledge of policy in general. Then, find the unique, niche policy area that interests you and become as well-versed as you possibly can. That was sort of my path, which allowed me to seek my current position of mostly managing the team that creates our content.
What’s a change—a policy perspective, a philosophical point, a messaging strategy, anything—that you would like to see in the libertarian community?
Hard to say! I think one of the most interesting aspects of the libertarian community is that there really is a diverse set of viewpoints, rigorous debate, and a variety of messaging strategies already -- especially when compared to other ideologies. Of course, if there is one change and I could snap my fingers, I'd like the libertarian community to grow substantially.
What makes you feel most optimistic about the future of liberty?
That the number of open roles in advocacy-type groups on our side is growing. It tells you there is a need and desire to hear our core message, and that gives me peace of mind.