Suzanne Struglinski

Press Secretary for Legislative Affairs at Natural Resources Defense Council

Suzanne Struglinski, BJ '00

Degree(s): BJ '00 (News-Editorial)

Whereabouts: United States, Washington D.C.

What do you do?
I connect reporters with the right experts at NRDC to talk about anything from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the latest news out of the White House or Congress to how best to recycle old catalogs and magazines and practically every other environmental topic you can think of.

How did you get your job?
I covered Congress for eight years for three different news outlets before my last newspaper closed its Washington, D.C., bureau in 2008. During my time as a reporter, I covered a lot of environmental issues, particularly nuclear waste policy while working as the Washington Correspondent for the Las Vegas Sun and then for the Deseret News. In August 2009, I got a call completely out of the blue from my current boss at NRDC. The organization was looking for someone with daily reporting experience as well as some knowledge about environmental policy. A few people suggested he track me down to fill this press secretary job. At the time I was editing a trade association monthly magazine and reporting positions were scarce. I knew this position would be a big change from me. After a long talk with my boss, also a former newspaper reporter, I knew it would be a good decision. Some of my NRDC coworkers served as sources during my reporting days, so I was very familiar with the organization.

Best professional lesson learned at J-School?
You are never really finished asking questions.

What advice to you have for current students?
Learning how to use latest technology is important but the most basic reporting and writing skills are incredibly valuable, too.

What is your favorite J-School memory?
My semester in the Washington Reporting program working with Wes Pippert was a life-changing experience. I remember interviewing Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., walking down the hall and scribbling notes at the same time before he got into a Senators-only elevator. I knew from that first interview that I wanted to cover Congress or at least continue working in Washington.

What are some examples of work you do?
I have worked with reporters who are covering the nuclear accidents in Japan after the tsunami, as well as those following the congressional budget battles and a slew of legislation affecting the Clean Air Act and the Environmental Protection Agency.

What do you consider to be your greatest professional achievement?
Covering Mitt Romney during the 2008 presidential campaign.

What makes you good at your job?
I know what reporters want and that they need it now. I understand how deadlines work, what questions reporters will have and the information that they will need.

What is one thing you wished you had done?
Studied abroad or at least lived in another country.

Updated: November 11, 2011