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Staff Feature: Government Affairs Director Josh Nassar

Our National Office staff is a source of great pride for our membership. Their daily dedication and unwavering commitment ensure that our members receive the highest level of service and representation within organized labor. Today, we shine the spotlight on NATCA’s Government Affairs Director Josh Nassar, who has been an integral part of our team since joining the staff in July 2023.

Where are you from, or what places have you lived?
I was born and raised in New York on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I lived in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., while attending Skidmore College (1991-95). After graduating, I moved back to New York. In 2000, I moved to Washington D.C. and have lived in close proximity to the Capitol ever since.

Where did you go to school, or what other education do you have?
I graduated from Friends Seminary High School in Manhattan in 1991. I graduated from Skidmore College in 1995. I went on to earn a Master’s degree in public policy from City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center in 1999.

How did you come to work at NATCA?
From my earliest days in Washington, I took note of NATCA’s strong presence on Capitol Hill and jumped at the opportunity to apply for NATCA’s Government Affairs Director position. Since 1995, I have had the privilege of working for organizations and elected representatives that have values and goals that are aligned with my own. I believe in the golden rule and that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. History has taught us that the right to form a union and collectively bargain is essential for having a functioning democracy and strong middle class.

Do you have family members who are involved in unions?
My family’s participation in the labor movement traces far back. My beloved great-aunt (paternal side) Julia Haddad was a member of ILGWU and my great grandfather (maternal side) Sam Nesnansky was a cap maker and shop steward. Currently I have family members who belong to SAG-AFTRA and teachers’ unions.

What’s the most rewarding part of being a member of NATCA’s staff? What’s the most challenging?
Thus far, my most rewarding part has been working closely with the National Legislative Committee (NLC). Our member activists are effective and inspiring. The most challenging part has been getting up to speed on the intricacies of our priority issues and the many acronyms often utilized by air traffic controllers and subject matter experts. I am grateful for the patience of my colleagues.

Do you have any hobbies or any other activities you enjoy outside of your work for NATCA?
Yes, I love spending time and traveling with my wife, Amy, and our three spirited, kindhearted daughters Naomi (16), Justice (11), and Janis (9), my extended family, and close friends. My hobbies include traveling, playing Basketball, bike riding, working in the yard, kayaking, and exercising in general. I enjoy traveling to new places and seeing live music and stand-up comedy. My favorite, and most consistent, hobby is playing the bass guitar. I have been playing since I was a teenager.

Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?
Yes, the moment when the House passed a last-minute continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government open in late September 2023. Only a few days prior, a shutdown seemed all but inevitable, but we never gave up on urging House Republicans to vote for keeping the government open.

My favorite quotes are:
“Everything has been said but not everyone has said it.” — Morris Udall At a committee hearing. Quoted multiple times by Harry Reid.

“Frequently wrong but never in doubt.” — John Maynard Keynes

My favorite comfort food is: Grape leaves, and sushi (but not together)

My parents always told me: When introducing yourself, look the person in the eyes and shake their hand.

The strangest food I have ever eaten is: Vegemite when traveling in Australia many years ago.

The one thing that always makes me laugh is: The Far Side cartoons

Candy or Chocolate: Candy

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