Share Your Story: More About Al Fitzpayne

Al Fitzpayne ’89, Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, U.S. Department of the Treasury

On what he’s most proud of:
“There was a small bill I worked on that no one paid much attention to, but if it wasn’t for me it probably wouldn’t have passed into law. It was a common-sense idea from a tax professor at Rutgers—help people understand their stock holdings so they can fill out their tax returns more accurately. It had the potential to decrease our deficit, but no one would champion it. Eventually it even won a lot of Republican support . . . My experience at Beaver helped give me the ability to work well with a lot of different people — and everything I have done professionally has depended on that ability.”

On his work:
Everything I have done in my jobs in the Senate, House, and Treasury Department has depended on my ability to work well with other people. You’re not just a scientist working in a garage coming up with a new innovation. Everything depends on your ability to work well as a team, and be able to persuade those who may not be inclined to agree with you. A lot of times in my educational experience I was working with lots of different people. Those types of experiences are powerful when you find yourself in a job — your ability to be successful is dependent on your ability to work well with other people.”  

On Beaver: 
“Beaver encourages the creativity and individuality of students. To me, that’s a defining characteristic of what a school should try to do.”

“One of my absolute favorite things about Beaver are the people I met there. It’s an interesting group of people I’ve stayed friends with to this day. They gone off and done very interesting things.”

Advice to Beaver students:
Skills young people need, include:

  • Ability to solve complex problems
  • Ability to have the confidence to say “Here’s a different problem. Here are a couple different ways you could solve it”
  • Interpersonal skills to work with people to address challenging issues
  • Ability to write clearly and effectively
  • Analytical thinking
  • Being open-minded. Understanding different people’s opinions. Not being dogmatic in what you believe

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