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July 25, 2016 40 Under Forty 2016

DeVaughn Ward

DeVaughn Ward DeVaughn Ward
DeVaughn Ward is seen greeting kids on the first day of school at Martin Luther King Elementary School in Hartford.
DeVaughn Ward along the Connecticut River waterfront.

Age: 31

Company: City of Hartford

Title: Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

Town where I live: Hartford

Town where I work: Hartford

College: Howard University, University of Connecticut School of Law

Q&A:

What do you do and what are your goals in your current job? I serve as the chief lobbyist for the city at the state capitol, the mayor's liaison to city council and the point of contact for state agencies and our federal legislative delegation. The primary goal of my job is to build consensus and support for the mayor's legislative and policy initiatives.

What are your goals for your community involvement? My goals for community involvement are to help build strong, healthy, economically vibrant communities in Hartford through the use of my advocacy and legal skills. I believe the neighborhoods throughout Hartford have tremendous unrealized potential that need to be harnessed and marketed to the region and the country.

What's your biggest passion? Politics is a passion of mine because it impacts everything from government to business to sports. Power, relationships and why and how people make decisions have always been something that intrigued me and made me want to learn more.

What are your future aspirations? My future aspirations are to continue using my legal and advocacy skills to help Greater Hartford and impact social change. I really enjoy problem solving and working on policy, but I also love practicing law so something that is a hybrid of the two would be my future career goal.

If you had one wish to brighten Hartford's economic future what would it be, and why? My wish would be that the Greater Hartford area embrace a more regionalized approach to governing. For a long time in Connecticut we have talked about regionalism. Unfortunately, those conversations haven't yielded real policy changes. The result has been economic decline.

Around the country the economies that are growing are places like Charlotte, Atlanta and Louisville, where the region has taken a collaborative approach to governing. If Hartford regionalized marketing and municipal services, the economic future for the Capital City would be very bright.

List four reasons why you deserve to be a 40 Under Forty:

  1. Started and managed my own law practice for three years.
  2. Was the youngest chairmen of the Bloomfield Housing Authority at 28.
  3. Helped Hartford achieve 95 percent reimbursement on the Weaver School construction project (typical reimbursement is 85 percent).
  4. Helped Hartford win passage of the admissions tax for the baseball stadium.

Time Tested:

What personal possession in your life has withstood the test of time? My Yankees cap. I became a fan at a young age and have been wearing them forever.

What hobby did you develop at a young age that you still enjoy today? I really enjoy listening to music and going to concerts. Music is the universal language and it really has the ability to unite cross all boundaries. I played trumpet for a number of years.

Twenty years ago, what did you envision as your future profession? When I was a kid I wanted to be a music producer and executive.

Who do you consider your mentor? John Motley, Owner of Motley Consulting

See the complete list of Forty Under 40 Winners for 2016! 

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