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Staff Snapshots | Drupti Chauhan

  • Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
  • Role: Principal legislative attorney, committee counsel and education team lead in the nonpartisan Legislative Analysis Division of the North Carolina General Assembly
  • Years of legislative service: 22

“I take my job of advising (members) in a nonpartisan manner very seriously, and really work at providing them with a full picture of various legal and policy questions.”

Drupti Chauhan North Carolina

Why did you choose to work at the Legislature?

I had been very interested in public policy and particularly education policy and law as both an undergraduate and law student. After doing internships in those areas while in college and law school, I knew that I really wanted to pursue this type of work. The North Carolina General Assembly was a great place to combine these interests and work in a collaborative environment, particularly as a nonpartisan attorney who gets to work with members from both political parties and both chambers of the Legislature.

What skill or talent are you most proud of?

My greatest strength in my job is my ability to talk to the members and counsel them on education law and policy matters. I take my job of advising them in a nonpartisan manner very seriously, and really work at providing them with a full picture of various legal and policy questions. I feel that I excel in member relations and have strong relationships with members, who place a great deal of trust in my counsel.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

For work: Treat each member with equal respect and do the best you can for all of them, regardless of their position or status. They remember staff who took the time to help them with their issues and that helps in building their trust in you.

For life: Be as kind as you can to everyone you encounter and be in the moment as much as possible. Very few things are truly life or death emergencies so use levity and patience whenever you can to tamp down stressful situations.

Who or what inspires you?

My parents inspire me. They immigrated from India in their early 20s (in the early 1970s) without really knowing anyone in the U.S. or knowing what the future would look like. But they were willing to take the chance to see if they could find better opportunities. My dad is a retired engineer and he was excited about moving to the U.S., where he felt that people could succeed on merit rather than who their families knew or were. My mother created a loving home for my brother and me and helped create a strong community of immigrants from India in Charlotte. They are both still very active and involved in their Hindu temple in Charlotte, which they have been a part of since its beginning in the late 1970s.

What’s one thing you love about your state or territory?

I love so many things about North Carolina! I love the humbleness of its history. It was historically much poorer than Virginia and South Carolina, and I am proud of the grit, resilience and determination that has always been a part of the fabric of this state. We are fortunate to have had many leaders over the years who emphasized education for all of the state’s citizens and took measures to build excellent schools and world-renowned research universities.

It is also a beautiful state with (more or less) four seasons and mountains and a coast! What more can you ask for when it comes to scenery!

What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?

I’m a huge fan of PBS and love Masterpiece—I will watch just about anything they put on. This winter it is “All Creatures Great and Small.”

I’m reading “The Book of Everlasting Things,” by Aanchal Malhotra, which is set during the partition of India in the mid-to-late 1940s.

As for podcasts, I usually listen to “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” every week, and I then I’ll listen to random history podcasts—lately I’ve listened to a lot of “Noble Blood” about royals throughout history.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Use the email icon above to suggest a legislative staffer for the “Staff Snapshots” series.

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