- Hometown: Richmond, Va.
- Role: Executive director, Virginia Joint Commission on Health Care. Lunardi also serves as staff chair for NCSL’s Health and Human Services Standing Committee.
- Years of legislative service: Eight
One thing he loves about his state: “The variety of outdoor activities. We can drive an hour and a half in either direction from Richmond and hike in the mountains or be at the beach!”
Why did you choose to work at the legislature?
I wanted to work directly with policymakers and support their decisions with objective research. I get to do this in my role at Virginia’s Joint Commission on Health Care, where our job is to provide rigorous analysis on options to solve complex policy issues and the implications of those solutions.
What skill or talent are you most proud of?
Problem-solving skills. The policy issues we’re asked to research are always changing, so the ability to learn and understand a new topic, and then develop potential solutions to the problem, is critical.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
No matter what you want to do in your career, the best way to get there is to be really good at your current job.
Who or what inspires you?
My wife and kids. My wife is currently staying at home with our five young children, and watching her successfully manage all of that every day puts any challenge I’m having at work into perspective. As for my kids, I want them to know that regardless of what anyone may say or think about government and politics, there are dedicated elected officials and staff working really hard to make good decisions that improve people’s lives.
What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?
“Yellowstone.” It’s like “The Godfather” set in the modern West, and everyone needs to unplug and just be entertained from time to time.
What are some of the priorities of your NCSL Standing Committee?
Helping legislators and staff—including myself—understand extremely complex programs, and identifying areas where additional federal flexibility could really help states improve how they implement programs.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. To suggest a staffer for this series, please use the email icon above to contact Holly South.