BTU 22: Jason Mangone – Marines to a Think Tank to the Department of Veterans Services

“Because we were in Haiti, our wash-down was in Guantanamo Bay, so I actually did my first call interview from a call center in Guantanamo Bay on our way back from Haiti, which led to my first  in person interview the third day I was in New York, which then lead to me starting a month or two later. It was a crazy road and super smooth transition. And part of that was creating my own luck, but a huge part of it was dumb luck too.”
 – Jason Mangone

Jason Mangone works at the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services, where he serves as their Director of Public Private Partnerships and Development. He started out studying Political Science at Boston College and then served as a Platoon Commander in the Marine Corps. After leaving the military he was a Research Associate at the Think Tank, The Council on Foreign Relations for one year, prior to going to Yale for his Master’s in International Relations. After that he joined the Aspen Institute and was their director of The Franklin Project – an initiative to start a national discussion around a year of service for all citizens.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • What it’s like to work in a Think Tank
  • Yale and a Masters in International Relations
  • How General Stanley McChrystal led to Jason’s work at the Aspen Institute
  • Jason’s experience at the Department of Veterans’ Services and what he’s learned
  • And much, much more…

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QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:40 – Jason’s background
  • 3:00 – Jason’s decision to leave the Marine Corps and how he approached that decision
  • 4:19 – How Jason approached the Reserves and his decision not to join the Reserves… and why he may come back
  • 6:44 – The most surprising aspect of Jason’s transition to civilian life
  • 8:50 – An overview of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Think Tanks in general
  • 10:32 – How Jason went about finding his first job and how he ended up at the Council on Foreign Relations
  • 15:38 – Yale and a Masters in International Relations
  • 18:22 – How General Stanley McChrystal led to Jason’s work at the Aspen Institute
  • 20:28 – What day-to-day life is like at the Aspen Institute
  • 21:50 – The difference between leadership outside of the military and inside of the military
  • 24:30 – In what ways Jason felt behind his civilian counterparts, and in what ways he felt ahead
  • 28:50 – Jason’s experience at the Department of Veterans’ Services
  • 34:10 – Advice Jason would want to provide to veterans based on his work in New York
  • 38:45 – Advice on how to find your ideal job
  • 41:50 – Where veterans can find resources to help them in their search for benefits
  • 43:20 – What life is like in the Government Services industry
  • 44:30 – If you’re on active duty, steps you can take right now to prepare for your civilian transition
  • 49:50 – Final words of wisdom for veterans