my name is Dominic Gatti

I am an actively engaged student earning my Master’s of Public Administration with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government (CLEG), both from the School of Public Affairs at American University.

Formative Leadership Experience: We Stay Late

One of my defining moments of a leader at America University occurred in the Fall of 2018 when I served as the Chair of the Finance Committee for the American University Residence Hall Association (RHA). Having served on the committee the year before, I knew that the work was a core pillar of what made RHA an effective organization serving on-campus students.

The majority of the committee had turned over from the previous year and some rambunctious new delegates and joined the committee. The committee was scheduled to meet after the general assembly session, which usually was not a problem. One general assembly session ran partially long, ending around 10:30 pm and members were tired and itching to go home. But there was work to be done. As the rest of the Chairs excused their committees to meet next week, I stood by our meeting time, however long it took.

Facing pushback I told the committee that “Each of you chose to serve on the most important committee in this body, and there are outstanding requests that we as an organization committed to reviewing.  I understand it has been a long evening, but our work is not done. We will stay until we have finished these requests, and I expect full participation and thorough review of each and every request.”

I have carried this same attitude to every team I am a part of and every executive board that I have served on. I believe that it is of paramount importance to meet and complete the work a team is expected to do. There are of course situations where deadlines are not pressing and preserving the morale of the team for working productively another day is more important than staying all night. But in most situations I am of the belief that meetings must occur, work must be done, and respect and commitment to responsibility must be maintained.

What Drives Me Forward

Currently, my primary goal is to enter public service and apply the skills I gained in my undergraduate education and the lessons I am currently learning in my Master’s program to promote the greater good and operate an effective and efficient government.

Outside of my academic schedule, I am learning ballroom dance, playing beach volleyball with my friends, and enjoy listening to NPR. I played lacrosse for nine years and ice hockey for twelve, though I am not currently playing in college, I miss being on the field and the ice. I also officiate lacrosse, from youth through the high school varsity level, and bartend at the Captial Grille. I bring the same passion I have for my studies to my recreational activities, making the most of the time I have.

I am passionate about energy policy, bipartisanship, the improvement of self and institutions. Looking toward my future, my belief that institutions, systems, and myself can constantly be improved inspires me to get up and keep moving forward. I choose to always be active, keeping my schedule full of class, club meetings, and work. I have found that I feel most alive when I have days filled to the brim. Once I am invested in a project or group I make certain that I put my utmost effort and care into the work I do for the project/group and the community surrounding whatever I am a part of. I believe that my confidence and dedication are an asset to the things I am a part of.

I feel as George Bernard Shaw wrote:

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”