Nicole Tardif WeLead Class of 2017

WeLead alumna Nicole Tardif headshot

Nicole Tardif
President, Sisu Public Affairs

What was the most valuable thing you learned from WeLead?
By far my most important takeaway from WeLead was to lean into what you enjoy and are best at without feeling the need to justify it to anyone other than yourself. While the path in Washington can often seem predetermined, don’t be afraid to buck the system and make your own path!

What was your favorite part of the program?
Getting to know and learning from so many incredible women across the political spectrum was an experience that I won’t soon forget. In a town that is so polarized, particularly now, it is a fond memory to think back to WeLead and its ability to bring women together to support and further our careers—not based on a political party, but on the common goal of furthering women across our field.

What advice would you give to the current WeLead class?
Ask questions, get to know the panelists, and absorb as much as possible. In a field where we are often expected to always have the right answer, sitting back and listening to truly insightful participants share some of their incredibly topical knowledge and war stories is an exceptionally beneficial experience.

How did you secure your current position, and did it include any WeLead networking or alumnae?
While I was not directly connected to my role through WeLead, I do credit my experience in the program for my career trajectory. During my time in WeLead, I made a dramatic career shift—from Capitol Hill to Campaign Communications—that led me down the path to my current role. I would have never taken that leap without the advice of panelists and fellow participants in the program.

Any other thoughts on your WeLead experience?
Invest your full attention and energy into the program while you're there. You'll have plenty of time to check your phone afterwards and you never know what you'll miss in the process.

Tardif recently launched her own business, Sisu Public Affairs. She previously worked for the Virginia Republican Party and in the offices of Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8) and Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10), before transitioning into a communications position at the Republican National Committee, rising to Deputy Press Secretary. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Political Science, Business Administration and Management from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA.