Roundtable Emerging Leaders Q&A
As part of a series of Q&As spotlighting a member of the Emerging Leaders, Emmett Walsh — Internal Sales Consultant at Salient Partners and membership chair for the RYP advisory committee — talked about why he joined a young professionals group at the Baker Institute:
What drew you to the Baker Institute and the Emerging Leaders?
I recently graduated from the Jones School and wanted to stay involved. I had taken an energy economics class taught by Kenneth Medlock, a fellow and senior director at the Center for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute. I also took Bill Arnold’s “Geopolitics of Energy” course at the Jones School and realized I wanted to stay as informed as possible about developments in energy both domestically and globally going forward. The Baker Institute Roundtable Young Professionals is the best way for me to achieve that goal.
How does your Emerging Leader membership benefit your job or career?
It benefits me tremendously. I sell master limited partnership (MLP) investments, so getting to see Medlock speak about the current market allows me to be ahead of the curve. Reading his testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business from June 17, 2015, helped me articulate the different forces at play regarding the future of American energy to clients during a tumultuous market. I consider Baker Institute events continuing education for my career.
What has been your favorite program or event at the Baker Institute?
“The Vietnam War: 50 Years On.” It was our latest event, and it seems every “last event” we have or that I attend is my favorite. The Vietnam event was so memorable because of the caliber of writers on the panel — Tim O’Brien, Philip Caputo, Larry Heinemann and Tobias Wolff. Those four combine for a Pulitzer Prize, two National Book Awards and a National Medal of Arts — and a whole lot more! To have them all in the same room was truly incredible and a testament to the hard work Mike Freedman has done as the leader of the Roundtable Young Professionals.
What do you feel is the number one policy issue of our time in the U.S.?
Economic inequality. The rich getting richer and the poor staying poor. It’s never beneficial to have such a huge income inequality gap. It creates different political incentives and career politicians.
What makes Houston such a great place for young professionals?
The people are fantastic. There’s an air of optimism in Houston that doesn’t exist anywhere else I’ve lived.