As a congressional communications staffer, Ziya Smallens helped convince the federal government to deport the last Nazi war criminal living in the United States. In that moment, he learned that words could lead to action. He’s been making his words count ever since.
At West Wing Writers, Ziya has written speeches and op-eds for political figures, civic leaders, and titans of industry. He’s provided strategic counsel to one of the world’s largest tech companies, and crafted communications plans for multimillion-dollar philanthropic endeavors.
Before joining West Wing Writers, he worked in the press shops of US House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, US Senator Sherrod Brown, and Secretary Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Ziya’s words have been spoken on the floor of Congress, delivered from the campaign trail, and printed in publications ranging from Ozy to The New York Times. He has also sharpened the strategic positioning of Fortune 100 companies, worked on behalf of the elderly by advocating for advanced care reform on Capitol Hill, and curated political news coverage for the media outlet Global Grind.
Ziya graduated with High Honors from Oberlin College, where he studied politics and creative writing. While in school, he published a 160-page thesis on labor relations in the gig economy, wrote two full screenplays, and released music with his punk band.
When not at work, Ziya can be found playing bass guitar at a rehearsal space deep in Brooklyn, reading political biographies on the subway, or flying off his skateboard somewhere in lower Manhattan.