Government Bytes


Profiles in Liberty: Jihun Han

by Dan Barrett / /

National Taxpayers Union Foundation’s communications department is always writing. Under the direction of Executive Vice President Pete Sepp and Communications Manager Doug Kellogg, the two communications interns are hard at work producing the media pieces you see on Government Bytes and in national news sources. Our goal is to introduce interns to the media relations field by having them research government programs, identify and connect with reporters and bloggers across the country, and help staff develop better ways to communicate with taxpayers.

NTUF Communications Intern Jihun Han

Jihun Han is one of NTUF’s communications interns and hails from Portland, Oregon. As a junior at Syracuse University, he is double-majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science. Jihun has been interested in politics from a young age, but running for President of his high school’s Student Government Association renewed his interest in elections and campaigns, and he has since volunteered for several political campaigns in Oregon. Jihun enjoys learning Mixed Martial Arts and has competed as an amateur -- he is currently undefeated!

How did you become interested in politics?

JH: My dad was a big influence because he is a small business owner who achieved the American Dream. He came to America during the 1980s and started a local chain of grocery stores. In 1st grade, we had to do a show-and-tell presentation on anything we liked, and while most kids did their presentations on summer trips or their favorite toys, my dad encouraged me to do my presentation on George W. Bush, and his presidency to that point. I knew then that politics was going to be something I would study for years to come.

What are your career aspirations?

JH: I want to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. While I’d like to focus my career on sports, I also want to get involved in political commentary. I want to be the conservative Keith Olbermann.

What have you enjoyed most about living in the DC area?

JH: I’ve mostly enjoyed the atmosphere here in Washington, D.C. It’s exciting to work in our nation’s capital! 

Do you have any personal heroes?

JH: I admire Muhammad Ali. Not only is he considered one of the greatest athletes in history, he was also one of the first athletes to express his political views publically. He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and was honest with the media, qualities I admire a lot in anyone.

What have you been working on at NTUF?

JH: I have been working on the Late Edition blog posts, which provide taxpayers with the latest news related to where their money is going. Each day I research different policies, from around the country and around the world, which will have an impact on spending and tax revenues. I then pool this information into a convenient list for taxpayers which is published Mondays through Thursdays.

What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?

JH: I enjoy seeing friends, but my time here in Washington, D.C. is mostly dedicated to learning all that I can from this summer and advancing liberty in my own way. I like spending time at conferences and reading up on current events. 

Why did you choose to work at NTUF?

JH: I chose to work at NTUF because taxes affect everyone; these are issues that affect our daily lives. I wanted to work in communications this summer, because I felt that this field would best prepare me for the future I hope to have in broadcast journalism. By working at NTUF, I hope to gain insight into how non-profit organizations interact with various media outlets. At school, I interviewed many different organizations for articles and broadcast wraps, so it’s been interesting (and informative!) to see media from the other side of the equation.

What has been the most interesting thing you’ve researched while at NTUF?

JH: I’ve been interested in the Yoga Tax Bill; it’s more complex than most people realize. While it does add a sales tax on fitness centers, it also includes a tax cut for middle income earners. So, it has become a very polarized issue. One side doesn’t like the bill because it’s adding a sales tax on something which is perceived as generally beneficial, and the other side doesn’t like the fact that it’s adding another tax, but they appreciate that the bill is cutting taxes for that middle income group of taxpayers.  

What advice do you have for future interns?

JH: Embrace failure. There will be times when you’re struggling with something, or it just doesn’t turn out at all how you had hoped. It’s important to recognize failures and learn from the mistakes you’ve made. Overcoming failure can make you a stronger and better person than before. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for advice about better ways to do whatever you’re working on. People are generally willing to help you if you’re struggling with something new!

Stay tuned to Government Bytes for an interview with Ian Johnson. Be sure to check out our previous interview with Research Intern Steve Adams.

Interested in learning about the other interns at the Foundation this summer? Want to find out what you can do to help the NTUF interns? Check out this post.

Thanks to Catherine Fitzhugh for developing the Profiles in Liberty series and interviewing our interns.