(This story was first published in the October 24, 2013 edition of the Vermont Standard.)
By Virginia Dean
Ten years ago, Woodstock Union High School senior Scott Coriell’s yearbook blurb included his favorite quote from former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”
Today, Coriell has seemingly fulfilled this vision and is indeed in the ring as the man Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin chose last month to be his special assistant.
“I’m excited to be back in Vermont as part of the governor’s team,” said Coriell in a recent interview. “It’s an incredible opportunity for me both personally and professionally to be back home working on issues that matter to Vermont.”
A Killington native, Coriell has lived and worked in the largely agricultural country of Malawi for a non-governmental organization. He was the Malawi Program Coordinator for World Camp, Inc. from 2008-10. As such, he managed and directed a staff of 40 to execute World Camp’s
HIV/AIDS and environmental outreach programs which reached nearly 10,000 students and teachers in Malawi.
He also coordinated with the Malawi Ministry of Education and other governmental and non-governmental agencies to develop sustainable HIV/ AIDS awareness curricula for at-risk communities in rural Malawi.
Coriell developed and managed a yearly budget of $130,000 for World Camp’s Malawi operations. He researched and proposed new programming and outreach efforts to the World Camp Board of Directos, including a scholarship, a reforestation project, a scholarship program, and a proactive earned media campaign.
Coriell graduated from Middlebury College in 2007. He most recently served as U.S. Representative Peter Welch’s communications director in Washington, D.C., and on President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election in New Hampshire.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunities I have had,” said Coriell. “It really has been an honor to work for Congressman Peter Welch and now Governor Shumlin, both of whom have the best interests of Vermonters as their top priority day in and day out.”
As senior campaign aide and advisor to Congressman Welch, Coriell provided strategic and political counsel on election and communications strategies. He handled media relations, wrote press releases, speeches and talking points, fielding incoming media requests and planning media events.
In the fall of 2012, Coriell jumped on board Obama for America as the Regional Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Director.
As such, he planned, coordinated and implemented the GOTV program for President Obama’s reelection campaign in New Hampshire’s Dartmouth/ Lake Sunapee region. He coordinated and directed logistics for the setup and operation of eleven temporary offices, through which 5,000 volunteers were trained and deployed in the run up to Election Day.
He also planned and executed Election Day, managed five Field Organizers, and helped turn out over 30,000 Democrats on Election Day.
Now, as the Governor’s Special Assistant, Coriell helps to define and implement policy, assisting constituents with needs, and working with lawmakers on the Governor’s policies, according to Deputy Chief of Staff Susan Allen.
“Scott has experience navigating the legislative process from his tenure working for Congressman Welch,” said Allen. “He has a plain-English way of explaining and communicating complex issues like health care reform. He also brings a common-sense Vermont view to our conversations on key priorities like economic development, public safety, energy, education, and prudent spending policies.”
Coriell is taking the position vacant since Susan Bartlett’s move to the Agency of Human Services in January; his salary will be $63,000.
To subscribe to an electronic edition of the Vermont Standard and get your local news every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. click here. – Only $25/year