Hampshire Alum in the White House Runs Marathon for Healing and Gun Violence Prevention
In November, Jamie Citron 01F ran the New York City Marathon for his niece Winnie and for all victims and survivors of mass shootings in this country, under the banner of Team Sandy Hook Promise.
In addition to recently being promoted to deputy assistant to the President and principal deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Citron made headlines last year for his inspiring mission: to both help survivors of gun violence heal and to push for protections that could help prevent these tragic occurrences.
His political path took a poignant turn in 2022 when his family personally experienced the unimaginable horror of the Highland Park shooting. Sheltering in a gas station, his parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew survived the event, but the trauma lingered, especially for Citron's young niece, Winnie, who associated running with fear after the shooting.
The marathon holds significance for Citron, who, despite not starting his running journey until his thirties, has found solace, release, and community in the sport. He chose the New York City Marathon as a celebratory symbol, aiming to show his niece the positive and empowering side of running, reclaiming it from the shadows of the traumatic experience.
“I don’t think anyone thinks they will ever be directly impacted by gun violence, but with every shooting it becomes clearer that none of us are safe from this,” Citron told Tanner Garrity in an interview for InsideHook. “We were lucky. They walked away unharmed, but all of them have dealt with and healed from trauma in response. For me it was a profound sense of helplessness, there was nothing I could do and I felt adrift.”
Citron's participation in the marathon was not just personal — it was a rallying cry for change. Running for Team Sandy Hook Promise, a leading U.S. nonprofit in gun violence prevention and policymaking, he amplified the urgent need for societal transformation and took a stand against the pervasive specter of gun violence.
Prior to his current role, Citron was a special assistant to the President in the Office of Presidential Personnel where he oversaw the strategy and operations of the office responsible for the identification and onboarding of 4,000 appointees to serve across the Biden-Harris Administration. Jamie spent thirteen years working for President Obama, most recently as director of development strategy at The Obama Foundation. During the President’s 2012 re-election, Citron served as director of the LGBTQ vote. He holds degrees from Hampshire College and the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.
Photo credit Cameron Smith, Team Inspire