Dana W. White is one of those women that you meet and right away want to be friends with. Its not because she’s very pretty and quite successful, but its her relaxed nature, she’s at ease, has nothing to prove and appears to be living her dream.
Every once in a while I like to interview women from far away who have ended up in Paris, those women we all envy, who found a way to live in their favorite city.
Dana seems to have made the big move in the near ideal way. Ever since she was in her mid 20’s, she she wanted to live in the city of light. After a successful career in politics working for John McCain and the Senate armed services committee, she had settled into her life in Washington, DC but never gave up the dream of living in Paris. She didn’t have a particular design in mind as to how she would get there, but she kept her mind open and let others in on her secret. She felt that saying it out loud or “speaking it” was the key to making this vision a reality.
One head hunter who had tried to recruit her unsuccessfully for another job, called her up and mentioned that the Renault-Nissan Alliance was looking for a speechwriter. But the kicker was that the job was in Paris. And yes, Dana’s not-very-good-French would do. Two years later, as the director of Policy and Strategic Communications at the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Dana’s beginning to feel just a little bit Parisian.
What she loves about living in Paris as opposed to DC is that, as she puts it, here she can be “pure Dana”. In Paris, she feels more able to be true to who she really is. Perhaps this is why she recently discovered a talent and interest in joining slam poetry contests. This seems to be common among expats, their newfound ability to take bigger chances, try things beyond their normal confines, to become the person they always wanted to be. This sense of freedom is what Paris can do for some people.