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Perfect Pitch: Niki Christoff

Founder, Political Strategy Consultant, Oboist



Current City: Washington D.C.

Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: CEO of Christoff & Co., a boutique consultancy that advises clients on public policy, political strategy, messaging, and media relations. Specialties include emerging tech, crisis response, and all things D.C. | Host of Tech’ed Up, a podcast that features zippy interviews with high-profile guests across tech, politics, and journalism. | President, Emerging Tech Alliance.

Notable Prior Jobs: Litigator, pollster, campaign aide to Senator John McCain | Senior exec at Salesforce, Uber, Google.

When I Started Performing: I began playing and performing the oboe at age 11. In the beginning, my parents insisted that I practice in the garage.

Performing Arts Background: I played the oboe through middle school and high school, ultimately auditioning for and being offered a musical performance scholarship for college. I declined because, at eighteen, I wasn’t prepared to commit to a career trying to gain one of the few oboe seats in a professional orchestra. I wanted more optionality.

How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? My dad is a high school orchestra director. When it was time for me to choose an instrument, I asked him which he thought would be the most difficult to master. I always prefer to do the most challenging thing, which doesn’t necessarily come from a healthy place; it’s a deep-seated need to prove to myself that I can. Musical performance meant taking on a difficult challenge, working to the point of proficiency, and, ultimately, finding joy in play and performance - a pattern I have replicated in my professional career.


As the founder of my own company and entrepreneur growing a business, I’ve had to call upon skills I learned playing in an orchestra and as a soloist. Even more than when I worked as an exec at big companies, I’ve called upon that “musical muscle memory” since striking out on my own. From fostering teamwork, to mustering courage, and hitting marks during command performances as close to perfect as I can. It also means screwing up (sometimes publicly - hello breaking a double reed in the middle of a performance), fixing it fast, and moving forward.

Favorite Performer: Lindsey Stirling.


Follow this Performer:

Twitter - @nikichristoff



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