After graduating in 2013, David Lopez celebrated his birthday by walking into the White House for his first day of work.
“To have worked in the White House as my first job out of college, not a day goes by that I don’t think about how fortunate I am and how lucky I am to be given that opportunity,” said Lopez, a political science alumnus. “If I could do it all over again I would in a heartbeat, and I wouldn’t take a single second of it for granted.”
Since the end of former President Barack Obama’s administration, Lopez, who formerly worked in the Office of Management and Administration and the Office of the Chief of Staff, moved to work as a senior strategist on the global elections integrity team at Google.
He celebrated his one-year anniversary at Google on Oct. 15 and was honored as one of this year’s Temple Office of Alumni Relations’ “30 Under 30” recipients.
Lopez is incredibly grateful for the award, he said.
“To read about all of the great things all my fellow Owls are doing and have been doing since they graduated, and in such a short period of time, its pretty incredible,” he added.
At Google, Lopez prevents people from using political platforms to spread misinformation.
“As we know it’s particularly important heading into 2020 in the United States,” he said.
He was drawn to Google because he was curious to see what positive impact a person can make in the private sector, Lopez said.
“I know that we … are moving in the direction where people question the actions and work within the tech industry,” he added. “It’s particularly important right now given the environment we’re in to have an understanding of how the tech industry work and what their focus is and what drives them.”
Ileana Ovalle works with Lopez on Google’s global trust and safety team. One of Lopez’s assets is his ability to assess situations and find ways to get work done efficiently, she said.
“He is able to understand an issue from a micro level and then also from a macro level, meaning he is able to strategically look at something, put all the pieces together and all the people together,” Ovalle said. “That’s really important when you’re working at Google because it’s such a large entity with a lot of different players.”
Google is much more than just a search engine, Lopez said. He has seen energy and creativity at the company, he said.
“People are focused on so many different things to kind of really foster or bring in new levels of creativity across the industry, and it’s pretty amazing to be surrounded by people like that,” he added.
Chris Carey, the associate dean of students, was the advisor to Temple Student Government during Lopez’s senior year, when he served as student body president. From the first time the two met, Lopez impressed him, Carey said.
“There are some people that are selected for roles and put into roles and you have a lot of confidence they are going to succeed, and David was one of those individuals,” he added.
While student body president, Lopez worked to increase hours at Tuttleman Counseling Services, registered more than 4,000 students to vote in 2012 elections and launched the “Temple Made” campaign, Carey said.
“To see him connected to leaders of industries is, I think appropriate given his work ethic, his leadership, the way that people enjoy being around him,” he added. “To continue to be impressed by his work has been the norm for him though it’s not the norm for anybody else.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled “Barack.”