Ehren Oates

Director, Polling / Endlessly Curious

Hailing from the great state of Alabama, Ehren Oates brings over a decade of experience on and off the campaign trail. Prior to joining Cygnal as Polling Director, he spent six years at a preeminent advertising agency, where he crafted persuasive and compelling messages across mediums from direct mail to radio, digital ads, and everything in between. His experience in advertising, fundraising, and consulting developed the pragmatic eye he leverages in his work for our clients today. His time in the trenches of various campaigns and in the kitchen of his hometown seafood restaurant in Alabama made him into the man he is proud to have become. Most notably, teaching him the dedicated work ethic he brings each day to our clients’ priorities and providing an invaluable understanding of how to effectively communicate outside of the D.C. bubble. Outside of the office, Ehren can often be found neck-deep in reading, researching, and learning about new, obscure topics — or attempting (and failing) to tire out his German Shepherd outdoors. Come college football season, though, Ehren is laser focused on watching the Crimson Tide’s path to their next national championship. 

What was your first job?
At the ripe age of sixteen, I had the prestigious job title of dishwasher at a local restaurant. I’ve been fascinated with food ever since, and I take a lot of inspiration from top notch chefs and their desire to make everything perfect – how you do one thing is how you do everything.

Who is someone you admire?
Shane Parrish who writes Farnham Street and hosts the Knowledge Project podcast. He’s endlessly curious, and I’ve learned a great deal about listening and asking insightful questions from reading and listening to him.

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be…
Telekinesis. My mom may or may not have found me asleep on the couch surrounded by articles on how to bend a spoon with your mind after watching the first Matrix movie.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…
“Don’t try to put rational on crazy.” It’s in the vernacular, so definitely not profound at all. This piece of advice has saved me more time and headaches than I can count. Heed it.

What motivated you to select this career path?
Do people select politics as a career path? Who are you people?