Life

Amelie Zilber Goes To the White House

An exclusive look inside the model and influencer's meeting with Pete Buttegieg.

Amelie Zilber just might be Gen Z’s ultimate multi-hyphenate. At 19, she’s a digital creator with 2.6 million Instagram followers. She’s a model, a Unicef ambassador, and a member of the Georgetown University Class of 2024. She’s the founder of Two Minute Times, featuring articles and other breaking updates in a short-form format. And, she’s an activist with her very own Facebook show, Don’t @ Me, which centers around a round-table format where she invites her peers to come discuss hot topics (key episodes have included the topics of pronouns, religion, and toxic relationships).

In November, Zilber was invited to come visit the White House to meet with Pete Buttigieg and interview him on the Infrastructure Bill. Here, Zilber exclusively shares photos and reflections from her time in D.C. with NYLON.

“The main goal of what I have set out to do is to help educate and inspire Gen Z through breaking down current events, both domestically and internationally. When it comes to complex and hard-to-digest political issues, I recognize the need to turn to experts who can use their knowledge to help us all understand these difficult topics better. I’ve previously worked closely with the digital team at the White House on other initiatives so am familiar with potential ideas they might be open to. Presenting my idea to interview Secretary Buttigieg seemed lofty and likely out of reach but the team was thrilled about the opportunity to speak to the Gen Z audience through my platform; needless to say – I was elated beyond words!

As the day approached I was equally as nervous as I was excited. Secretary Buttigieg was so at ease, so optimistic and incredibly passionate about the power of this piece of legislation that it made the experience significantly less nerve-racking. We found ourselves engaging in a captivating conversation about the Infrastructure law, condensing ideas like inflation and climate change into easily understandable bits of information and indulging in a couple selfies to remember the moment by. It was such an honor to speak with him and I’m extremely grateful for his willingness to participate in this conversation with me.”

“Day 1! It’s time to visit the gorgeous White House Christmas Decorations, courtesy of First Lady Jill Biden. The rooms were highly cultivated to appear as exuberant and festive as they were elegant and warm. Truly, such a beautiful presentation!”
“I had the privilege of visiting the President’s Library on the ground floor of the White House. A room filled with a vast array of books with genres ranging from historical non-fiction and autobiographies, to American classics renown worldwide. For a reader like myself, this was definitely my dream library!”
“Day 2, the pressure is on! Today I have the honor of interviewing Secretary Pete Buttigieg on the newly signed-into-law infrastructure legislation. Feeling equally as nervous as I am empowered, I walked up the steps to the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy to set up for my interview.”
“A one woman extraordinaire, I’m setting up for my interview, haphazardly trying to find the right angles and positioning to best avoid the harsh sunlight.”
“Interview is DONE! Secretary Buttigieg is so well-spoken, highly intelligent and quick on his feet. We had an engaging and informative conversation about the Infrastructure law, breaking down challenging notions and points of controversy like rising inflation and how to best reduce carbon emissions. Take 10 minutes out of your day to watch to this interview… It’s live on my IGTV @ameliezilber right now!”
“Dear West Wing, I’ve arrived!”
“Standing next to the White House press tents… who covers the news better, me or them?!”
“After ordering some coffee from the West Wing I had to take this picture of this coffee cup. I mean, come on. How cool!”
“Such a pleasure finally getting to meet Press Secretary Jen Psaki after our virtual interview a few weeks ago. She has such a lighthearted, warm presence about her. It is such a joy seeing how many powerful women work in these offices. The diversity and inclusion is such a breath of fresh air!”
“Last but not least, here I am posing in front of the podium in the White House Briefing room. My girl boss moment to wrap up the empowering day.”