Young Professional Profiles

Shannon Hardin

Photo by Ryan M.L. Young

Age: 26

Occupation: external affairs manager for the city of Columbus, Mayor Michael Coleman’s office

Hometown: South Side of Columbus

Education: bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations, Morehouse College

Community and board involvement: vice president, Franklin County Young Democrats; member, IMPACT Community Action and Kids Voting Central Ohio

Neighborhood: South Side of Columbus

Personal: single


What do you value about your work?

There are a lot of things around that everybody sees on any given day that they would want to change or want to help with. Being in the mayor’s office, I have very few barriers to actually working on those things.

If you see a need in the community, there’s no better place to be to help change that need than the mayor’s office. We are thought leaders. We answer the calls every day coming in from folks that have concerns big and small. Being able to help in a real way is really, really a cool thing about working in this office and working in government in general.


What do you like about living in Columbus?

I love a lot of things about Columbus. One, the price of living is low. We’re at the beginning of our careers, but we can still have some sort of a life and a lifestyle here.

People are friendly. I’ve traveled a lot and I don’t know another city, another place that has folks as welcoming as Columbus. It’s the nuances of, you know, you’re crossing the street and somebody will smile and say hello. If you go to other big cities or cities our size, you don’t always get that community decency.

I really love the opportunity to move up in Columbus. I think that we have a professional community that looks to young professionals and values their input. That calls upon them and takes their role seriously.


What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday night?

Truthfully, the best part about being in Columbus is my family’s here, my entire family. … I’m an outdoorsy guy, I like to be around a bonfire with my family hanging out.

What’s your favorite way to spend a Sunday morning?

I’ll be at church.


Would you consider relocating?

I’m very interested in going into political office … but my passion to run is so that I can help my community, and my community is Columbus. I would only want to represent Columbus. I would only want to work for the city of Columbus. That’s where my heart is and my passion to work the long hours and get things done comes from.

I couldn’t see me living anywhere else, especially permanently. I would potentially go to D.C. for a job … but that would just be a stop on the way back home.