A retired Hill staffer, wine enthusiast, animal lover and junkie for South Africa, Nancy Lifset penned Back to the Wild Life, a humorous memoir of her adventures in southern Africa that helped resuscitate her passion for life after a game-changing detour in her career. With dry wit and wine uncorked, Nancy showcases an acerbic style and an uncanny ability to find inspiration in the random one-off’s that make life a mosaic of coincidences.
Nancy earned her B.A. in journalism at the University of Maryland (1980), and began her 26-year career on Capitol Hill during her senior year of college, cutting her teeth “digging dirt” and doing opposition research for several U.S. Senate campaigns. Later as a staffer in the House and Senate, she handled everything from “guns” to “butter” issues, and got her first taste for the “wild life” in the work hard, play hard world of Washington, D.C.
She retired from Capitol Hill in 2006, mentally battered after the dust settled from her former boss’s fall from DC grace, and returned to work as a lobbyist in the private sector. In 2009 she charted a new course and left behind the workday world and years of professional drama, for the wildlife sanctuaries and wineries of Southern Africa in the summer of 2009, where she began living and writing Back to the Wild Life.
Passionate about wine, Nancy’s “no connoisseur – just the ultimate consumer.” Her guiding principle has always been “keep it simple and straight up” – all except for the glass. A lifelong dog lover, she’s been actively involved with Rhodesian Ridgeback rescue. No less a cause for Nancy is that of wildlife conservation. All of these passions converged in her trip to Africa, and ultimately, were part of her journey back to the wild life.
Raised in Springfield, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia, Nancy is a long-time resident of Capitol Hill where she still lives with her husband Kevin and their dog, KiKi.