In this episode of the Kanawha Valley Hustler podcast, host Joe Justice welcomed Joshua Higginbotham, a dynamic individual who wears multiple hats in the political and social landscape. With an impressive background in the state legislature and a current role as the West Virginia coordinator for the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), Higginbotham shared his experiences and vision for transforming West Virginia into a thriving state.
As the West Virginia coordinator for CIEE, Higginbotham plays a crucial role in facilitating the integration of foreign exchange students into the state. He discussed how CIEE coordinates the placement of students from around 180 countries and helps them find host families and suitable schools. Higginbotham acknowledged the incredible support from parents, educators, and religious groups who contribute to this noble cause.
Higginbotham’s passion for transforming West Virginia extends beyond his direct involvement in politics. As a registered lobbyist and political consultant, he works with candidates and elected officials who share his vision for a better future for the state. Higginbotham believes that a strong economy, robust infrastructure, and quality education are essential for retaining young talent in West Virginia.
Given the polarized nature of politics and the impact of social media, Higginbotham shared his approach to dealing with hot-button topics. He follows the 10-80-10 rule, acknowledging that 10% of people will support him unconditionally, while another 10% will oppose him regardless of his actions. It is the 80% in between that he focuses on, emphasizing the importance of delivering high-quality work and maintaining a positive reputation among constituents.
Joshua Higginbotham’s dedication to West Virginia’s transformation is evident in his multifaceted roles as a politician, CIEE coordinator, lobbyist, and political consultant. He recognizes the challenges faced by the state, particularly in retaining young talent and building a prosperous future. By advocating for improved networks, fostering international education exchange, and working with like-minded individuals, Higginbotham strives to create positive change. His pragmatic approach to addressing controversial topics and his focus on delivering results for the 80% who care about progress demonstrate his commitment to the betterment of West Virginia. With leaders like Higginbotham, there is hope for a brighter future for the state and its people.