Staff Director, Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, Homeland Security Committee, US House of Representatives
“My undergraduate experience as a cadet at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) provided me a strong foundation for my future endeavors. However, I knew that to have a firm edge for my career, I would need to take the next step. My VMI mentor and head of the International Studies Department encouraged me to apply to the Patterson School. It was a life changing decision. The program’s small class sizes allowed me to engage my classmates in invigorating discussions on foreign policy and national security affairs. With major world events like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and increased security preparedness in the post-9/11 world, these discussions and Patterson’s real-world curriculum were an immense preparation for my career ahead.
While at Patterson, I obtained an internship with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) at its field office in Dayton, Ohio. During this internship, I put what I learned at Patterson into practice. Upon graduation, I was offered a position with GAO at its headquarters in Washington, DC. For seven years, I worked on a variety of engaging topics from reviewing defense acquisition programs to aviation security programs. The resulting reports had a major impact to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these programs including numerous congressional hearings and actual cost savings to the taxpayer.
Then, I was offered a GAO detail to the Committee on Homeland Security for the U.S. House of Representatives. The fast pace, high impact environment was exciting. After a year, I was given the opportunity to stay on as a Subcommittee Staff Director. During this Congress, I’ve been the lead staffer for major legislation to reform the Department of Homeland Security that passed the House, prepared Members of Congress for numerous high profile hearings, and held countless oversight meetings with senior Administration officials.
I was ready to face these challenges because of my Patterson School and VMI education.”