President George W. Bush recently nominated GW alumnus Jeffrey Grieco to serve as the assistant administrator of legislative and public affairs for the United States Agency for International Development.
Grieco is now at the helm of the United States’ independent federal agency that provides economic assistance to countries around the world. The 47-year old graduated GW with a degree in international affairs.
“I essentially manage the legislative relationship between USAID and Congress,” he said.
A typical day for Grieco can involve writing guidelines for the agency’s press secretary, attending hearings on Capitol Hill and participating in conference calls regarding current international issues.
Grieco has been working for USAID since March 2002. Prior to his current post, he worked as the senior assistant administrator for public affairs and communication, as well as the acting assistant administrator for legislative and public affairs.
While an undergrad at GW, Grieco said that the decision to study international affairs was an easy one.
“I’d always been fascinated by the news,” Grieco said. “What was going on in the world, international affairs, that was always important to me.”
Grieco made the most of his time at GW. He spent his sophomore year abroad in Paris, where he took international affairs and intensive French language courses. Although he could not recall being in any clubs or student organizations, he said he wrote “a few” columns for The Hatchet.
He graduated in 1982 with special honors for his dissertation on the U.S. decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
Fresh out of GW, Grieco was hired as an assistant to the Korean Ambassador.
“I helped him write speeches for two years,” Grieco said. “I wanted a couple of years of experience before going to grad school.”
Grieco stressed GW’s location as one of its best benefits for students studying international affairs.
“Washington is the perfect place to gain experience,” he said. “There are a host of opportunities to work in international affairs and foreign policy.”
Grieco also had some advice for current, job-seeking students:
“The institutions in Washington – embassies, the World Bank, the IMF – are much more focused on the community now. They really want to recruit people and help them develop their skills.”
When not discussing economic developments in Afghanistan or reporting to appropriators on the Hill, Grieco – a Buffalo, N.Y., native – is a proud father of four who “watches a lot of sports.”