Chad Kreikemeier (honors B.A. 2003, summa cum laude), received the Mario Ross Leadership Award for his outstanding leadership and service contributions during his years at Saint Louis University. During his years at Saint Louis University, Chad was elected to Student Government Executive Board as Administrative Vice President (academic year 2000-2001) and then elected as Financial Vice President for the academic year 2002-2003. After graduating from SLU, Chad earned his M.A. in Security Policy Studies at George Washington University' Elliott School of International Affairs. Currently, Chad is working as Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor for Senator Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire.
Working in Washington D.C., Chad appreciates the lessons he learned at Saint Louis University. He explains, "From my very first days at SLU, we were taught stewardship and to be men and women for others--concepts which have stuck with me throughout my professional career." SLU's focus on learning and understanding the differences and the value of diversity of opinions has been a valuable lesson for Chad as he has worked on both sides of the aisle in Washington D.C.'s partisan political atmosphere. He particularly attributes the Political Science department's emphasis on public service and their efforts on teaching students "how to think, not simply what to think" to the success in his professional career. During his time at SLU, Chad took advantage of the undergraduate honors thesis option in the Political Science department, which allowed him to pursue his own interests and gave him the opportunity to discover his own method of learning. According to Chad, the honor's thesis "truly prepared me well for a world in which self-motivation, independent drive, and personal reflections can serve you well. Nearly a decade later, I continue to engage those principles in my professional practice."
Chad's work as Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor to Senator Shaheen, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has taken him around the globe. His work on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranges from briefings, hearing preparations, and advising to involvement with the Senate's ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia. Chad reflects on his passion for foreign affairs and international politics and concludes that SLU's Political Science Department gave him his first look into the dynamic world of international relations. Although the classes engaged him immensely, it wasn't until his junior year and the events of 9/11 that he recognized the real threat of national security and the delicate balance of the international system. It was on that day, Chad says, that he knew he wanted to work in the areas of foreign policy and national security issues.