- Spring 2012
Steven Schrage’s career has found him working in the middle of many of the major U.S. political and foreign policy events of the last two decades. This includes direct experience with major presidential campaigns and White House transitions, having served on the headquarters policy teams of leading presidential candidates during the last two open Republican presidential elections and with experience in both primary and general election contests. He served as the 2008 Foreign Policy and Trade Director for a current Republican frontrunner and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney where he did policy development and speechwriting on issues ranging from international economic crises and trade issues to counterterrorism, Iran and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that were at the center of the 2008 debate. Earlier, he served on the 2000 Republican presidential campaign headquarters policy team in Austin Texas and was part of the team sent to Palm Beach County during the Florida presidential recount. He also served on several presidential transition teams, working on the transitions of two White House departments, including the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) where he served as the Administration’s first senior political appointee placed in that 200-plus person, Cabinet-level office which leads U.S. international trade policy and oversaw operations until the USTR nominee, Robert Zoellick (the current World Bank President), was confirmed. His Congressional service began on then House Speaker (and current presidential candidate) Newt Gingrich’s policy team shortly after Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives for the first time in over forty years. Most recently, he served as Chief of Staff to the first Senator elected in 2010’s Tea Party/Republican “wave” election, Senator Scott Brown, while he was Congress’ key or deciding vote on major measures such as the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reforms and jobs/economic recovery legislation. At the end of his tenure as Chief of Staff, Senator Brown (a Republican) had become one of the most popular political figures in perhaps the “bluest” Democratic state, won praise from figures as diverse as leading conservatives and key Democratic Senators and was noted by several commentators as having had one of the best years in politics.
Schrage has also taught Economics and National Security at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, which was recently rated as the top global foreign policy masters program, and founded Delphi Strategy International LLC, a strategic advisory and consulting firm. His previous policy and political analysis experience includes serving as the Scholl Chair in International Business at the Center for Strategic and\\ International Studies (“CSIS” is a nonpartisan think tank whose bipartisan board includes former officials such as Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski) where he led work on the economic, political and security dynamics surrounding the global financial crisis. He also served as one of the youngest Deputy Assistant Secretaries under Secretary Colin Powell at the State Department, where he oversaw over a thousand personnel across the globe and more than $2 billion in some of America’s top priority global operations in the Middle East, Latin America and Afghanistan, including the training of civilian security and law enforcement to successfully secure that nation’s first democratic election. During this time, he was selected to serve a leadership role for all G8 countries as the international co-chair of the G8 Anti-Crime and Terrorism Group, where he launched G8 multilateral initiatives and conducted policy coordination in these priority areas following 9/11. His wide-ranging experience in Congressional roles also includes key positions for Senate Leadership, Armed Services and Homeland Security Committee Members and serving as international trade counsel for the Ways & Means Committee (the committee which initiates U.S. tax and trade laws) and as counsel for a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee responsible for U.S. policies on global terrorism and on Latin America.
Schrage conducted MBA and doctoral studies at Harvard Business School, earning distinction (honors) on his general doctoral qualifying exam, before returning to public service in 2000. He is an honors graduate of both Duke University and the University of Michigan Law School, and was awarded life membership in the Council on Foreign Relations for his foreign policy work. Following his undergraduate studies, he worked to save money for perhaps his most rewarding educational endeavor--spending a year backpacking around the world using local transport and learning through first-hand experiences as diverse as riding camels alongside whiskey smugglers on the India/Pakistan border; spending time with Chinese students and citizens in the wake of early economic reforms; traveling by motorcycle in the “Golden Triangle” region bordering Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam; and sleeping on rooftops in Old Jerusalem. As an expert appearing on major media, his commentary has appeared on or in U.S. and international outlets including NBC’s Nightly News, CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, the Washington Post and Bloomberg News.