By Katy Hopkins - 10/06/09 10:59 PM EDT
“I ran for treasurer in elementary school,” Schuld said. “I just remember getting in front of the assembly [for a campaign speech], and my legs were shaking uncontrollably. It was so obvious.”
The small position whetted his appetite for public service and, in the years since, his confidence has grown through a unique array of political jobs. Though his new post is his first on Capitol Hill, the now-24-year-old Schuld served as a peace negotiator in Northern Ireland and, most recently, as an American liaison at the European Parliament in Belgium.
“I’ve had legislative experience, albeit across the ocean,” Schuld said.
Working in Europe gave him a unique perspective on American politics, he said, and an appreciation for a government that operates in one language, instead of 23.
“This is the most important legislature in the world, and I really have a great respect for that now,” Schuld said. “People around the world emulate how our system works.”
Schuld transferred his skills as a foreign liaison to his post in Grayson’s office, where he said he hopes to “increase communication and collaboration” in the nine-member team.
“I want to be an interlocutor,” Schuld said. “If I can bring people together, then I’m doing my job.”
He had a hectic first week on the job, what with the controversy surrounding Grayson’s recent remarks on healthcare legislation.
But with a flexible and open management style, Schuld said he’s remained composed through a constant string of phone calls to the office and late nights at work.
“I just like to take the bull by the horns and roll with the punches,” he said.
When he’s not on the job, the self-proclaimed Renaissance man has a wide array of personal hobbies, including sailing, traveling and cribbage, “a card game for anyone 70-plus,” he joked.
His political ambitions are similarly varied. The Cleveland native is considering a possible run for state representative, but he’d also like to be an ambassador to Europe. He even toys with the idea of a future in the White House; he can sing the list of past presidents upon request and didn’t dismiss the idea of adding “Schuld” to the end of the tune one day.
But no matter his political future, Schuld is certain he wants to remain in the field.
“I love serving people,” said Schuld. “If I could do that in a public way, all the better.”