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Alumnus a Rising Leader in Department of Homeland Security

Political science graduate was elected president of DHS Pride, which hosted DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano at a recent event.

Date: 7/31/2012
By: Tom Robinette
Phone: (513) 556-8577
As many Americans sought new purpose in life in the aftermath of 9/11, Adam Sulewski began his college career at the University of Cincinnati and discovered a growing passion for politics, international relations and public service.

Little did he know then the path he chose at UC would lead him to a career with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – a large part of the government’s own newfound purpose forged in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Adam Sulewski shakes hands with Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

The Maumee, Ohio, native graduated cum laude with a degree in political science and certificate in creative writing (’06), and earned his JD from Suffolk University Law School (’09). He now works in the US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of International Affairs in DHS, communicating with the CBP’s 60,000 personnel and its foreign partners.

He also has established himself as a leader of DHS Pride, the department’s association of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. Sulewski served as the group’s inaugural vice president in 2011 and was elected president this year. He hopes to increase DHS Pride’s membership and improve its professional status through incorporation as a non-stock corporation, applying for non-profit status, increasing its social media presence and other organizational changes.

“Member feedback showed a great and enthusiastic curiosity to find and get to know all our LGBT brothers and sisters in the DHS Community,” Sulewski says. “I'd like to continue to see the group grow. I've really learned a lot more about leadership skills through this applied process. It's inspired me to want to do more.”

Sulewski recently helped DHS Pride accomplish something that had never been done: getting the Secretary of Homeland Security to attend a LGBT event. Secretary Janet Napolitano was present at a DHS Pride event commemorating LGBT Pride Month in June. Napolitano was given the DHS Pride Award for Service, honoring her years of public service and support of an inclusive and unified DHS.

Sulewski credits his liberal arts education in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences for preparing him for professional success. In addition to earning a strong intellectual foundation in political science and creative writing, he benefitted from experiential learning opportunities through an internship with Cincinnati City Council and leadership roles with the UC Summer Orientation program and UC Marching Band.

“A&S gave me a great experience. It gave me a lot of options to explore, in terms of class subject matters and in outside classroom learning,” Sulewski says. “There are a lot of opportunities for leadership development and to hone your skill sets at UC – students just need to reach out and seize opportunities as they come.”

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