Young Alumni/ae Award – Reunion 2007

Patrick Aylward became active in government service while he was still at Drew, and he hasn’t stopped.  He has been our man in Trenton, in Washington, and in Iraq, and now he’s our man in the West Wing.

Patrick’s parents taught him the importance of public service as he grew up in Linden, New Jersey, and he chose Drew for its strength in political science.  He was involved in many Drew organizations, served in Student Government Association all four years, and was SGA vice-president as a junior and president in his senior year.  In his last two college years, with the help of Professor Julius Mastro, he interned in Trenton as a legislative aide to New Jersey Senator Jack Ewing.

After graduating magna cum laude, Patrick went on to Georgetown University, also working part time as a communications associate for President Clinton’s Initiative on Race.  When he completed his Master of Public Policy degree in 1999, he began a seven-year stint, still in the White House complex, with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  Here he assisted in formulating funding levels and policies and managing federal agencies’ execution of resources to enforce the President’s priorities, with special attention to bioterrorism preparedness.

Patrick was closely involved with the Bush administration’s response to the events of September 11, 2001, and the anthrax incidents thereafter.  He participated in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, represented OMB in the White House’s efforts to achieve legislative priorities, and found great satisfaction in working on projects so vital to the national interest.  In the summer of 2004 he traveled to Iraq to provide technical assistance to the Iraqi Ministry of Finance and then, after the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq, to lead in critically evaluating the progress of the reconstruction effort and proposing reallocations of U.S. appropriations.  By 2005, when he won his fifth OMB Professional Achievement Award, Patrick was special assistant to the OMB director.  A year later he was in the West Wing, first as assistant to the White House Chief of Staff and now as director of the Office of the Chief of Staff.  He finds a broad liberal arts education and training in critical thinking invaluable as he helps to sort and carry out presidential priorities.

Life in the West Wing doesn’t leave much free time, but Patrick, an Arlington, Virginia resident, occasionally plays golf, travels, and enjoys seeing friends from Drew and Georgetown.  He hopes to continue in government service and, perhaps, to run for office himself someday.