Dave Grimaldi ’98 developed a deep passion for politics while studying in law school and working on a book with Ethel and Kerry Kennedy, wife and daughter of former Attorney General and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
“Being around them helped shape the way I saw the world. I realized the importance of human rights, and helping those who can’t help themselves,” said Grimaldi, who was an English major with a minor in theater at Loyola Marymount University. “A country can be measured by the way it cares for the least fortunate.”
Grimaldi is currently Senior Counsel for House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn which, among many other duties, includes serving as the Whip’s chief adviser on foreign affairs, technology, and financial issues regarding the Federal Reserve System and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
“After I was approached by the Whip about the position, I knew instantly it was something I wanted to do,” Grimaldi said. “Being a public servant is a crucial part of our government, and to serve at this level was an opportunity I couldn’t resist .”
Grimaldi said his greatest challenge is time management. A typical day in his office in the U.S. Capitol can begin at 7:30 a.m. and end at 9 p.m. or later. He has to stay on top of whatever issue is currently on the House floor and how the Democratic members of the House will vote while fielding questions and concerns from the White House, industry leaders and other lawmakers’ offices.
“The toughest part is determining how to effectively prioritize my time each day. Sometimes, I blink and it’s 7 p.m.,” Grimaldi said. “You have to be on all day but it keeps you sharp. What Congress does affects the whole country, so there’s no margin for error.”
Prior to his current position, Grimaldi was a principal at The Raben Group, a leading law and lobbying firm in DC, where he advised clients on issues relating to intellectual property, finance and foreign affairs. He also served as Legislative Counsel to Rep. Ed Towns (D-New York City) and as a member of the Obama/Biden congressional relations team at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. Additionally, Grimaldi served on the Obama/Biden voter protection legal team.
As for Grimaldi’s favorite living politician: “I did a ton of work for the Obama campaign and have a great deal of faith in the President’s potential. He has the ability to rehabilitate the U.S. and the rest of the world, and to hopefully make wholesale changes to this country that will endure for decades to come.”