Andrew Shapiro ’94

Political Drive

Winter 2010

During the legal quagmire following the 2000 presidential election,
Andrew J. Shapiro ’94 found himself trailing a yellow Ryder truck up the
Florida peninsula. The truck was chauffeuring roughly half a million contested
presidential ballots. Shapiro was there on behalf of then–presidential candidate
Al Gore to ensure that nothing on that 450-mile journey could taint the vote recount.

“I was there to the bitter end,” Shapiro recalls of the controversial election. “And then I was unemployed.”
 
But Shapiro’s joblessness did not last. In 2001, then-Senator Hillary Clinton scooped him up to serve on her staff as senior defense and foreign policy adviser. Eight years later, when Senator Clinton became Secretary of State Clinton, Shapiro was appointed to serve as her assistant secretary for political-military affairs.

“You don’t work for someone for eight years unless you enjoy the work and admire the person,” says Shapiro. “Secretary Clinton allowed me to take on more responsibility and to grow.”

In testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in June, Shapiro detailed his intentions for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, which include controlling the trade of defense materials and services, countering the proliferation of conventional weapons, and combating piracy at sea. But before Shapiro could begin laying out his plans, his 2-year-old son, Zach, silenced the hearing with his unbridled enthusiasm. “Daddy! Daddy!” he cried. The proceedings came to a brief, amused halt, and Zach was promptly whisked from the room, Shapiro recalls with a laugh. “He was just so excited to see me up there.”