Varied Career Leads to the House of Representatives
In November alumnus Michael Grimm (R-NY, ’95) won a seat in the House of Representatives, taking over New York’s 13th district from Democratic incumbent Michael McMahon. The newly minted Congressman, representing southwest Brooklyn and all of Staten Island, notes that the latter has traditionally been dubbed the “forgotten borough.” His challenge? “I want to change that and make sure this community receives its fair share.”
Grimm’s career leading up to this point has been a fascinating one. At 19 he joined the Marine Corps and served in the Persian Gulf War. After becoming a clerk for the FBI, he attended the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, joined the bureau’s uniformed police service, and was deputized as a U.S. marshal.
Seeking to diversify, Grimm left the FBI to work as a research analyst on Wall Street. He attended Baruch at night, and—armed with a degree in accountancy with a concentration in finance—rejoined the FBI as a special agent. He was a natural for the Financial Fraud Squad, investigating corruption on Wall Street. Around this time, Grimm attended New York Law School at night, graduating in the top 10 of his class.
His most movie-script-inspiring work involved undercover assignments: he spent nearly two years posing as a hedge fund manager and was later tapped to investigate various types of corruption by posing as a member of the Mafia, a shady land developer, and an international money launderer, among other criminals. He left the FBI to become an entrepreneur, opening a health food restaurant and helming a biofuel company.
But of all his achievements, “I am most proud of earning the title of U.S. Marine and becoming a member of the Marine Corps,” he says. he says. “The principles and leadership I learned there helped with attaining my other accomplishments.”