Careers in the Federal Government


Are you considering a federal career? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2013, more than 2.1 million workers were employed in 350 different jobs within the federal government. Depending on your interests, skills and background, there may be a federal position suited perfectly to you. Join us for an engaging conversation in which panelists will discuss their  career trajectories and offer insight into the many types of work at the federal level. 


Robert Neus (MBA, University of Notre Dame) is the US Department of State's Diplomat in Residence for the Midwest, based at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  He was most recently (from 2012 - 2015) Consular Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Croatia, his sixth overseas posting. His Section was responsible for providing all consular services in-country: judicial assistance, U.S. federal benefits and emergency and non-emergency American Citizen Services for more than 260,000 tourists yearly.  He served on the Interagency Country Team, as A/DCM and was appointed by the Ambassador to the Board of the American International School of Zagreb. He Chaired the International Cooperative Administrative Support Services Committee and was a member of Post’s Emergency Action Committee and the 25-embassy Consular Corps, meeting monthly with senior foreign officials on crisis preparedness and immigration issues.    

Mr. Neus served two tours at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where his unit was ranked among the top worldwide in both visa volume and fraud detection, with yearly fee collection responsibilities of several million USD. He also served on the Mission Resource Plan working group and the International Visitor Leadership Program Committee.  In Bogota, Colombia, he trained Foreign Service Officers on interviewing applicants with ties to narcotics trafficking and terrorism and established Post’s Cuban Significant Public Benefit Parole Program procedures in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security.  At the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba, Mr. Neus was Backup Refugee Coordinator and conducted monitoring trips as part of the bilateral accord. He was also posted to Consulate General Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and served short tours of duty in several regions.  He studied Croatian, Spanish and Portuguese at the Foreign Service Institute and Italian and basic Guarani previously.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame. 

Lisa Reynolds (MPP'07) joined the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in Chicago in 2008. As a Senior Analyst in the Financial Markets and Community Investment group, she has contributed to reports that inform the Congress and the public about issues such as the financial health of banks, credit unions, and insurance companies; oversight of the municipal securities market; and economic development in low-income communities. Prior to the GAO, she worked in development for nonprofit organizations in Chicago and Minneapolis. Lisa earned her master’s in public policy from UChicago’s Harris School in 2007 and her bachelor’s in communication studies from Northwestern University in 2000. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son. 

Connor Hurley, Presidential Management Fellow (MPP) is currently working as a Financial Economist at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Litigation Economics. He recently finished a 5 month rotation to the U.S. Treasury Department, where he worked as an Economist in the Office of Economic Policy.  As a graduate student, he worked with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General.  Connor holds a MPP from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and a B.A. in Economics from SUNY Geneseo.

Erich Krumrei, Special Agent, US Department of Justice


Jenny Cizner, Chief Operating Officer, Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Jenny Cizner joined the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as its first chief operating officer in 2015. In that capacity, she is responsible for overseeing the internal management of the Council staff. She also leads a strategic planning process to ensure the Council develops and executes a strategy to be recognized as one of the premier institutions in the country on global affairs in advance of its 100 anniversary in 2022. She also provides direction and oversight for the Council’s human resources strategy.

Cizner previously served as the director of strategic partnerships and global affairs for the City of Chicago in the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In that role, Cizner worked to cultivate and strengthen connections between the City of Chicago and the international community and to advance Chicago’s international profile. She earlier served as director of international relations and protocol for Mayor Rahm Emanuel from June 2011 to February 2014.

Prior to her work with the City of Chicago, Cizner served as the deputy chief of staff for presidential personnel at the White House and first joined the White House as the director for the energy and environment cluster within that office.  Before joining the Obama administration, Cizner worked on President Obama’s 2008 campaign committee. From 2001 to 2007, she was a senior associate at Campaign Finance Consultants, a fundraising consulting firm in Washington, DC. 

Cizner graduated with a BA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.