The State of American Politics – A conversation with two former chiefs of staff from the US Congress on US domestic and international policy 

Office hours – dr Dorota Heidrich 8.11.2019 r. 13:15, room 222, Gmach Audytoryjny
November 6, 2019
Prof. Ryszard Zięba published the new book – Poland’s Foreign and Security Policy: Problems of Compatibility with the Changing International Order
November 12, 2019


The State of American Politics

A conversation with two former chiefs of staff from the US Congress on US domestic and international policy 

Paul Ritacco and Oliver Schwab

Moderators: dr Dorota Heidrich and dr Aleksandra Jarczewska


November 13th (Wednesday) 2019


Baszkiewicz Hall, Collegium Politicum (ground floor)

Faculty of Political Science and International Studies UW 



Short Bio:

Paul Ritacco is an American businessman who has started multiple enterprises in the political and entertainment arenas over the past 30 years.  Paul recently completed 23 years of government service having been a Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to more than 30 Members of the U.S. Congress, where he was responsible for foreign policy, Helsinki Commission issues, defense, financial services, campaign finance, and the budget among others.  He has worked in both the traditional Congressional office as well as Leadership Offices within the U.S. Congress.

Paul is a double graduate of Georgetown University and the Georgetown University Law Center.  Additionally, Paul studied economics in Georgetown University’s program at SGPiS in Warsaw, Poland in 1989.  Paul has spent a considerable amount of time working on foreign policy having travelled with various Congressional Study Groups to Germany, Belgium, France and Japan among others.  He also has extensive experience working with the U.S. military on issues throughout the Pacific and Atlantic theatres.  Paul engaged as both a Congressional Foreign Policy Fellow and Cybersecurity Lab participant at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C.  He also worked with ABC News in the Summer of 1989 in Warsaw Poland during President Bush’s trip to Poland.  His experience in Poland is what cemented his interest in government and political science after previously pursuing a career in medicine.

A former candidate for the U.S. Congress, Paul has lectured on both campaign finance and U.S. Politics at the Chautauqua Institution and participated in numerous briefings and discussions on U.S. Policy and relations with Europe.  Paul works with numerous non-profits assisting the homeless and other needy individuals.  Since 1992, Paul has been an active member of the key organizational group managing all the participants who appear on stage at the Republican National Convention.  He is married with two children and enjoys meeting people to learn their stories.



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Oliver Schwab is an American private equity executive, nonprofit director, and CFO for his family office.  Oliver served a decade in American government as a Chief of Staff in the U.S. Congress, where he supported the process of shaping national policy in the areas of tax, trade, financial services, and national security.

Oliver has supported America’s Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic diplomatic channels, traveling with the German Marshall Fund and Congressional Study Groups on Europe, Germany, and Japan, and also supporting the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Coast Guard in various theaters.  Oliver is former a Congressional fellow at the Council on Foreign Affairs.  He is earning a graduate degree in strategic studies from the United States Naval War College and has studied behavioral theory, philosophy, negotiation and management at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, The Wharton School, Stanford Business School, Chicago Booth School of Management, and Johns Hopkins University.

Additionally, Oliver is a trustee of the Jefferson Islands Club and is a member of the cabinet of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Oliver is also a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. Oliver and his wife Ana reside in Annapolis, Maryland.  They are both avid sailors, including scientific expeditions.  Oliver is also a licensed U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner and completed his Yachtmaster training in the United Kingdom and Australia.