Shlossman, 30, thought she might spend a year working in government between completing her B.S. at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management and going on to graduate school. But after accepting her first job with then-Gov. Napolitano of Arizona, the Tempe native never looked back. She served as director of special projects and then as policy director, with a stint in between as deputy campaign manager for Napolitano's reelection in 2006. Shlossman followed Napolitano to Washington as a deputy chief of staff for the new Homeland Security secretary, and she was promoted to chief of staff in March. "I really think a second-term focus area is figuring out new ways to bring our agencies together to accomplish our mission more effectively and more efficiently," Shlossman said. She helps oversee the department's day-to-day operations, from working on the budget to planning for possible government shutdowns and sequestration. "I don't think anything teaches you more abut the department than knowing what the nuts and bolts are comprised in the budget," she said. "You really gain a greater appreciation for what it takes to make the department run, where the real policy decisions are, and how they're tied to resources."
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