Shahoulian, 42, says his arrival at the committee about seven years ago was a result of "a U-turn or something" from an earlier career focus. The Miamian attended film school and worked in the film industry for several years before earning a graduate degree in creative writing at the University of Southern California. Then came law school and a job at Holland & Knight, where his practice included immigration cases. He joined the committee staff in 2007 and says his work on immigration reform is "the cause of my life. Immigration reform is not just a job for me."