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March 4, 2010 Volume 31, No. 22

His mission continues

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Eric Greitens, a senior fellow at MU's Truman School of Public Affairs, has an overstuffed resume that includes humanitarian work around the world, combat tours as a Navy SEAL in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and Southeast Asia, and leadership of an organization that funds training for wounded veterans in public service careers.

Opening options

Truman School fellow pursues public service

Eric Greitens has stellar academic credentials — he’s a Rhodes scholar with a doctorate in politics from Oxford University — but Bart Wechsler, his boss at MU’s Truman School of Public Affairs, still has a tongue-in-cheek gripe about one of his newest faculty members: “He’s just 35 years old, but he makes you feel like an underachiever,” Wechsler says.

Greitens has been a senior fellow at the Truman School since 2008, teaching a graduate-level course on public service, ethics and leadership. That’s just the latest entry in this St. Louis native’s overstuffed resume. As an undergraduate at Duke University, he volunteered at refugee camps in Croatia and later did humanitarian work in Rwanda, Cambodia, Bolivia and India. His documentary photographs from those areas won awards for the way they showed the inner strength people can summon even in tragedy.

After graduating from Oxford, Greitens joined the Navy. He was taking underwater demolition training as a Navy SEAL when the twin towers came down on Sept. 11. “We knew then that at the end of our training we would be going to war,” he says.

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