Congressman Adam Schiff is one of the nation’s most influential leaders on national security issues. Schiff, a Democrat from California, is serving his 11th term in the U.S. House of Representatives and chairs the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees the nation's intelligence agencies. The congressman is also on leave from the House Appropriations Committee and has previously served on both the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees. Prior to his career in the House, he served in the California State Senate from 1996 to 2001. Before running for elected office, he graduated from Harvard Law and worked in the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His most famous case was the first-ever conviction of an FBI agent for espionage – the agent had been taking bribes from Russians. It took three trials over six years to secure the conviction.
After graduating class valedictorian in high school, Schiff enrolled at Stanford University in 1978. At first, he wasn't involved in any political life and still wasn't sure what he wanted to do after school. But he did know that he was interested in medicine, which led to him pursuing a pre-med curriculum as an undergraduate. In addition, pre-med allowed the future congressman to take a variety of classes at Stanford, including Shakespeare, chemistry, history, and even photography. Looking back at these formative years, Schiff expressed gratitude for his "well-rounded education" in a 2020 interview with the student-run Stanford Politics magazine. "I think it’s just a magical environment at the Farm and one that I have carried with me throughout my life. I feel so fortunate to have been able to go to school there." In 1982 he graduated with distinction, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
As Schiff continues to oversee the nation's security community, he remains as devoted as ever to his alma mater. In 2021, he warned of U.S. cybersecurity vulnerabilities during a webinar hosted by Stanford in Government. Regarding social media platforms, he drew attention to the national security challenges associated with the constantly-evolving media landscape. According to the congressman, the fractured nature of the media today can lead to threats to our country being amplified and accelerated. "We need to figure out how to maintain cohesion and not let this media environment tear us apart,” Schiff warned fellow members of the Stanford community.