Foreign affairs specialist will serve as chief of staff

By Matt Viser
Globe Staff / February 5, 2010

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WASHINGTON - Senator Scott Brown tapped a former top aide to Colin Powell and a specialist in foreign affairs to be his chief of staff.

Steven Schrage will oversee Brown’s offices in Washington and Massachusetts, acting as the senator’s top staffer as he fills the remaining 2 1/2 years of the late Edward M. Kennedy’s term.

Schrage most recently held the Scholl Chair in International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Some of his work focused on creating jobs in the economic downturn.

Schrage has an expansive background in military issues. He served as deputy assistant secretary of state and acting assistant secretary under Powell and was the chief foreign policy and defense counsel for the late Senator Paul Coverdell, Republican from Georgia. Such an expertise could be an indication that Brown will attempt to make a mark in national defense and veterans affairs. Brown was known during his tenure in the state Senate for several pieces of legislation involving military veterans.

“Steven Schrage is a professional who knows his way around Washington,’’ Brown said in a statement. “He brings to the table expertise and background in a number of valuable areas - public policy, economic strategy, national security, business, counterterrorism, strategic planning, and management.’’

Schrage grew up in a military family and did MBA and doctoral studies at Harvard Business School. He is an honors graduate of Duke University and the University of Michigan Law School.