Member Profile: Daniel Egel-Weiss

August 2015

Daniel Egel-Weiss is the Legislative and Communications Director at the office of Illinois State Representative Sara Feigenholtz. He received his Phi Beta Kappa key from George Washington University.

What attracted you to politics and studying political science?
I was interested in government and politics from early on in high school. It was interesting to learn how states, counties, cities and neighborhoods interacted and intersected. I learned that public policy is not fixed. It is both a science and an art to create the structure and rules by which we all live.
When I got to George Washington University I studied political science with a concentration in public policy. Attending GWU was a hand-in-glove fit with my interests, and it furthered my deep fascination with government and public policy.
You were involved in the political community on and off campus in Washington D.C. What made you decide to return to Illinois?
Washington is a great city, but Chicago is my home. I enjoyed every moment I spent in D.C., but at the end of my collegiate experience I wanted to return to Chicago and help, in some way, solve the social issues that our city and our state face.
Do you see yourself ever moving back and getting involved in national politics? What are your career goals?
I’m not sure where the distant future will take me. In the near future, I would like to continue my education by going to law school. I would consider moving back to Washington if a great opportunity presented itself, but for the time being I enjoy working for Representative Feigenholtz and I love being in Chicago.
What did you know about Phi Beta Kappa when you were honored with your key?
One of my goals as an undergraduate was to do well enough academically so as to be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. It is such an honorable organization, and one which mirrors my value of continuous learning in all that one does. I find that in my current role I am constantly learning and being challenged, and my enjoyment of that process reinforces my decision to aim for Phi Beta Kappa.
How did you find out about PBKACA?
I found PBKACA through a simple Google search. At induction at GWU, we were told to ‘look out’ for our local PBK chapters, and upon returning to Chicago I was excited to get involved.
You traveled to Cuba at the beginning of the year for a cultural mission trip. Have you traveled to other countries, whether for mission trips or personal trips?
I greatly enjoyed my time in Cuba, partly because the timing of the trip could not have been better. My family and I went on our cultural exchange trip two days after President Obama publicly announced a goal to normalize relations. It was a tremendous coincidence. I enjoy traveling, and I have been fortunate enough to see much of the world and much of our own country as well. While traveling to South America and Europe have been eye-opening experiences, I will admit that my favorite vacations have been to St. Louis, Phoenix, San Francisco, and other U.S. cities to see baseball stadiums. Thus far, I have seen 28 of the 30 Major League teams’ ballparks, although some have been torn down and rebuilt.
Daniel guest wrote an article on “Better Than Ramen” regarding his favorite dining experience in Cuba. Check it out here and be sure to click through the blog written by Daniel’s girlfriend, Ana Cvetkovic, who is also a Phi Beta Kappa member from GWU.