J. William and Mary Diederich
College of Communication
Professional Achievement Award
Patrick J. Souders, Comm '91
U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin may be the majority whip, but the one who cracks the whip behind the scenes is Patrick Souders, Durbin's chief of staff.
"Few bills hit the floor without the approval of Souders," reports whorunsgov.com, a Web site devoted to Washington insiders. Souders, the site says, "plays a role in almost every daily decision that is made, and his influence only increased once the Democrats retook the majority in 2007."
Pat interned for Durbin while at Marquette and joined the then-representative's staff after graduation as a legislative assistant, later serving as political director of Durbin's successful 1996 Senate campaign. His next role was as projects director, coordinating efforts to channel federal funding to Illinois by day and earning a master's degree from Georgetown University by night.
Seven years later, with Durbin's elevation to Democratic Whip, Pat moved up to leadership staff director, overseeing an office of 14 people in the U.S. Capitol. When Durbin's longtime chief of staff retired in late 2006, Pat was the natural choice to step into the role.
Pat has earned recognition from the Illinois Primary Health Care Association, the American Psychological Association, Roll Call, the National Journal, and the Illinois State Senate for his leadership and dedication to public service. He also was honored by his hometown of Quincy, Ill., with the John Quincy Adams Award.
"I learned some valuable lessons about leadership, organization and values in my three years as a resident adviser at Marquette," Pat says. "I also met some of my best friends and, more important, my wife."
Pat is married to Amy Ford Souders, Arts '92, and they have a 4-year-old, Elizabeth Ford Souders.
Fun facts about Pat
What Marquette University faculty member had an impact on Patrick: Rev. Timothy J. O’Brien, who helped start Patrick down the path that led to working for 18-plus years on Capitol Hill