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Meet Robert Bauchspies: IWP alumnus and Chief Librarian at US International Trade Commission

Robert BauchspiesDuring his teen years, most of which were spent surfing in Hawaii, Robert Bauchspies had no idea what the future held for him. As a colonel’s son and Eagle Scout, Robert had cultivated a strong sense of patriotism and service. He returned to the contiguous United States to pursue his undergraduate degree in geography at George Mason University.

Building a career in library science

Robert then went on to obtain his Master’s in Library and Information Science from Catholic University. Next, he worked on post-graduate studies in Information Seeking Behavior at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Robert spent several years building his professional experience at various libraries, including the Lauinger and Woodstock Theological Center libraries at Georgetown, Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Library, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the Federal Reserve Board, the U.N. World Maritime University, and currently, the U.S. International Trade Commission. Robert thinks fondly of his time at Harvard’s Byzantine Library sifting through and absorbing knowledge from thousands of books on Greco-Roman, Byzantine, and medieval studies as he cataloged.

Applying intelligence skills to information services

In an effort to further his career with the U.S. International Trade Commission, Robert decided to continue his academic studies. In 2007, he started the Master’s program in Strategic Intelligence at IWP. Due to time constraints — a father of three with a 100-mile daily commute to Washington, D.C.  (he lives in the Virginia Piedmont) — Robert obtained instead the Certificate of Graduate Studies in Intelligence. Robert wanted to increase his scope and knowledge of the geopolitical and strategic intelligence arena, and he felt IWP was not only the right place, but one apart from the rest.

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In his studies, he was pleased to learn that Sherman Kent, a longtime CIA officer and pioneer of new intelligence analysis methodologies, saw great value in libraries.  Robert was also intrigued to examine how the intelligence cycle so closely resembles what he does today in providing information services to a federal research community.

One of the main factors that drew Robert to IWP was the school’s emphasis on Western values in the practice of statecraft. Robert greatly enjoyed his time discussing, and at times challenging, Alberto Piedra in his Western Moral Tradition course; he delighted in Amb. Piedra’s passion and knowledge about the topic. Robert also praised Professors Kenneth deGraffenreid, David Thomas, and John Yurechko for their exceptional courses at IWP.

Enhancing the study of international trade

Upon earning the Certificate of Graduate Study in Intelligence from IWP in winter of 2010, Robert continued his career as Chief Librarian at the U.S. International Trade Commission. As Chief Librarian, Robert supports teams of international trade analysts and macroeconomists. He provides information resources and research support services to meet their requirements of providing fact finding studies and technical assistance to Congress and the Executive Office of the President.

As Division Chief of Library Services for the Office of Analysis and Research Services, he directs the research library and the National Library of International Trade. Robert spends a lot of time dealing with current events, leveraging a myriad of digital and print information resources.

Knowing the community he serves and, more broadly, the value and velocity of targeted information supporting mission requirements defines a large part of his career.

As he approaches his ten-year work anniversary with the U.S. International Trade Commission, Robert reflects on the knowledge he gained at IWP and how it plays into his career on a daily basis. Robert knows that international trade is a major force in world politics. He said, “International trade is a non-kinetic means of building relationships. Trade, if done effectively, is tremendously beneficial for U.S.  interests and national security.”