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#SPA80for80: Chip Griffin, SPA/BA ’94

Chip Griffin, SPA/BA ’94

There are few alumni more dedicated to American University than Chip Griffin. He is currently president of the AU Alumni Board, a member of the School of Public Affairs Dean's Council, and donor of an endowed scholarship for SPA students from New England, making him one of the youngest SPA alumni to make such a generous donation.

Griffin has co-founded more than half a dozen companies. He currently serves as CEO of CustomScoop, a New Hampshire-based media monitoring service, which he founded in 2000. A successful entrepreneur and digital media guru, Griffin has been on the forefront of new media communications. At CustomScoop, he helps clients navigate in an age of instant information by searching for media coverage relevant to each client's interests, streamlining the news they receive.

Griffin's post-graduate involvement with AU began nearly ten years ago when he gave his time as an admissions volunteer and began to financially support the School of Public Affairs. It snowballed from there. Soon Griffin was a member of the School of Public Affairs Dean's Council; he endowed a $100,000 scholarship for New England students in SPA; and, in 2009, he joined the AU Alumni Board, on which he now serves as president.

When Griffin was a student, starting with his first semester, he worked 40 hour weeks on Capitol Hill in addition to a full course load, describing his time at AU as "busy around the clock…three years with no sleep." He has especially fond memories of Kennedy Political Union events, recalling a time when Manhattan Project scientist Edward Teller spoke: "It was amazing to have a conversation with someone who figured so prominently not just in U.S. history but world history. And that was typical of the kind of experience AU students have had for decades… It's one of those things you can't get anywhere else, and it's a key part of the AU experience."


"The SPA alumni community is like a family: we can help find each other jobs, provide internships for existing students, and provide recommendations on everything from where to go on vacation to potential employment. These are all things that alumni can do for each other. We all have a natural connection, and we should take advantage of it."