Alumni Profile: Sam White '98
As the 2011 headlines around the world shouted “Got him!” revealing the capture of Osama bin Laden, Sam White ’98 and his team of U.S. Treasury intelligence analysts were making plans to go into action.
“God has been amazingly bountiful to me and has given me a lot of opportunities to be doing all kinds of really interesting things. I love what I do, and I’m proud to serve my country,” Sam says.
In 2001 Sam and Jessica Colvert White ’97 moved to the Washington, D.C., area and were amazed at how God opened doors of opportunities. Sam was offered a job within days of arriving in D.C., leading to a five-year career on staff in the U.S. House of Representatives and culminating in a position on the House Intelligence Committee. After his time on Capitol Hill, Sam joined the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
“Treasury’s intelligence mission focuses on analyzing how terrorists get money, how they move it around, how they store it,” says Sam. “We try to determine how to interdict those money flows by figuring out who the key players are.”
Sam’s job has led him to some pretty interesting places and assignments. He spent six months in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2009 where he led a team of about thirty analysts and investigators looking at terrorist groups such as al-Qaida. Their mission was to figure out the money trail and help stop the flow of money. Sam’s most recent adventure was analyzing information confiscated during the raid targeting Osama bin Laden.
Sam’s work involves taking disparate pieces of financial data and integrating them with the larger historic picture that is known about a particular terrorist group or financier. “That sort of analytic skill—being able to read and think critically, analyze information and integrate that into a larger picture—was the biggest skill I picked up as a history major at Covenant,” he says.
Covenant’s holistic approach to education equipped Sam to be an analytical thinker with a love for the gospel. “The greatest impact Covenant had on me was my realizing that there is no part of my life that my faith in Christ does not (or should not) touch. My chosen profession as a government employee presents unique opportunities to demonstrate Christ's love and his redeeming work, particularly when working in a place like Congress or the intelligence community. Though God continues to sanctify my heart, the education and relationships at Covenant have provided me a worldview well-suited to being the salt and light God calls us to be.”