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Daniel Schmuck

Business Development Manager

Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance (AREA)


Daniel works as a Senior Analyst and Interim Business Development Manager at the Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance (AREA). He has been working at AREA since February 2021. Daniel moved to New Mexico after meeting his wife, a native New Mexican and fellow Fulbright Scholar, while studying at the University of New Mexico.

In this capacity, Daniel serves as a thought leader to guide organizational research priorities and efforts, ensuring connectivity among all areas of the organization. Through proactive data management and analysis, Daniel champions the creation of regional value propositions to support new business investment into the region as well as retaining and supporting existing businesses.

With an eye towards comparative market analysis, Daniel’s approach to regional economic analysis promotes regional assets and positions greater Albuquerque as a location of choice across a variety of industry segments. Daniel has stewarded projects on a wide variety of subjects ranging from managing the organization’s jobs board, regional sites database, and project management process to critical deliverables including the organization’s regional economic benchmark and brand identity and market familiarization analyses.

Daniel holds a BA in Political Science and European Studies from the University of Siegen in Germany and an MA in Political Science and Economics from the University of Bonn.

As part of his undergraduate studies, Daniel also studied International Relations and Diplomacy as an Erasmus Scholar at Collegium Civitas in Warsaw. Collegium Civitas has been established by the Polish Academy of Science and is well regarded as one of the leading schools in Political Science in Poland. During his time in Warsaw, Daniel also worked at Instytut Obywatelski, a public policy think tank led by the then-government party Civic Platform. There, Daniel provided quantitative and qualitative research and analysis and worked on a wide range of policy issues, including economic growth, energy security, security policy, and international relations. His analysis and research would supplement the debates and discussions within the Polish parliament. Daniel’s bachelor thesis was a comparative analysis of political communication strategies between Germany and the United States. His research included interviews with politicians and political operatives on both sides of the Atlantic on the state and federal level.

After moving back to Germany in 2013, Daniel gained additional experience in public health, health care policy and data analysis while working as a student research assistant for Dr. Claus Wendt,  professor of public health at the University of Siegen. As part of this research, Daniel worked on the project „Healthcare-Seeking in Germany” (HEALSEE), which was funded by the National German Research Foundation (DFG) and a joint project with the GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. Part of that work included the translation and transcription of texts and interviews of healthcare professionals and patients in the US Appalachian Region and Germany. Additionally, Daniel reviewed doctoral papers on healthcare policy and supported Dr. Wendt’s classes as a tutor.

Between October 2015 and November 2019, Daniel worked for Gauly Advisors, one of the leading public affairs and strategic communication firms in Germany. This work included daily media monitoring and analyses on various economic and socio-political topics for a diverse set of clients, ranging from Fortune 500 and DAX 30 companies to NGOs and cultural institutions.

In 2016, Daniel also worked for the German state representative Angela Freimuth in the State legislature of North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state. Angela Freimuth was residing as the vice-president of the parliament at that time, the German equivalent to a deputy speaker of the house. There he drafted major parliamentarian interpellations and conducted research on economic policy issues to inform the creation of new bills. Daniel’s work also included the daily interaction with the legislator’s constituents, including briefing the legislator before meetings and policy discussions as well as answering constituents’ questions and concerns about policy impacts on their lives.

In 2020, Daniel graduated from the University of Bonn in Germany with a Master of Arts in Political Science and a specialization in Economics and Southeast Asia Studies. His master thesis at the University of Bonn’s Center for International Security and Governance (CISG) is titled “A Case for European Strategic Autonomy?” and focused on the question of a surging Russian threat to the European Union’s eastern boundaries, predicting the second Russian invasion of Ukraine well before February 24, 2022. The thesis outlines how the European Union (EU) could strengthen its defense capabilities and procurement processes, while also avoiding the three Ds in its strategic relationship with NATO: Decoupling, Discrimination and Duplication. Daniel’s thesis advisor, Henry Kissinger professor and former diplomat to Germany, James D. Bindenagel, provided invaluable insights for Daniel’s research and recommend Daniel for a Fulbright scholarship.

Enchanted by the American Southwest since his childhood and attracted by the University of New Mexico’s excellent reputation of the political communication department, Daniel applied as a visiting graduate student via a prestigious Fulbright scholarship. Through Fulbright’s European Conference in Berlin, Daniel met his future wife, a fellow Fulbrighter, who was teaching English in Weimar, Germany.

During the 2018 elections and after finishing his studies at the University of New Mexico, Daniel went back into political campaigning with Voter Research, working on several competitive campaigns throughout New Mexico, including Stephanie Garcia Richard for Land Commissioner (one of the most competitive political races at the time), Day Hochman-Vigil for State House 15, and Judge Michael E. Vigil for NM Supreme Court—all races that ended successfully for the candidates. There he helped establish a voter database system for those campaigns and spearheaded digital data management using the chosen database, and NGP VAN to lead the race with valuable data insights.

An avid lover of the great American outdoors, Daniel can often be found roaming New Mexico’s wilderness when not geeking out over new economic, political, or historic insights.

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