A UCF alum and former U.S. Army Green Beret with a remarkable military career and years of congressional and federal agency engagement has joined the university as associate vice president of Federal Affairs.

Eric “Tubby” Shwedo ’92, a management graduate and former Knights football player, brings three decades of advanced government relations, communications and federal budgeting expertise to his new job. He spent more than five years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense working with Congress and federal agencies, serving as director of House affairs, legislative director for special operations, and strategic communications director for the Department of Defense (DoD) COVID Task Force.

In his role with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, he was the lead liaison for all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and their staffs – along with governors and other key state and local officials throughout the country – about legislative aspects of the DoD’s plans, programs and policies.

“As I was getting out of the Army, I was told by mentors multiple times to not find a job, but to find my passion. This position is like a dream come true,” Shwedo said. “After years of working on Capitol Hill for the Pentagon, I get to combine my experience in Washington and represent my alma mater. UCF has cutting-edge research in multiple fields, and I look forward to supporting the Government and Community Relations Office and the UCF team.”

Shwedo also served in nine combat deployments as a Green Beret with the elite 3rd Special Forces Group. He commanded Robin Sage, the final phase of Special Forces training, and conducted training or operations in 17 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He completed his military career at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa as a colonel and chief of staff of Special Operations Command Central, the unit heading special operations for the Middle East and Central Asia.

As part of his efforts in Washington, Shwedo will build on long-standing UCF ties with the DoD and the university’s growing status as SpaceU. Those relations include significant research funding from the agency, six-shared partnership buildings in the Central Florida Research Park adjoining the main campus, and a partnership with the U.S. Space Force to help develop technology and workforce-ready talent for space.

Shwedo’s wife, Suzanne Shwedo ’93, is a UCF elementary education alum. Their sons are TJ, a UCF junior in the Burnett Honors College studying experimental animation, and Cale, a pre-med freshman and football player at Sewanee University in Tennessee.