Around the White House, he was known as "Farm Boy," for his months of toil on the record-setting agriculture bill President Bush signed last year.
Among national Republicans, he is known as one of the party's most promising weapons for reaching young African Americans.
Now Dylan C. Glenn, after two years as a deputy at the National Economic Council, has gone home to Georgia to join the senior staff of incoming Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue. Glenn, 33, was one of two blacks appointed to Perdue's senior staff, bringing him in-state praise for diversity after his bruising, Bush-supported campaign against Gov. Roy Barnes (D).
Republicans in Washington hope Glenn will parlay his new job into a congressional or statewide race two years from now, extending Republican gains in a traditionally Democratic state.
"We know our outreach in the African American community is only going to succeed when we have elected leaders from that community," said Charles R. Black Jr., a Republican consultant. "We hope he makes it. It's critical."
Glenn was raised by a principal and a school counselor in Columbus, Ga., and came north to Episcopal High School in Alexandria. He was assistant research director of the 1988 presidential campaign of George H.W. Bush, and was a traveling press aide to the vice presidential nominee, Jack Kemp, in 1996.
Glenn challenged Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) in 2000 and lost by six points, but received the highest vote ever for a Republican in the district. Now Glenn says of a future race, "I'm keeping the door open, without being focused on it." Supporters say he might make a strong House candidate in 2004, or a promising candidate for lieutenant governor or state treasurer in 2006.
During his two years at the White House, Glenn amazed his colleagues with his ability to focus on minority housing by day, then stay in touch with Hollywood celebrities on weekends. He would show up early at the White House after networking late into the night at places such as Cafe Milano and the Daily Grill. His going-away dinner at Morton's steak house drew a who's who of conservatives from Capitol Hill and throughout the administration.
"He never stopped running," one White House official said. "We love Dylan."
Glenn will be Perdue's deputy chief of staff for external affairs, overseeing intergovernmental operations and public liaison activities. Happily for his political ambitions, the job will involve traveling throughout the state and staying in touch with interest groups and activists.
Glenn acknowledged that the GOP has a long way to go to make any measurable headway among black voters.
"The Republican National Committee has had an office of outreach since I was a little boy. We've just not been able to get it done," he said. "The one thing the party has in its favor is the fact that younger African Americans, in particular, are looking for something more than the rhetoric that they've been getting from the Democratic Party."