Federal Relations

March 12, 2010

Seen in DC

Since the end of November when the last “Seen in DC” article was posted, the Federal Relations office in DC has been extremely busy working with UW faculty, staff, and student leaders to facilitate advocacy meetings with the Washington congressional delegation.   This is, however, not unusual for this time of year; winter has traditionally been very busy in DC since it is the time when professional associations meet and encourage their members to meet with Congressional and Senate representatives on funding issues.

During the second week of December the Jackson School for International Studies held their alumni meeting in DC at the Cosmos Club.  In attendance were:  Anand Yang, Director of the Jackson School; Donald Hellman, Director of the Institute for International Policy;  Sara Curran, Director of International Studies and Associate Director of the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology; and Diane Adachi, Special Assistant to the Provost for International Relations.  Anand Yang was also able to meet with some staffers in the Washington delegation offices.

Mid-January brought  Washington state transportation experts to DC:  Leni Oman, Director of the Office of Research and Library Services with the Washington state Department of Transportation; Mark Hallenbeck, Director of the Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC) at the University of Washington; and Dave McLean, Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Washington State University.  The group is working together on a variety of joint research ventures in transportation, one of which is the establishment of a joint National University Transportation Center (UTC) through the reauthorization of the surface transportation bill.

Towards the end of January, David Anderson, Director of the Washington National Primate Research Center, was in town to meet with his associates at the National Center for Research Resources, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. 

The first weekend of February was the time of the blizzard on the east coast, which stopped all air and ground transportation.  Stephen Hanson, Vice Provost for Global Affairs was in DC for the Jackson Vanik Conference the week prior to the storm and was stranded in DC for a few extra days.  The same thing happened to Mary Baroni, Director of Nursing at UW Bothell, who was here for a Department of Education conference. 

The week of February 9th was supposed to have been extremely busy with three visitors from campus.  However, all three had to cancel their plans since there were no flights into DC due to snow.  Federal and local governments shut down, and public transportation was limited at best.  Kay Lewis, Director of Student Financial Aid, was the first one due in; Penny Dalton, Director of the Washington Sea Grant program, and Ana Mari Cauce, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, were the other two having to postpone or cancel plans.

Jan Newton, Principal Oceanographer at the Applied Physics Lab, was able to make it to DC for meetings with Hill staffers on February 17 & 18 on behalf of the National Federation of Regional Associations for Coastal and Ocean Observing (NFRA).  Her specific focus was on funding for the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS) and the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).

Science education was the focus of meetings that Maureen Munn, UW Director of Genome Sciences Education Outreach, had with Washington delegation staffers.  She was accompanied by Karen Peterson, Executive Director of Ed Lab Group, that uses technology and diversity as teaching techniques, and Jeanne Chowning, Director of Education for the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research.

Martha Somerman, Dean of the UW School of Dentistry was in DC the last week of February and was able to meet with key staffers in the Washington delegation offices about the school’s dentistry program for the disabled and Medicaid patients.

A four member group arrived in DC the first week of March to discuss federal funding for Forest Resources  research programs.  The group included:  Ivan Eastin, Director of the Center for International Trade in Forest Products (CINTRAFOR); Tom Hinckley, Director of the School of Forest Resources; and Rick Gustafson and Jerry Franklin, both Professors of Forest Resources.

Kathleen Woodward was here for Human Advocacy Day and met with Hill staffers about NEH support of higher education in humanities.  Kathleen is Director of the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities at UW.

Last, but certainly not least, UW President Mark Emmert is meeting this week with the Senators and Congress about the University of Washington appropriations requests.