State Relations

April 10, 2008

New Higher Education Policy Advisor for Governor Gregoire

Back from a quick family vacation and during the drive home yesterday, I realized that I missed updating all of you on an important staff change in the Governor’s policy office.

In late February, Debora Merle (who has served as the Governor’s higher education policy advisor since the beginning of her administration), left Olympia to become Executive Director of the California State Board of Education.  As someone who came from California to Olympia many years ago, I joked that she was literally jumping from one frying pan into another, and in Sacramento, it gets so hot in the summer it is both figuratively and literally like a frying pan.  Moreover, their sessions go on forever, but Deb was undeterred and ready for a new challenge.  We wish her the best of luck.

Recently, the Governor’s policy office announced the hiring of Chris Alejano as the Governor’s new higher education policy advisor.  Chris is a doctoral student at the UW in educational policy and leadership and was a member of the Washington Learns Higher Education Advisory Committee.  He also recently served as a research analyst during the 2007 session on the House Early Learning and Children’s Services Committee.  Chris started work on April 1 and all of us in the higher education community are looking forward to working with Chris as we move forward in developing our 2009 policy agendas.