Killeen hosts President Executive Leadership Program in DC
The University of Illinois was all over DC this week, as UI President Tim Killeen led 10 deans, associate chancellors, and other rising leaders from Chicago, Urbana, and Springfield to the nation’s capital as part of a President’s Executive Leadership Program. The program’s DC seminar is designed to provide these senior level, campus-based administrators with greater exposure to federal issues and the federal policymaking process. They spent two full days meeting with the heads of national associations, top officials at federal agencies, the Illinois delegation, and local alumni.
Day 1: Engaging Associations, NSF, and Alumni
Following an introductory presentation by OGR and Lewis-Burke Associates, the group had a robust dialogue with APLU President Peter McPherson and the Head of AAAS’ Education & Human Resources Programs, Shirley Malcom, surrounding advocacy strategies on issues critical to the higher ed and research community.
The group spent the rest of their afternoon at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where they met with Director France Córdova and nearly all of her Assistant Directors to hear about cross-cutting NSF priorities. They also had a chance to meet with the leadership of two of NSF’s Directorates—Engineering as well as Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences.
That evening, the group interacted with DC-area alumni, including leaders from the DC Illini Club, at a dinner.
Day 2: More Agencies, Congress, and Alumni
Day two was just as stacked. The group started their day at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where they met with Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation, and Kei Koizumi, Assistant Director of Federal Research and Development. Kalil and Koizumi provided a helpful overview of how the President’s science and technology agenda is developed and some of OSTP’s top priorities.
They then met with an official from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—Carrie Wolinetz, NIH’s Associate Director for Science Policy. Wolinetz spoke about NIH’s efforts surrounding President Obama’s precision medicine initiative, clinical trials, and data sharing.
For the afternoon, they shifted over to Capitol Hill for several sessions to learn about legislative priorities and processes, beginning with a meeting with Congressman Rodney Davisand his senior staff. They also met with a senior staff member from the House Science Committee‘s Research & Technology Subcommittee to hear about the committee’s oversight and legislative functions. Finally, they met withSenator Dick Durbin‘s science advisor, and staff fromSenator Mark Kirk‘s office who are responsible for advising him on appropriations, education, and health care.
To cap off the DC trip, UI hosted a reception with alumni working on the Hill. In addition to Congressional staff, there was a strong showing of UI students interning in the DC area for the summer, including a majority of the participants of the Illinois in Washington (IIW) program. UISStudent Trustee Dominique Wilson also attended the event. President Killeen delivered remarks that emphasized the importance of student engagement in programs like IIW and commitment to helping UI produce the best and brightest students.
This year’s President’s Executive Leadership Program fellows included: Abbas Benmamoun(Urbana), Mike DeLorenzo (Urbana), Bo Fernhall (UIC), Gerard Joseph (UIS), Gay Miller(Urbana), Kouros Mohammadian (UIC), Peter Nelson (UIC), Michael Redding (UIC), Terri Weaver (UIC), and Barbara Wilson (Urbana). Both Urbana and UIC’s Vice Chancellors for Research, Peter Schiffer and Mitra Dutta, participated. In addition to UI President Tim Killeen, Vice President for Academic Affairs Christophe Pierre, Special Assistant to the PresidentMike Devocelle, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Dedra Williams, and Interim Director of State Relations Jennifer Creasey accompanied the group.
Rep. Rodney Davis visited Urbana’s Research Park today to hear about new initiatives and ongoing federally-funded projects. Research Park Director Laura Frerichs led him on a tour of EnterpriseWorks to speak with a number of university spin-off companies that are spearheading innovations in the areas of agriculture, transportation, and biotechnology—all fields relevant to his committee assignments.