Proposed: a new, D.C.-based CALS Science and Policy Leadership program

CALS is exploring the idea of developing a new program that would give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to work in Washington, D.C. to get involved in the development of policies related to food, health, energy and the environment.

The proposed CALS Science and Policy Leadership program is intended to ensure that the college’s knowledge helps inform public policies that are developed in Washington.  The program will provide opportunities for faculty, staff and students to strengthen our relationships with federal agencies and policymakers in the executive and legislative branch, interest groups, and other private entities in the D.C. area. It will also provide students with a great opportunity to explore potential career paths.

Here are some key obectives of the new program:

•    Inform students and scientists on the intricacies of federal policymaking
•    Offer scientific expertise and analysis to support decision-makers as they work on  societal issues surrounding food, energy, health and the environment
•    Develop and grow working relationships between scientists, policymakers and their staffs
•    Elevate the college’s profile and help our scientists become more involved in the public policy arena
•    Provide more opportunities for intensive, short-term research opportunities
•    Prepare students for careers in public policy at all levels of government

An important first step is to investigate the feasibility of this program. To this end, associate dean Ben Miller will be working in D.C. during February and March to identify potential collaborators and develop a business model that can sustain the program. He will be meeting with potential host organizations and enlisting aid from CALS graduates who work in the D.C. area. He will also explore potential educational opportunities for students, including a possible partnership with a university that has a D.C. campus.

If you have questions or ideas for possible D.C. partners,  contact Miller at (608) 262-5570 or

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