Ben Miller named UW director of federal relations

Ben Miller, who first came to campus as CALS’ associate dean for external affairs and communications (from 2004 to 2010), has been named the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s director of federal relations. He has served that role in an interim basis for the past nine months.

“Ben’s knowledge of higher education policy, Congress and federal agencies, plus his experience on campus, gives us a combination that allows the university to strengthen its presence in Washington, D.C.,” says Charles Hoslet, associate vice chancellor for government and corporate affairs.  “His judgment and ability to build relationships will help ensure that UW-Madison remains a leader in research and education.”

During his time as the interim director, Miller helped open a UW-Madison office in Washington, D.C. and established a physical, full-time presence for the university in the nation’s capitol. His interim appointment followed the retirement of Rhonda Norsetter, the university’s longtime federal relations director.

Miller will maintain relationships with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation, strengthen relationships with faculty who are active in D.C., and bolster partnerships with federal agencies and other higher education and scientific organizations located in the nation’s capital. 

Miller served as legislative assistant to two UW-Madison graduates – former Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl from 2000-04 and to U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, of Ohio, from 1997 to 2000. He went on to serve in a number of roles at the university. 

“I want to make sure that UW-Madison is plugged into the national conversation about higher education policy and the future of scientific research, and that our viewpoints are heard and understood,” says Miller. “It will be critical for us to be on the ground in Washington as higher education policy issues are debated in Congress and considered by the administration.”

More than 30 percent of UW-Madison’s overall budget comes from federal programs. Thirty-five percent of all financial aid grants, as well as 90 percent of loans and work-study money, come from federal aid.