Scripps College of Communication Dean Scott Titsworth, left, speaks during the Washington Policy Forum kickoff event on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C.

Photographer: Megan Westervelt

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OHIO’s Washington Policy Forum connects alumni, university

Nearly 100 Ohio University alumni attended a Washington Policy Forum kickoff event in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The event was the first in a series aimed at reconnecting alumni in the nation’s capital to Ohio University.  

David Hoover, ’93, opened the event by saying, “I’ve long been impressed by the accomplishments of Bobcats in the nation’s capital who have distinguished themselves in a variety of fields. Tonight’s panelists are just one example. The creation of this forum started with a simple idea—how do we better connect and engage with Bobcats in Washington who have a passion for public policy discussions?”

Panel moderator Randy Wynn, ’73, deputy executive director of CQ Roll Call, challenged the panelists on various topics including the internet tax, cyber security, the healthcare act, and most popular and on everyone’s mind, the debt ceiling.

Panelists included Ryan Berger, ’02, senior policy advisor to U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R., Tenn.); Ken Kies, ’74, managing director, Federal Policy Group; Crystal King, ’05, political director, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; Don May, ’92, managing director, Farragut Square Group; and Drew Fields, ’89, partner, Mercury Strategies. Questions from the audience came rapidly from everything from gun control to corporate taxes.

Neal Denton, senior vice president and chief government affairs officer at the YMCA of the USA attended the event and hopes the series will bring about increased contact between alumni working in D.C. and Bobcats in Athens who wish to follow suit.

“This was a great event for connecting with old friends and for meeting other Bobcats working in and around Washington, D.C. The more we are connected with each other and our friends in Athens, the more we can support Bobcats looking for opportunities to serve in D.C.”

A reception allowed alumni the opportunity to network with like-minded people, bringing all together around the same topics and providing them the opportunity to reconnect with OHIO research, news and projects related to timely policy issues.   

The Washington Policy Forum was sponsored by Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, the Scripps College of Communication, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Ohio University Alumni Association.

The Washington Policy Forum is now planned as a quarterly event series with the next event focusing on cyber security. Planning for a second event is under way.