Shana Udvardy ’90 BA (IR) has articled published on the importance of confirming new FEMA administrator


Shana Udvardy’s article, “5 Reasons Why Congress Should Immediately Greenlight the Nation’s Natural Disaster Responder-in-Chief,” was published in June of 2017. In the article, Udvardy draws from her expertise as a climate preparedness specialist with the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She posits that Congress should waste no time confirming the newly appointed Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator, Brock Long. It appears Udvardy’s plea to Congress paid off: In late June of 2017, shortly after Udvardy’s article was published, Brock was confirmed as FEMA’s next administrator by the U.S. Senate with an overwhelming majority. More information about Udvardy and her article can be found here.

Christian Lee ’08 MPA begins tenure as Coast Guard Fellow on U.S. Senate Committee


U.S. Coast Guard Commander Christian Lee began his most recent assignment: as a Coast Guard Fellow on the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Homeland Security. Commander Lee’s selection as a U.S. Coast Guard Fellow comes after his recent graduation from the National War College in Washington, D.C., where he earned his M.S. degree in National Security Strategy. This is not Lee’s first assignment with the U.S. Coast Guard. In a previous position, Lee served as commander of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Richard Etheridge, a 154-foot cutter ship, and its crew of 24.



Join Us in D.C. to Meet Maxwell’s Newest Alumni and Summer Students


Join us for an informal alumni meet up in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, July 13. Connect and network with Maxwell friends while welcoming recent graduates and summer students to D.C.!

Date & Location

Thursday, 7/13/2017

5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Sauf Haus Bier Hall & Garten
1216 18th Street, NW
(18th between M and Jefferson)
Second Floor Foosball Bar

Metro: Farragut North or Dupont Circle

Please Note: Sauf Haus is a 21 and older space. All guests and patrons must possess a valid government-issued photo ID.

Other Details

This event is free and open to Maxwell School alumni, their guests, students, and prospective students.  Light appetizers will be served; cash bar.

Register Now!



Anne Kagi ’11 MPA is now senior associate at MPP Associates


Anne Kagi is now senior associate at MPP Associates, a Washington, D.C. based consulting firm specializing in nonprofit board development, strategic planning, and organizational development. Previously, she was liaison and youth program manager at the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, also in D.C. In her new role, she guides staff and board members through agency growth, helps organizations develop implementation and evaluation plans, and supports partnerships between boards and chief executives. More info about her new position and MPP Associates can be found at:

Join Us in Washington, D.C. for an Alumni Program and Reception on Thursday, April 20!



Maxwell School Dean David M. Van Slyke and the Maxwell Advisory Board invite you to a timely discussion of policy issues made prominent during the first three months of the Trump presidency, such as health care finance, tax reform, immigration, national security, and protectionism.

We will be joined at this event by expert analysts Ryan Streeter, director of domestic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and Heidi Shierholz, a senior policy analyst at the Economic Policy Institute. Grant Reeher, director of Maxwell’s Campbell Public Affairs Institute, will moderate.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

5:30 p.m. Doors open
5:45 p.m. 
Reception follows

Westin Washington, D.C. City Center
Monticello Room
1400 M Street NW
Washington, D.C.
McPherson Square Metro

Event Details
This event is free and open to Maxwell School alumni, their guests, students, and prospective students.

Register Now

Contact Jessica Murray at 315.443.2660 or

More About the Participants


Heidi Shierholz is senior economist and director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, heading the Perkins Project on Worker Rights and Wages and leading EPI’s efforts to advance a worker-centered policy agenda. From 2014 to 2017, she served as chief economist at the Obama Administration’s Department of Labor, helping to develop initiatives to boost workers’ rights, wages, and benefits; protect savings; and increase workplace safety.


Ryan Streeter is director of domestic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where he oversees research in education, American citizenship, politics, public opinion, and social and cultural studies. He is former deputy chief of staff for policy for Indiana Governor Mike Pence and former special assistant for domestic policy to President George W. Bush. He was most recently executive director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the University of Texas at Austin.


Grant Reeher is professor of political science and director of the Alan K. Campbell Public Affairs Institute at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. His specialties are American politics, political theory, health-care policy, citizenship and democracy, and public engagement. Research interests include democratic processes and the dynamics of representation, social justice, health care politics and policy, and legislative behavior.

This program is sponsored in part by the Louis A. Bantle Chair in Business-Government Policy at the Maxwell School.


Eric Heighberger ’93 BA (IR) is now chief of staff at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)


Eric Heighberger has been appointed to serve as the chief of staff for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This is not his first appointment with FEMA.  During the George W. Bush Administration he served as deputy director for legislative affairs, and later as advisor to former administrator David Paulison and deputy administrator Harvey Johnson. He also worked with FEMA’s Public Assistance program in New York City from 2001-2003, and was deployed with the same program after the 2004 hurricanes in Florida. In addition to his work with FEMA, from 2008-2009 he served on the White House Homeland Security Council as director of response policy. Aside from his positions with FEMA and the White House, he has worked in the private sector and on Capitol Hill. Prior to his current role with FEMA, from 2013-2017 he was deputy staff director for the House Homeland Security Committee. Additionally, he served as a professional staff member to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee from 2011-2012.


Join us at CSIS for an Alumni Reception and Program: Inequality and the State of Working America – Thursday, April 7

Dean James B. Steinberg and the Maxwell School Advisory Board invite you to a timely discussion on wage stagnation, the transformation of work, rampant inequality, and the future of labor unions.  Leading the conversation will be Josh Bivens, research and policy director at the Economic Policy Institute.  Also on the panel will be Maxwell School faculty members Gretchen Purser and Matthew Huber.


6:00 p.m. Program

7:00 p.m. Cocktail reception and networking


Center for Strategic and International Studies
1616 Rhode Island Avenue NW
Washington, DC

Event Details

This event is free and open to Maxwell School alumni, their guests, students, and prospective students.


Register Now


Contact Norma Shannon at 315.443.5504 or

More about our panelists:

Bivens (from Dana)

Josh Bivens is the research and policy director at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). His areas of research include macroeconomics, fiscal and monetary policy, the economics of globalization, social insurance, and public investment. He frequently appears as an economics expert on news shows, including the Public Broadcasting Service’s “NewsHour,” the “Melissa Harris-Perry” show on MSNBC, WAMU’s “The Diane Rehm Show,” American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” and programs of the BBC.

Bivens is the author of Failure by Design: The Story behind America’s Broken Economy (EPI and Cornell University Press) and Everybody Wins Except for Most of Us: What Economics Really Teachers About Globalization (EPI). He is the co-author of The State of Working America, 12thEdition (EPI and Cornell University Press) and a co-editor of Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, No Jobs: Labor Markets and Informal Work in Egypt, El Salvador, India, Russia and South Africa (EPI).

Matthew-Huber. cropped jpg

Matthew T. Huber is an associate professor of geography at the Maxwell School.  His research looks at the relationship between energy systems and the larger social, cultural and political forces. His 2013 book, Lifeblood: Oil, Freedom and the Forces of Capital, examines the role of oil in shaping suburbanization and the rightward turn of American politics in the 1970s and beyond. His new project examines the industrial fertilizer industry and their immense natural gas consumption and carbon emissions.

.Gretchen_Pursar (from Dana)

Gretchen Purser is an assistant professor of sociology at the Maxwell School and author of the forthcoming Labor On Demand:  Dispatching the Urban Poor.  Her research focuses on precarious work and the low-wage labor market, the reproduction and lived experience of urban poverty, and the politics of punishment in the U.S.

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