D.C. update: FIRST Act receives markup, Executive MPA students visit D.C.

While the House deliberates on the FIRST Act and the appropriations process began on the Hill, FIU Executive MPA students met with Congress members and FIU alumni in D.C.

Protecting STEM research and education funding

In the House of Representatives, the bill Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act [HR 4186] was introduced on March 10, in the Committee of Science, Space, and Technology. The FIRST Act calls for the re-authorization of research funding for programs at agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The bill was heard for markups March 14 and proceeds now to the full committee, where the competing America COMPETES legislation may also be introduced.

Advancing FIU federal priorities

While the House was deliberating the FIRST Act, the FIU Federal Relations team made visits to the South Florida Congressional Delegation to discuss the university’s top 2014 federal priorities. Some of the priorities include securing funding for neuroprosthetics research, continue funding for FIU’s University Transportation Center in Accelerated Bridge Construction (UTC-ABC), and promoting future research partnerships with federal agencies like NSF, NIST and NOAA.

FIU’s Executive MPA students visits D.C.

On March 13, FIU’s Executive MPA students came to Washington to meet with Congressmen Joe Garcia and Mario Diaz-Balart from the South Florida delegation and the staffs of Senator Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio as part of their capstone experience to discuss issues ranging from immigration policy to the conservation of the Everglades. During afternoon briefings, notable FIU alumni and friends in key positions at agencies spoke to the group of students about issues in public policy.


Students in the Executive MPA program heard FIU alumni speak on a variety of topics relating to public policy.

The speakers were Max Holtzman, senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; William Ramos, director of intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce; Rafael Borras, senior advisor at A.T. Kearney Inc.; Harriet Tregoning, director of the Office of Resilience; Doug Calloway, director for Government Affairs for the State of Florida; Bill Couch, federal relations coordinator for Miami-Dade County; and Carlos Becerra, FIU’s director of federal relations.

FIU’s EMPA students also attended the American Society for Public Administration’s Annual Conference, which was held in Washington, D.C., this year. FIU Professor Allan Rosenbaum is slated to become president of ASPA.

Panther Sightings

Jayne Greenberg, member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and the district director of physical education and health literacy for Miami-Dade County Public Schools was spotted at the First Lady’s Partnership for a Healthier America Summit this week. Marcus Bright, director of Education of a Better America was at the ASPA Conference and FIU Professor Kalai Mathee arrived for a short-term appointment at the Pan American Health Organization.

-Juliet Haydar

For pictures of this week’s happenings and more information:

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