Georgetown’s Office of Community Engagement is hiring a director of local government affairs to advocate for university goals and engage the D.C. community and expects to fill the position by the beginning of the summer.
The search began March 5 after the university created the OCE, which absorbed the responsibilities of the Office of External Affairs, in August 2012 as part of its internal restructuring designed to better engage the local community. The office seeks partnership with the surrounding community in light of tensions that erupted over the 2010 Campus Plan, and the compromise-oriented Georgetown Community Partnership that arose as part of the resolution.
“The new position will deal with those kinds of issues that are city government issues that have a direct impact for the university,” Associate Vice President for Community Engagement and Strategic Initiatives Lauralyn Lee, whose own position was formed along with the OCE, said.
The new director will keep tabs on D.C. Council activity that relates to Georgetown and work with other local universities through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. The director will also assess opportunities for university growth in anticipation of the university’s planned expansion to a new site in D.C. — also a product of the campus plan agreement — as well as the rewriting of zoning regulations.
Lee said that the interview process is under way.
“What I am really looking for, given our commitment to engaging the city, is someone who has experience with city government — either the legislative branch or the executive branch — someone who brings experience from all parts of the city,” Lee said.
Lee noted that she wants to the new director to have experience with broader District government, as opposed to just Wards 2 or 3 in the areas adjacent to the university, and to be receptive to student input.
“I think this person will work with the city council, work with the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, and we would love to have our students engaged with these offices,” Lee said.
To incorporate student opinion, the OCE will also hold regular office hours for students to discuss issues related to the city beginning next fall.
“The students are the bread and butter of why we are here,” Lee said. “To be able to represent students and their interests and what makes sense for the future of Georgetown really makes sense for us.”