Government Relations & Policy Development

 

Sarah Flanagan photo
Biography
   Sarah A. Flanagan
Vice President for Government Relations and
Policy Development

sarah@naicu.edu

Sarah Flanagan has headed the government relations staff of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) since 1994. As vice president for government relations, Flanagan directs a comprehensive government relations effort, in coordination with related state associations, that focuses on issues of government regulation, student financial assistance, and tax policy.

During her tenure at NAICU, Flanagan has been instrumental in a number of successful policy efforts, including securing sustained bipartisan political and funding support for the core federal student aid programs; creating new tax incentives for families to save and pay for college; and helping to ensure an appropriate balance between federal support for students and oversight of colleges and universities. Flanagan has an extensive background in higher education policy, education, and the federal government.

Before joining NAICU, she was the professional staff member for higher education on the Senate Subcommittee on Education, Arts and Humanities under Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, and the Staff Director for the Senate Subcommittee on Children, Families, Drugs and Alcoholism under Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.

Flanagan received her B.A. degree from Providence College (RI) and her M.A.T. degree from Rhode Island College. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Mary Baldwin College (VA) and Beacon College (FL), and is a Trustee Emerita at Providence College (RI).
     
Maureen Budetti photo   Maureen R. Budetti
Director of Student Aid Policy
maureen@naicu.edu

Maureen Budetti was named director of student aid policy for NAICU in 1996. She develops legislative strategies and represents NAICU on issues of federal student aid policy with Congress, the Department of Education, and the higher education community.

Prior to joining NAICU, Budetti spent more than 10 years working with federal student aid programs and serving as a liaison with the Department of Education. Her past experience includes working as the principal legislative analyst with the University of California’s Office of Federal Governmental Relations, where she monitored such national higher education issues as federal student aid and institutional accountability. She also served as the assistant director of the Association Liaison Office for University Cooperation in Development at the American Council on Education (ACE), and designed conceptual servicing models for the Department of Education’s Income Contingent Repayment Plan (part of the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program) while at a private corporation.

Budetti earned her B.A. degree at St. Mary’s College (IN), and her M.A. degrees at Columbia University (NY) and the University of California at Berkeley.
     
    Stephanie Giesecke   
Director of Budget and Appropriations
stephanie@naicu.edu 

Stephanie Giesecke is responsible for representing NAICU on budget and appropriations issues with Congress, the administration, and the higher education community.

Before joining NAICU in 1999, Giesecke was legislative assistant for the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), where she coordinated the association's legislative advocacy network, and served as liaison to Congress on budget and appropriations matters. Prior to joining ACCT in 1992, Giesecke was a legislative assistant for Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.). In addition, she has been an active member of the Committee for Education Funding, most recently serving as president in 2006.  She earned a bachelor's degree from Washington University, and a master's degree from George Washington University.
     
    Karin L. Johns
Director of Tax Policy
karin@naicu.edu 

Karin L. Johns was appointed NAICU’s director of tax policy in 1998. She is responsible for developing legislative strategies and representing NAICU on tax policy issues with Congress and the higher education community.  In addition, she serves as the association's liaison to the NAICU Secretariat.

Before joining NAICU, Johns was legislative director for Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.). She managed his legislative staff and was responsible for overseeing Ways and Means Committee issues, including tax policy, human resources, health care, Social Security, and trade. From 1990 to 1994, she worked for Rep. Fred Grandy (R-Iowa), including two years as a legislative assistant. Johns graduated from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, with a B.A. in Information Arts, and a concentration in political science. After graduation, Johns attended the Fund for American Studies Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
     
Robert (Bo) Newsome photo   Robert (Bo) Newsome   
Director of Outreach and State Relations
bo@naicu.edu

Robert "Bo" Newsome is responsible for coordinating projects to help NAICU members become more active in the public policy arena and to reinforce the NAICU agenda within the association's membership.  He also helped coordinate the National Campus Voter Registration Project, a nonpartisan effort sponsored by the national higher education associations to register college students and employees for the elections in 2000.  In addition, he serves as NAICU's liaison to the National Association of Independent College and University State Executives (NAICUSE).

Newsome graduated from Columbia University, and holds a master's degree in higher education policy from George Washington University. Before joining NAICU in 1999, he had spent at decade working in admissions, counseling, and coaching at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C.
     
  Tim Powers
Director of Accountability and Regulatory Issues
tim@naicu.edu 

Tim Powers is responsible for representing NAICU on accountability and regulatory issues, including accreditation, state authorization, campus-based aid, and the College Scorecard.

He joined NAICU in January 2015 after more than five years on the staff of former U.S. Representative Tim Bishop (D-NY), where he focused primarily on higher education issues under the jurisdiction of the House Education & the Workforce Committee.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at Wake Forest University (NC) and an MBA degree at Georgetown University (DC). 
     
    Cynthia R. Moore
Staff Assistant
cynthia@naicu.edu 

Cynthia Moore provides staff assistance to the government relations staff. She attended Central State University.
     
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