Pitt Extends Its Reach, Opens Center in Washington, D.C.

Issue Date: 
October 27, 2008


The University of Pittsburgh Washington Center has officially opened at 2025 M Street, N.W. in the nation’s capital. The new center, a five-office suite, is located at the edge of Foggy Bottom.

The center is a joint venture launched with financial support from the Office of the Provost and by Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), School of Law, Office of Student Affairs, and Department of Federal Governmental Relations.

John Keeler, dean of GSPIA, recently hired a full-time associate director of GSPIA’s Alumni Relations and Career Services, Jessica Hatherill, who will be based in the D.C. center. In addition to offices for staff based in D.C., the suite includes two large seminar rooms, one of which is equipped with HD videoconferencing equipment to allow for connections to comparable facilities on the Oakland campus.

The center has been designed to be an invaluable means of serving GSPIA and School of Law students, strengthening both schools’ alumni networks in Washington and opening new instructional opportunities. Keeler notes that nearly half of GSPIA graduates take their first jobs in the Washington, D.C., area, many do internships there, and a great number of GSPIA’s most prominent alumni reside there.

Also, the Chesapeake and Potomac Pitt Club is the largest Pitt alumni chapter outside of Pittsburgh.

With its videoconferencing capability, GSPIA will soon start holding “D.C. Alumni Briefings” for its students in Pittsburgh. This spring the school will offer a course taught by its first Washington-based adjunct professor, Daniel J. Fiorino, a distinguished senior manager at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“We have only just begun to explore the possible ways we can benefit from the center,” Keeler explained. “The prospects are exciting, especially because we can already envision synergies developing from collaboration with the law school and our other Pitt partners.”

Mary Crossley, dean of Pitt’s law school, also stresses the value of the Washington Center in recruiting prospective students and providing educational experiences and placement support for current students.

“Having a physical presence in D.C.—with a staff member focusing on alumni relations and career services—will allow the School of Law to leverage its proximity to our nation’s legal center by providing our students with greater access to externships in the federal government and a broad range of employment opportunities,” said Crossley. “We are excited about the prospect of strengthening our ties with and supporting our D.C.-area alumni.” She further notes that Pitt law alumni are working with the school’s faculty to develop a range of externship opportunities for law students.

Paul Supowitz, vice chancellor for governmental relations at Pitt, also welcomes the opportunity for a federal base of operations in D.C. “Proximity to the House and the Senate as well as federal Executive Branch agencies is extremely important for the University’s federal government relations endeavors—led by Jeanne Stoner, assistant vice chancellor for federal relations—and for providing a higher Washington profile for the University. We are very pleased to be able to share in the use of this facility as part of our efforts to promote the students, faculty, and programs of the University of Pittsburgh with our legislators and with federal offices in Washington.