Approximately 2,500 alumni in the D.C. metro area work in places such as legislative offices, engineering firms and museums. Roughly 80 to 100 students annually hold internships and fellowships at government agencies such as the Department of Energy and nonprofit organizations such as the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute. Hundreds of professors and researchers – including infectious diseases expert Dr. Aileen Marty and College of Arts, Sciences & Education Dean Michael Heithaus – visit each year, often to brief public officials on a range of issues such as the Zika threat and agricultural innovation.
Much of FIU’s influence resides in the work of professors and researchers, who travel to Washington roughly 500 times each year, often to speak to government agencies on important topics facing the nation. As one of only 15 universities that have a satellite presence in Washington, FIU provides faculty and other university leaders both practical assistance and a physical space from which to operate.
In September Laura Dinehart, executive director of the School of Education & Human Development, passed through on her way to meeting with then-U.S. Secretary of Education John King in support of the Obama administration’s efforts to diversify the country’s teacher workforce. Dinehart’s work and expertise reflect FIU’s own growing profile.
“The nation is moving to a more diverse population,” Dinehart says, “and we know that we have to be a model for the rest of the nation. We are in a unique position to do that.”