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Alum details ND relations in D.C.

| Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday evening, Notre Dame alum and lobbyist John Sturm hosted an informal dialogue with students in the Coleman-Morse lounge, which highlighted the relations between the University and Washington.

Sturm, Notre Dame’s Associate Vice President for Federal and Washington Relations, said he acts as a lobbyist for the University in Washington, where he has chosen to reside after attending Indiana University for law school. Throughout his career, he has worked as a lawyer for NBC, a lobbyist for CBS and for the Newspaper Association of America, the latter of which he was also CEO.

The goal of the dialogue was to discuss his goals in advancing interest in Notre Dame in Washington, Sturm said. He works with associations focused on higher education, such as the National Association of Independent Colleges.

“One of the most important aspects of my job is to be informed,” Sturm said. “In order to maximize benefit of what Notre Dame does, it is good to have advanced knowledge of what is going on.”

Specifically, Sturm described his work with Notre Dame professors Bill Evans and Joe Sullivan and the Lab for Economic Opportunities at Notre Dame.  The lab has a contract with Catholic Charities that allows it to access valuable antipoverty data, Sturm said.

“The human resources subcommittee took special interest in this research [and] I helped to connect them with [professor] Evans and [professor] Sullivan,” Sturm said.

Sturm said he is also part of a science coalition and a sports coalition in Washington.

“As a representative of a major research university, I work to help the [public relations] aspect of research at Notre Dame and to remind the federal government of the importance of funding science,” he said.

As a member of the sports coalition, Sturm said he works with the University of Michigan and the NCAA to keep an eye on legislation that affects sports.

Sturm described another project that he is working on, which involves a task force in the U.S. Senate that focuses on making universities more efficient in accreditation processes.

In response to one student’s question, Sturm offered advice for Notre Dame students who are interested in a career in Washington.

“If you are interested in Washington, look at the government, look at the hill, and get an area of expertise that you can call your own, a sort of home base. This will help you in the long run.”

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