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PCC hires Rob Wagner as its government relations director
Photos and Story by James Hill
Portland Community College’s Office for Institutional Advancement has hired Rob Wagner as its new government relations director.
During the last 10 years, the Lake Oswego resident served as the Director of Political and Legislative Affairs for the American Federation of Teachers-Oregon where he developed legislative and political strategies for education employees across Oregon, including the faculty, academic professionals and classified employees of PCC.
He was the organization’s chief lobbyist at the state and federal level and was its lead research analyst on education policy and funding for Pre-K through post-secondary education issues. Before that, Wagner worked as a political campaign manager and legislative aide for state legislators and as the director of a federal grant related to housing programs for the National League of Cities in Washington D.C.
“He comes to us with a knowledge of current higher education issues, strong relationships with elected officials, and some great strategies for taking our government relations efforts to a higher level, among other skills and strengths,” said Kristin Watkins, Associate Vice President for College Advancement.
Wagner studied Government and American Studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., before earning his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Portland State University. In addition, he earned a master’s degree in Public Policy from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. His history with PCC extends back to a break-dancing class he took at the Sylvania Campus in the 1980s as well as working as a lifeguard at Sylvania’s pool during college.
In his current role at PCC, Wagner will lead the government relations functions of the college, planning and executing a government affairs strategy that advances PCC’s mission and goals with local, regional, state, and federal elected officials.
“Education is everywhere in my family – from my mother and aunts, to both my sisters,” said Wagner. “I’m truly excited to be joining the PCC family in this capacity. I’m excited to work with all our stakeholders in building support for the college and the mission of educational attainment for families across the region.”