Etten To Head Combined Hopkins Government Relations OfficeThomas A. Etten (pictured at right), director of federal relations at the University of Minnesota for seven years, has been appointed executive director of government relations for the Johns Hopkins Institutions, a new position responsible for contact with federal, state and local governments.
Etten, who will begin work at Hopkins March 1, will head a new office that will include university and Johns Hopkins Medicine representatives working at all levels of government. Previously, those lobbyists each reported to different offices within the university and Johns Hopkins Medicine.
"It's important to have a coordinated effort," Etten said, "to share information, to know what each other is doing and be able to collaborate and cooperate. ... A lot of state issues and federal issues have become intertwined with each other, particularly in the last decade, and what goes on in Washington has a lot of impact on what state legislatures are considering."
Etten brings to Hopkins 13 years of experience in university government relations, first as director of legislative affairs at Penn State and, since 1992, as director of federal relations at Minnesota. There, he worked closely with William R. Brody, then provost of Minnesota's Academic Health Center and now Hopkins president, on such issues as health research funding and graduate medical education.
"I have a lot of respect for Dr. Brody and for what he did [at Minnesota] and the job he's doing at Johns Hopkins," Etten said.
Before he was hired at Penn State, Etten spent nine years on the staff of Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., then chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
"Tom has a tremendous depth of experience and a terrific set of relationships, both in Washington and in the university community," Brody said. "He's a wonderful guy, and he will be a great asset to Johns Hopkins."
Etten is a 1968 graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
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