Mayoral adviser to join GW staff

GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg has appointed two assistant vice presidents to head GW’s government affairs department.

Bernard Demczuk, who will work on GW’s efforts within D.C., is the director of inter-governmental relations for Washington Mayor Marion Barry.

Demczuk will provide GW a direct link to the D.C. government and will monitor municipal activities of special concern to GW. His experience ranges from international to local political affairs in the District.

Ronald C. Willis, who serves as a special assistant to Trachtenberg for congressional and federal relations, will continue to focus on this area in his new position.

Both men will work directly with Trachtenberg and will report to GW Vice President and Treasurer Louis Katz.

“The team of Ron Willis and Bernard Demczuk will give GW a one-two punch in tackling challenges facing the University,” Trachtenberg said in a press release March 15.

Demczuk served as executive director of the D.C. Statehood Education Foundation and the political field director and legislative representative for the American Federation of Government Employees. He also participated in international fact-finding and professional consulting missions in Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Israel and El Salvador.

Demczuk, who will leave his office with the mayor and join the University April 6, will maintain close personal contact with the mayor’s office, the D.C. Council, the Control Board and related agencies.

Demczuk said he looks forward to working within the GW community. “The position is one where I am utilizing skills I have honed in 20 years while working with the city and the residents to try to improve the quality of life for the city and improve prospects of the University.

“I’m pleased to be part of a team . that includes students and residents of Foggy Bottom to make (GW) an outstanding partner with the District of Columbia,” Demczuk said.

Since 1996, Willis served as an interim liaison between the District and GW to help pass the Certificate of Need legislation that enabled the GW Hospital partnership agreement with Universal Health Services.

For more than four years, Willis has helped obtained grants and contracts in excess of $7 million for the University. He also played a key role in establishing the GW Alexandria Graduate Learning Center.

Willis said he is eager to join forces with Demczuk. “This is a partnership that will bring a real substantive focus to GW for government relations.”

Trachtenberg said the men’s track records prove they will be an asset to the University. “Demczuk brings a sustained record of excellence with the District of Columbia, and Willis has proven an effective advocate for the University.

“Their combined efforts will enable GW to enhance relations at all levels of government,” Trachtenberg added.

Katz agreed, “Our desire is to work more closely with all governmental organizations. This structure allows us to accomplish that.”

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