Former Congressional staff adviser Amy Carroll started as the University's director of government relations and community affairs Dec. 1.
Carroll previously served as an adviser to Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and was a staff member on Senate committees on homeland security and science and technology.
Carroll will oversee the Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs, which directs Brown's engagement with the public sector. She will serve as the University's primary link to federal officials as well as its representative to national associations, according to a University press release.
"I think I bring a rather unique perspective to this because I have a scientific background," Carroll said. Carroll earned a doctorate in microbiology and environmental engineering at Cornell before working on Capitol Hill.
On the Hill, Carroll served as the primary adviser to Collins on issues related to energy, the environment and science, she said. She added that there are many opportunities for enhancing the University's efforts in these areas, including pinpointing research opportunities, using professors' research to build new technologies and bolstering the University's sustainability initiatives.
Today's political environment is a particularly exciting time to work in government relations, according to Carroll.
"You have a new state governor, you have a new mayor, you have a new representative and the national face of Congress has changed so much that there really is an opportunity for Brown to educate these people and interact with them and have them be champions for issues that matter to the University," she said.
Brown's chief legislative priorities are student aid and scientific research, Carroll said.
Of the more than 60 candidates that applied for the position, Carroll stood out because she possessed a "rare combination" of policy experience and scientific understanding, said Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations.
"We'll be looking to Amy to advise on the best way to affect either legislation or rule-making that would be beneficial to higher education generally and Brown more specifically," Quinn said.
Brown has pushed for reauthorization of a law regulating scientific research and development, legislation dealing with stem cell research, and passage of the DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented students a path to citizenship, Quinn wrote in an e-mail to The Herald.
Carroll's scientific background is especially relevant to her new role, Quinn said.
"Her range of experience and her depth of knowledge in science policy, and particularly with relation to energy and the environment, which are areas of interest to our faculty and our students and to the state frankly, will serve us well," she said.