Kean University Delegations Travel to Washington, D.C. for Congressional Caucus Meetings
UNION, N.J. — Two Kean University delegations met with top federal officials and congressional representatives in Washington D.C. this week to advocate for Kean’s initiatives and advance the national dialogue on important issues in higher education, further elevating the University’s national profile.
The delegations – led by Vice President for Administration Carlos Rodriguez and Chief Government Affairs Officer and Special Assistant to the President Kellie LeDet – this week attended the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Leadership Conference and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Annual Legislative Conference.
“Our delegations had the opportunity to meet face-to-face, and at times, one-on-one with the nation’s leaders and let them know directly what is important to Kean University, its students, faculty and employees,” said Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. “We always appreciate the opportunity to share the Kean story on the national stage.”
The delegations include Kean administrators, faculty, staff and a student representative. At the CHCI conference, members of the group attended the Annual Gala, where President Biden delivered remarks, and an event with Vice President Kamala Harris, moderated by actor John Leguizamo.
They also met with Senior White House Advisor Emmanual Caudillo; Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Nassar Paydar, Ph.D.; U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and representatives Donald Payne Jr. and Thomas Kean Jr.; and political strategist Maria Cardona. Topics discussed included scholarship opportunities, immigration reform and using data to close equity gaps.
“As a proud Hispanic-Serving Institution, Kean is compelled to advocate for students from all backgrounds at the highest levels,” Rodriguez said. “It was an honor to meet with some of our nation’s leaders and tell them about all of the great things we’re doing at New Jersey’s urban research university.”
At the CBC Legislative Caucus, the Kean delegation hosted its own networking meeting and attended events with Sen. Booker and U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson-Coleman.
“We want to share the experiences, successes and challenges of our students and this University in the corridors of power where decisions are made that directly affect us,” LeDet said. “Our federal leaders are eager to hear from us, and we covered a lot of ground in our meetings. We are grateful for their time and careful consideration of the issues we brought before them.”
The week-long events conclude Saturday, September 23 with A Day of Healing, formerly the National Prayer Breakfast. The signature Congressional Black Caucus Foundation event provides inspiration and an opportunity for reflection on the fight for social justice for African Americans.