Join AltaSea for a deep dive on where the Federal government is headed on Ocean Conservation & the Blue Economy.
David B. Brown was named the University of Southern California’s (USC) Vice President for Federal Relations in February of 2020. Prior to that appointment, Mr. Brown served as Associate Senior Vice President for USC’s Office of Federal Relations for the previous seven years. As the Vice President for Federal Relations, Mr. Brown serves as the university’s chief advocate on all legislative and regulatory matters related to higher education and student aid policy, federal research funding, and healthcare policy in Washington, DC.
Prior to joining USC, Mr. Brown served as director of health and clinical affairs for the University of California (UC) federal governmental relations in Washington, D.C. for 11 years. In that capacity, he served as the UC Health System’s senior lobbyist and healthcare policy expert on all matters related to Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, health professions education and training, biomedical research, and other areas of interest to the University’s five academic medical centers, physician faculty and schools of medicine, nursing, public health, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry and affiliated veterans affairs (VA) medical centers.
Before moving to Washington, D.C, he served three years as government relations manager for the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and seven years as director of health policy for the Virginia Hospital Association located in Richmond, Virginia.
Mr. Brown received his bachelor’s degree in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia in 1987 and his master’s degree in health administration from the Medical College of Virginia in 1997.
Chris Castillo is Director of Federal Government Relations for UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She has an extensive background in policy and community and government relations, in both the public and private sector. In her current role, Chris focuses on congressional relations, strategic partnerships, facilitating extramural funding at the federal level, and research planning.
Chris began her career serving in the district and Washington, D.C. offices for two Members of Congress from the San Diego region. As policy advisor, she handled energy, science, technology, and small business issues.
Prior to joining Scripps, Chris worked in the private sector as a consultant, managing community relations and grassroots organizing.
Chris currently serves as a board member for her community planning group, and is an ex-officio member for two policy subcommittees for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce focused on military and sustainability issues. Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in government from California State University, Sacramento.
Don Polese is Senior Partner/Managing Partners at Vectis DC. He has spent over three decades on Capitol Hill, both with leading Members of Congress and as a consultant to many significant California private and public companies and organizations. Through his long-time service as District Chief of Staff to San Diego and Orange County Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ron Packard, he is deeply knowledgeable about the annual federal budget and appropriations process. He also has developed many years of close relationships within key Federal agencies in DC and in California, including Defense, Energy, Education, Interior, Transportation, and EPA, and has assisted in the procurement of Federal permits for a number of major public and private projects throughout the Golden State. Don is on the Advisory Board of Washington Abstract, a collaborative, cloud-based tool to track, organize, and impact legislation.
Janet Clayton is a communications and strategy expert. Clayton has received many accolades for excellence in her profession, including recognition as the editor of two Pulitzer Prize-winning series at the Los Angeles Times.