About Us

What We Do

  • Advocate for Princeton with members of Congress, Congressional staff and executive branch officials on these issues
  • Provide information and answer questions about Princeton and our issues of interest
  • Collaborate with peer higher education institutions and associations on policy issues of common concern
  • Bring faculty, administrators and students together with policymakers
  • Brief Princeton administrators and faculty on developments in Congress and the executive branch 
  • Outreach to Princeton alumni working in Washington, D.C., in key policy positions
  • Host the Princeton-in-Washington summer program coordinator

Who We Are

The Office of Government Affairs reports to the vice president for communications and government affairs, Gadi Dechter.

 

Joyce Rechtschaffen

Assistant Vice President

Joyce Rechtschaffen ’75 became the director of Princeton University’s Office of Government Affairs in 2006. Prior to joining Princeton, Joyce spent 17 years in the U.S. Senate, including service for Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT) as staff director on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and counsel to the Clean Air and Nuclear Regulation Subcommittee of the Committee on Environment and Public Works.  She worked on legislation establishing the Department of Homeland Security, the 9-11 Commission and the Director of National Intelligence.  She also worked on the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and climate change legislation. Prior to Senate service, Joyce was a senior attorney with the Environmental Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice and practiced litigation at a law firm.

Joyce received her A.B. degree from Princeton in 1975 (majoring in the School of Public and International Affairs) and earned her law degree from Harvard in 1978. 

 

Julie Groeninger

Director

Julie Groeninger joined Princeton University's Washington, D.C., office in June 2011 after serving as a legislative assistant for the late New Jersey Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, working on issues related to education, immigration, housing, campaign finance and government affairs.  In addition to her six years with Senator Lautenberg, Julie worked for Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms. 

Julie graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, in 2004 with degrees in history and political science.

 

 

Aaron McClendon 

Assistant Director 

Aaron McClendon joined Princeton University's Washington, D.C., office in March 2020 after working as a public affairs coordinator for a lobbying firm in New York. He worked on community event planning and relationship building with state legislators throughout the Northeast. He also interned for Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ) through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and worked on community relations and government affairs initiatives for multiple advocacy and non-profit organizations in Philadelphia.

Aaron graduated Summa Cum Laude from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey with a B.A. in English Language and Literature and a dual minor in Political Science and Legal Studies.

Kimberly Nerres

Legislative Associate

Kimberly Nerres has been in Princeton's Washington, D.C., office since 1996. Kim has been with the University since 1988 in various capacities, including program coordinator for the Department of East Asian Studies, where she worked on the Chinese Linguistics Project and Title VI funding.  She was also the program associate for the Princeton-in-Asia program.

Kim graduated from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs with a specialty in Chinese Studies in 1977.