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.


Julie Groeninger  

Assistant Vice President

Julie Groeninger joined Princeton University's Washington, D.C., office in June 2011.  Prior to joining the office, Julie served as a legislative assistant for the late New Jersey Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, working on issues related to education, immigration, housing, and campaign finance.  She has also worked for Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms.

During her time at Princeton, Julie has taken on a number of leadership roles, including serving as chair of the Council on Federal Relations at AAU; chair of the AAU Task Force on Immigration; chair of the Task Force on Innovation, and co-chair of the Energy Sciences Coalition. 

In 2022, Julie received the President’s Achievement Award, one of Princeton University’s highest honors.  She has also received the “Ripple Effect Award” from AAU, in recognition of her public service contributions to the higher education community. 

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



David Bagby


David Bagby joined Princeton University’s Washington, D.C. office as Director of Government Affairs in April 2024.  Prior to joining Princeton, David served as Director of Federal Relations for the University of Wisconsin-Madison following almost 14 years on Capitol Hill.

Before working for institutions of higher education, David served four Members of the U.S. House of Representatives as either Legislative Director or Deputy Chief of Staff.  He staffed Members on the House Education and the Workforce Committee (including the Ranking Member of the Higher Education Subcommittee), the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee (including a Ranking Member of the Energy Subcommittee), and the House Appropriations Committee.

He holds an Honors A.B. in Political Science from Rollins College, an M.Phil. in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford, and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.


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.  

He has served as chair of the AAU’s Task Force on Humanities, and as Secretary of the Board of Directors for The Science Coalition.


Brenda Whitelaw

Government Affairs Associate

Brenda joined Princeton University's Washington, D.C., office in December 2022 after serving on the Development Team at Georgetown University's Law Center. Brenda's academic career began at Howard University, where she worked for almost a decade before transitioning to a team at Georgetown University's Medical Center in 2008.  

Brenda graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Liberal Studies.