Brookings’ Center for Public Policy Education has acquired the Government Affairs Institute (GAI), one of the federal government’s most prestigious employee training operations.
Until its takeover by Brookings, GAI was part of the training branch of the Office of Personnel Management. Under pressure from the Clinton administration’s “reinventing government” initiative to cut spending and consolidate programs or turn themover to the private sector, OPM announced in December that its training functions would be privatized. The Brookings’ offer was accepted in June and all nine GAI staff members will join the Institution this summer.
GAI has been conducting training courses on Capitol Hill since 1965. Its programs are designed to provide federal employees with a firsthand understanding of how Congress works and how it affects the operations of departments and agencies in the Executive Branch.
Kenneth Gold, GAI director, says the merger will be beneficial to both organizations by “allowing Brookings to increase the number and variety of educational program it provides, and enabling the Government Affairs Institute not only to continue its programs, but to enhance them by being able to draw upon the substantial resources that Brookings can provide.”
Renamed as the Government Affairs Institute at Brookings, the service will continue to offer the same schedule of courses, including the LEGIS Fellows Program, which gives federal managers the opportunity to serve in assignments on Capitol Hill and provides training on congressional process and procedure. Approximately 4,500 students attend the 70 courses offered each year.
Center for Public Policy Education Director Lawrence Korb says GAI programs will complement the CPPE curriculum and enable the program to reach a larger cross-section of government personnel. CPPE is an outreach and education arm at Brookings, sponsoring some 80 programs each year for more than 2,500 business and government leaders from the United States and abroad. Programs range from five-day overviews of Washington policymaking to shorter seminars on current issues.
“Both organizations look forward to a fruitful collaboration that will enhance the mission of the Brookings Institution to improve the policies and institutions of government through research, publication, and education,” says Korb.
In addition to Gold, GAI staff members joining Brookings are: Philip Chartrand, James Hershman, Worth Hester, Patti Iglarsh, Janice Sadeghian, Howard Stevens, Maxine Griffin, and Barbara McMillian.