Chancellor Dan Klaich has announced the formation of a new governmental affairs team to help the Nevada System of Higher Education respond to legislative strategies and challenges of the 2011 session.
The new lobbying team will be chaired by former U.S. Senator Richard H. Bryan and will include Alfredo T. Alonso, Michael D. Hillerby, Rose E. McKinney-James, Keith L. Lee, John D. Pappageorge and The Capitol Company.
“We are fortunate to have a team of all-stars who have agreed to pro bono representation of Nevada’s higher education system,” said Klaich. “Each member has a long history of service to this state and a passionate belief that public colleges and universities are critical in not only reviving Nevada’s economy, but improving our way of life for generations to come.”
Dr. Marcia Turner, who currently serves in a leadership capacity with NSHE’s Health Sciences System, will be tasked with the additional responsibility of managing the day-to-day efforts of the new legislative team.
“Marcia brings a tremendous amount of government affairs experience to the table from her lobbying work for the University Medical Center and UNLV and will be my main internal liaison with our pro bono team,” said Klaich.
The team will represent the Nevada System of Higher Education and its eight member institutions: College of Southern Nevada, Desert Research Institute, Great Basin College, Nevada State College, Truckee Meadows Community College, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University of Nevada, Reno and Western Nevada College.
About the Team
Richard H. Bryan (chairman)
Richard Bryan is a shareholder at Lionel Sawyer & Collins and is a member of the firm’s executive committee. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Nevada Development Authority and is on the Board of Trustees of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. He is chairman of the board for Preserve Nevada, a group whose priority is to preserve historical buildings, places, and historical artifacts in the state of Nevada.
A native Nevadan, Senator Bryan began his legal career in 1964 as a deputy district attorney in Clark County Nevada. Two years later, he was named Clark County’s first public defender.
In 1968, Bryan was elected to the Nevada State Assembly and was re-elected in 1970. In 1972, he was elected to the State Senate and was re-elected in 1976.
He later won his first statewide election in 1979 as Nevada’s Attorney General where he played a major role in successfully defending Nevada’s gaming regulatory structure in the Federal Courts.
In 1982, Bryan was elected to the first of two terms as governor. Under his leadership, Nevada’s economic diversification and the attraction of new businesses to the state became a priority.
In 1988, he was elected to the first of two terms in the U.S. Senate. He was the only Senate member to simultaneously serve on these U.S. Senate Committees: Finance; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Banks, Housing and Urban Affairs.
Alfredo T. Alonso
Alfredo Alonso is a principal in the Government Relations Practice Group of the national firm of Lewis & Roca. He works extensively in both northern and southern Nevada. He contributes his experience in government relations, legislative affairs, county and municipal relations, election management and campaign finance.
Prior to joining Lewis & Roca, Alonso was a government affairs manager with Lionel Sawyer & Collins in Reno, Nevada. He served as deputy press secretary and as legislative assistant for Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs for former Senator Jacob “Chic” Hecht from 1985-1989.
Alonso was subsequently retained by Congresswoman Vucanovich as her senior legislative assistant where he was responsible for the development of legislation that affected gaming, small business, foreign affairs and banking, among other issues. He also served as the Congresswoman’s policy analyst for the Committee on House Administration.
Upon his return to Nevada, Alonso served as deputy to Secretary of State Cheryl Lau. During his tenure as deputy secretary of state, he served as the state’s election administrator and was responsible for assisting in the drafting and advocating for the much-heralded election reform laws of the 1993 Legislature.
Michael D. Hillerby
Michael Hillerby is a partner in Hillerby & Associates, and has been lobbying at the Nevada Legislature for 20 years, representing a wide variety of interests. He served in the administration of Governor Kenny Guinn as both a cabinet member and chief of staff, and worked extensively on the state budget and with the appropriations committees of the Legislature. He was the education policy adviser and worked on the Millennium Scholarship for Governor Guinn, as well as on special projects with the Nevada System of Higher Education. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, chair of the Nevada Museum of Art Board of Trustees, and serves on the Nevada Commission for Cultural Affairs.
Rose E. McKinney-James
Rose McKinney-James is the managing principal of Energy Works LLC, a public policy and advocacy firm based in Las Vegas, Nevada with an emphasis on renewable energy, energy efficiency, regulatory and environmental policy. She is a former commissioner with the Nevada Public Utility Commission and served as director of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry. As the former CEO of the Corporation for Soloar Technology & Renewable Resources, she has been an active advocate for energy policy development in the state for over two decades.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Energy Foundation and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). She was selected to participate as a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Team and served as FERC Lead.
McKinney-James serves on the Board of Directors for MGM Resorts International, Employers Holdings Inc., and Toyota Financial Savings Bank. She serves as the chair of the Board of Directors for Nevada Partners and is a member of the Board of Directors for Three Square and the Smith Center for Performing Arts.
She is a graduate of Olivet College and the Antioch School of Law, and is a 29-year resident of Nevada. She is married and the mother of two sons.
Keith L. Lee
Keith Lee is a 1961 graduate of Carson High School and a 1965 graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno where he was student body president. He is also a 1970 graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law and has been practicing law since then.
Lee was a member of the Board of Bar Examiners from 1982 to 1998, serving as its chair in 1992 and as chair of the Character and Fitness Subcommittee from 1993 to 1998.
He was a member of the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners from 1983 to 1989 where he served as its chair from 1985 to 1989. He then served as member of the State Commission on Economic Development from 1989 to 1993.
Lee was also president of the Economic Authority of Western Nevada from 1988 to 1989 and served as chairman of the University of Nevada Reno Foundation from 2001 to 2003.
He is married and has four children and four grandchildren. Two of his daughters are UNR graduates, one is completing her studies there, and his son is a UNLV graduate.
Lee’s father is also a UNR graduate and former student body president who served as state controller from 1959 to 1966.
His family first settled in Panaca, Lincoln County, Nevada in May 1864. He has been lobbying at the Nevada Legislature since 1983.
John D. Pappageorge
John Pappageorge brings 27 years of experience as a lobbyist, including representation of the Nevada System of Higher Education. He is a former assistant fire chief of the Clark County Fire Department.
The Capitol Company
The Capitol Company was recently formed by John Griffin and Russell Rowe. Griffin is a 1991 graduate of Carson High School, a 1995 graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno and a 1998 graduate of the University of Utah College of Law. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America, 2009 and 2010, and is a fifth generation Nevadan whose family arrived in Nevada prior to statehood.
Rowe has over 20 years of lobbying experience ranging from federal to state and local government matters. He graduated from UNLV in 1990 and immediately began his government affairs career as a legislative assistant to Congressman Jim Bilbray in Washington D.C.
He obtained his law degree from the University of San Diego in 1998. Russell returned to Nevada and began his legal and government affairs career in private practice. Russell is listed in the Best Lawyers in America, 2009 and 2010.
Dr. Marcia Turner
Marcia Turner has been involved in local, state and federal government relations in Nevada since 1994. Prior to moving to Nevada, she spent five years working in government relations in California. The 2011 session will mark her fourth session representing NSHE interests.
Turner currently serves as the vice chancellor of operations & chief operating officer for NSHE’s Health Sciences System.She earned a Ph.D. in environmental policy and management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
About Nevada System of Higher Education
The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of the nation’s fastest growing state. The NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 110,000 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents.