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David Bagby now leading UW–Madison federal relations

February 21, 2024 By Jason Gohlke
Headshot photo of David Bagby

David Bagby has been named director of federal relations. Photo: Althea Dotzour

David Bagby, a 14-year veteran of Capitol Hill, is the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s new director of federal relations.

Bagby served as associate and then interim director of federal relations over the past year before stepping into the director role held by Mike Lenn for seven years. Bagby became associate director in January 2023 and interim director in November.

Prior to his time at UW–Madison, Bagby staffed Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02, Madison) for four years as deputy chief of staff and handled his work on the House Appropriations Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee. Previously, he served as legislative director to three other members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“David’s work with the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation and his passion for higher education and the importance of research make him an excellent choice to become our next director of federal relations,” notes Ben Miller, assistant vice chancellor for government affairs and strategic partnerships and former director of federal relations. “I am confident he will effectively represent UW–Madison in Washington, D.C., and ensure our voices are heard when research and higher education policy decisions are being made by our elected officials.”

The office of federal relations works to advance UW–Madison’s interests in Washington, D.C., serving as a liaison between campus and the federal government and advocating on policies and issues that affect the university’s research, education and outreach missions.

“It’s an honor to represent UW–Madison in our nation’s capital,” says Bagby. “We’re at a world-class research university that continues to drive the nation and Wisconsin forward. I’m excited to continue supporting the eighth-largest research expenditure university in the nation and to ensure that UW–Madison is represented in higher education policy discussions throughout Washington, D.C.”

Prior to working in Congress, Bagby earned a B.A. 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.