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Government and Community Relations at GW

All great cities have great universities. As a long standing anchor insitution in the District of Columbia, the George Washington University is invested in the success and vitality of the Washington metropolitan area. We actively share our resources and cultivate collaboration with the communities surrounding all three of our campuses, enhancing our collective quality of life and advancing our common goals.

The George Washington University community lends a wealth of intellectual capital to policymaking, whether it occurs in the White House, the U.S. Congress, the D.C. and Virginia governments, the courts or the hundreds of agencies, associations, foundations and think tanks throughout the region. GW infuses Washington’s government-related institutions with its research, experience, and an army of dedicated interns.


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GW Spotlight

Commencement Speaker


U.S. Senators Chris Murphy, Rob Portman Debate at GW

In a scene becoming less and less familiar during an increasingly polarized political climate, a Democrat and Republican civically discussed policy issues in a public forum as senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) took the stage Monday evening at George Washington University’s Jack Morton Auditorium to address inflation, gun control and immigration, in addition to responding to current and breaking news.

Monday’s event—moderated by CBS congressional correspondent Nikole Killion—was the second installment of The Senate Project, a series of three debates between U.S. senators supported by the Bipartisan Policy Center, Orrin G. Hatch Foundation and Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Ver.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) were the first participants in June, while the final debate will take place later this fall in Utah with two senators to be named later. The Senate Project’s goal with this debate series is to “reintroduce the culture of seeking common ground and consensus” during a time of great polarization that has eroded public trust in government.

“We are in such a challenging time where conversations like this are unfortunately the exception rather than the rule,” said GW School of Media and Public Affairs Director of Strategic Initiatives Frank Sesno, who delivered opening remarks. “We try here to say to our students that this is the future, figuring out ways to be at a table together, yes to engage where we disagree, but also to seek ways for us to agree, compromise and find common ground. That's the way we need to move forward if we're going to thrive as a nation over time.”

More recently, the two have come together and signed off on bipartisan legislation that includes the Safer Communities Act addressing gun violence, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the CHIPS and Science Act that incentivizes strategic investments to secure U.S. supply chains. Portman and Murphy have also both indicated they will support the Respect for Marriage Act.

“We have passed some pretty good legislation in the past couple of years,” Portman said. “It’s never perfect. The infrastructure bill was not exactly as I would have written it, nor was the gun bill exactly as Chris would have written it. But we do have a responsibility to actually serve the people and getting something done that helps move the process forward.”

Murphy considered the gun bill more of a compromise as it did not include bans on assault rifles or universal background checks as he had hoped. But coming together at least moves the needle on key issues, he said.

“Despite how broken this institution appears from the outside, when you put the gun bill with the potential for Respect for Marriage Act, the infrastructure bill, the CHIPS Act, this is a pretty impressive list of bipartisan accomplishment in a 50-50 Senate in a time of deep division in the American public,” Murphy said. “All of this, despite the disagreements we're having today, gives me hope.”

Read a full recap of the Senate Project debate at GWToday.



The George Washington University and its medical enterprise, the Medical Faculty Associates, deliver not only substantial intellectual capital for Washington, D.C., but also enormous economic impact. From jobs and tax revenue generated to the investments and spending made by its entire community, GW creates value and improves quality of life throughout the District every single day.



Learn more about the economic value of the George Washington Unviersity.

Economic Impact Report



Presidential Distinguished Event Series:

The George Washington University, in partnership with the League of Women Voters DC, hosted two public candidates forums featuring candidates for the upcoming 2022 Washington DC elections. A DC Attorney General Candidates Forums on April 26, 2022, and the DC Mayoral Candidates Forum on April 27, 2022. 



These forums provided District voters an opportunity to hear candidates’ priorities and issues of importance in this upcoming election. GW and LWVDC, both nonpartisan entities, encourage informed and active participation in democracy through education and advocacy. On top of the live audience and livesteam, this form was re-broadcasted to the approximately 4,500 incarcerated District voters in over 100 DC Department of Corrections Jails and Facilities. 




2022 DC Attorney General Candidates Forum

2022 DC Mayoral Candidates Forum



GW Serves DC

Cover of GW Serves DC Report


This year marks the George Washington University’s bicentennial. For the past 200 years, the fates and fortunes of both GW and Washington, D.C., have been closely intertwined. Together, we have seen both great opportunities and challenges, and we have strengthened our bonds through our shared experiences. 

Thanks to these strong ties, we have established many community partnerships, guided by the deep conviction that we have a responsibility to serve our local communities. The projects and programs that have emerged from our partnerships are based on mutual care, respect and collaboration. The university’s bicentennial is an important time to reflect on the significance of the work that our students, faculty and staff perform in the D.C. community. Given the recent challenges of the pandemic, the need for sustained community engagement has never been clearer. 

I am pleased to share with you this report featuring an overview of civic engagement activities that GW has undertaken in our city. We are proud of the work of our community, and we are excited about the ongoing contributions we will make to help improve our home, Washington, D.C. 

Thank you for your continued support and partnership. 


Thomas J. LeBlanc

President (2017-2021)