Upcoming Courses


Working and Communicating More Effectively with Congress

(2 days) This course is designed to provide federal officials with a comprehensive understanding...

March 1 - 2, 2017

Congressional Briefing for the USDA Forest Service

(4 days) The purpose of this course is to provide a first-hand understanding not...

March 27 - 30, 2017

Congress and Intelligence Policy

Through much of our country’s history, Congress was largely deferential to the executive branch...

March 29, 2017 (first class meeting)


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Read our blog dedicated to providing practical and academic perspectives on congressional policy, politics, and procedure.

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Latest Updates


On to Reconciliation! Republicans have a plan but probably won’t follow it.

Josh Huder | January 12, 2017

The Senate passed a budget yesterday. It lacked some of the typical hallmarks of a...

On Congress: A few Farewell Thoughts

Kenneth Gold | January 12, 2017

When the 115th Congress convened last week it was immediately faced with a range of...

Director’s Desk

GAI | January 12, 2017

After more than 25 years with the Government Affairs Institute, including 23 years as Director,...


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Faculty Highlights


  • Director

    Hacked By By XwoLfTn

    Kristin Nicholson became the Director of the Government Affairs Institute in February 2017. Prior to joining GAI, she spent two decades on Capitol Hill, where she served for sixteen years as Chief of Staff to Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), a senior member of the House Committees on Armed Services and Homeland Security.

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  • Assistant Director

    Worth H. Hester, M.P.A.

    Worth H. Hester, M.P.A., joined the faculty of GAI in 1988 as a Presidential Management Fellow and took the job of Assistant Director in 1999. During seven years of government service, he served as an Employee Development Specialist, Program Analyst, and Legislative Analyst for a Member of Congress.

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  • Senior Fellow

    Mark B. Harkins

    Mark B. Harkins joined the Government Affairs Institute as a Senior Fellow in July 2013 after having been a guest lecturer numerous times back to 2005. Prior to joining GAI, Mark was a government relations professional for more than five years where he focused on the representation of corporate, nonprofit and government clients before Congress and the Executive Branch.

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  • Senior Fellow

    Joshua C. Huder, Ph.D.

    Joshua C. Huder, Ph.D., joined the Government Affairs Institute as a Senior Fellow in 2013. He has taught courses on American government, advanced legislative process, and other American politics courses. He has provided political analysis to several news outlets, including the Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, Newsweek, Bloomberg News, CNN, the Washington Examiner, U.S. News, Al-Jazeera, Yahoo News, and is a regular contributor for the Christian Science Monitor.

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  • Senior Fellow

    Laura Blessing, Ph.D.

    Laura Blessing, Ph.D. joined the Government Affairs Institute as a Senior Fellow in 2015. Prior to coming to GAI, she earned her PhD from the University of Virginia, where she was also a Miller Center National Fellow and a fellow for the Bankard Fund for Political Economy. Her dissertation covers the politics and development of tax policy; her interests include policy, institutions, and political parties.

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