Understanding and Working with Congress



Understanding and Working with Congress is offered only as a tailored course, and can be conducted anywhere from two hours to a full day in length. It is designed to enable participants to more effectively represent their programs and policies by gaining a better understanding of the role of Congress with respect to the executive branch in general and their agency in particular.

In addition to sessions on legislative process and the politics of the current Congress, Understanding and Working with Congress includes an in-depth session on how federal managers and employees can more effectively communicate and work with congressional staff. Also featured are suggestions on how to provide information to Congress and guidance on avoiding prohibited practices.

This course can be tailored to the needs of either a Washington or a field office, and is frequently co-sponsored or coordinated with an agency’s congressional affairs office.

Since its introduction in 1998, Understanding and Working with Congress has been conducted across the United States for thousands of federal managers and employees. It has also been conducted for a number of non-profit associations for the purpose of preparing their members to interact more effectively with Congress.

Specific topics may include:

  • Key points and misconceptions about the legislative process
  • Tracking legislative policy issues in Congress
  • Contemporary party politics and leadership
  • Committee dynamics in the current Congress
  • Relations with the executive branch
  • The role of agency congressional affairs offices
  • How to gain access
  • Communicating with staff and developing an on-going working relationship
  • How to provide information to Congress most effectively
  • How to set up productive field visits

Meets Executive Core Qualifications 1 and 5.

For more information, or to arrange a course for your organization, contact Kristin Nicholson at (202) 333-4838 or gai@georgetown.edu.