Kenneth Gold | October 13, 2014

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Dr. Phyllis O’Callaghan on October 3.  From 2008 to 2012 Phyllis was Visiting Senior Fellow with the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University, where she taught a Research Seminar on the Evolution of the Contemporary Congress, and was a member of the senior staff.   Dr. O’Callaghan was also a Member of the Board of Directors of the Government Affairs Institute.  Prior to coming to GAI, Phyllis was Associate Dean and Director of Georgetown’s Liberal Studies Program (LSP) from 1979 to 2007.

We were extremely fortunate to have had Phyllis on our staff for those five years, although her affiliation with GAI went back considerably further than that.  Two members of our Senior Staff had taught in the Liberal Studies Program for decades, and Phyllis had been a visiting scholar at GAI during the 1980s, when GAI was still part of the federal government.

Even more significantly, GAI would never have become part of Georgetown University were it not for Phyllis.  In 1997, after being privatized by the federal government (during re-inventing government), it was Phyllis, along with then Dean of Continuing Studies Michael Collins, who recognized the fit between GAI and Georgetown, and made possible GAI’s affiliation with the University.

Phyllis was a dedicated teacher and a valued colleague.  She was smart, tough, blunt, and had a wonderful sense of humor.  Everything she did and said spoke to her values, her sense of ethics, and to her intelligence. We are extremely fortunate and grateful to have had Phyllis O’Callaghan as a colleague, and as a friend.  We will miss her.

Ken Gold is director of the Government Affairs Institute

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