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U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon to join ASU as vice president for government affairs

ASU alum will oversee the university’s local, state and federal relations teams


June 03, 2016

Rep. Matt Salmon, who has represented the 5th District of Arizona for five terms in Washington, will join Arizona State University as vice president for government affairs at the end of the 114th Congress.

U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon

Salmon (pictured left), a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, will oversee the university’s local, state and federal relations teams, putting his years of experience as a state and federal lawmaker to work on behalf of an institution that is committed to the economic, social and cultural health of the communities that it serves.

“Matt’s impressive experience, combined with his love for Arizona and his commitment to ASU, will bolster our efforts to make this institution a model for comprehensive public research universities across the nation,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Our relationships with lawmakers and education policy-makers will be greatly strengthened with Matt on our team.”

Salmon graduated from ASU in 1981 and holds a Master’s of Public Administration from Brigham Young University. After a career in telecommunications, he was elected to the Arizona State Senate, where he rose to assistant majority leader and chairman of the Rules Committee before his election to Congress in 1994.

Salmon served three terms before honoring a self-imposed term limit and leaving Congress in 2000, at which time he worked as a consultant to ASU on matters related to education policy. He returned to Congress in 2012 and was re-elected in 2014.

Salmon is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and he speaks fluent Mandarin. Salmon has served as chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere and as chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, and he has led numerous delegations to China. In his new role, he will assist ASU in advancing its global strategy, including working with the governments of other countries to advance international projects. 

“I have been privileged to have a unique vantage point from which to watch the evolution of Arizona State under the leadership of President Crow,” Salmon said. “Now I look forward to increasing the investment of resources in ASU and the Arizona higher-education system, and enhancing ASU’s partnerships with Arizona cities and countries, the federal government, tribal communities and its international partners.”

Salmon joins ASU at a time when all the traditional sources of support for public research universities are under stress and the university is expanding its efforts to open the doors to education to all qualified Arizonans. In his new role, he will serve as an advocate for higher education and the unique ASU mission and model to help facilitate ASU's acquisition of new resources from international, national, state and municipal partners and investors.

“As a fellow Sun Devil, I’m thrilled to see Congressman Salmon return to his alma mater,” Gov. Doug Ducey said. “While we will miss his leadership in the United States Congress when he retires at the end of this year, I’m excited about the policy expertise, national profile and global relationships he will bring to this new role at Arizona State University.

“His commitment to innovation, higher education and advancing Arizona fits perfectly with Dr. Crow’s vision of the New American University. Congressman Salmon’s experience with state, federal and international affairs will further advance the reputation ASU is earning as one of the leading academic institutions in the world.”

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema also welcomed the news: “I am thrilled Matt will be rejoining the ASU family,” said Sinema, an ASU alumna who represents the 9th District of Arizona in the U.S. House. "He is a critical addition to the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that we need to create Arizona's next generation of leaders."

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