Staff


Blake Thompson
Vice President for Government Affairs and Secretary to The Ohio State University Board

Blake Thompson

Dr. Blake Thompson currently serves as Secretary and one of three elected Officers of The Ohio State University Board. As Board Secretary, he is responsible for the leadership of the university’s governing board office, strategy and agenda development, and coordination of the Board’s academic, financial, governance, audit, and advancement committee functions. He also serves as Vice President of the Office of Government Affairs where he leads the interactions between the university and local, state and national government officials. READ FULL BIO

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Stacy Rastauskas
Vice President of Government Relations

Stacy Rastauskas

Stacy works closely with faculty, students and administrators to develop and lead Ohio State’s broad government relations agenda, which includes representing the university in advocacy before federal, state and local governments, regulatory agencies, and key policymakers. She also manages the operations of the office and directs the federal relations activities and team. An active member of several national higher education government relations groups, Stacy is currently the co-chair of the Council on Government Affairs for Association for Public Land Grant Universities (APLU). 

Stacy joined Ohio State in 2004 to open Ohio State’s Washington office and has led our federal relations team for over a decade. Prior to Ohio State, she spent six years on Capitol Hill. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Political Science from Wittenberg University (1998) and a Master's in Public Administration from George Mason University (2005).

Phone: (614) 292-9867

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Amy Baker
Assistant Vice President for State Relations

Amy Baker

Amy Baker works closely with state government officials and staff on issues impacting the university. She is also on the Board of Trustees of Community Refugee & Immigration Services (CRIS). Amy most recently served as a member of the Sean P. Dunn & Associates group, where she represented the interests of the University of Akron before the Ohio General Assembly and other state agencies. Prior to her work with Sean P. Dunn & Associates, Amy held advocacy and communications positions in Columbus and New York City. She joined Ohio State in September 2013.

Amy received her BA in Middle Childhood Education and MPA from The Ohio State University.

Phone: (614) 688-2079

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Brian Perera
Assistant Vice President for State Relations

Brian Perera

Brian represents the university before legislative and executive branch officials, educational organizations, and other state governmental entities. Brian began his career in the state Senate in 1991 and served under six Senate Presidents during his tenure. Prior to taking over as Senate Finance Director – a position he held for more than twenty years – Brian served as a Senior Fiscal Analyst and as an aide to former State Senator Roy Ray.  He previously staffed the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee, the State Controlling Board, and served on special appropriations-related committees including the Medicaid Managed Care Study Committee and the Lottery Profits Review Commission.  He also served as a member of the National Association of Legislative Fiscal Officers (NALFO), serving as staff vice-chair of the Budgets & Revenue Committee. 

A graduate of The Ohio State University, he was the 2006 recipient of The Ohio State University Alumni Association’s Outstanding Alumnus in Public Service Award and the 2001 recipient of the Advocate of the Year award from the Public Children’s Services Agencies of Ohio. Brian joined the Government Affairs team in October of 2014.

Phone: (614) 247-8440

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Trudy Bartley
Associate Vice President for Community Relations

Trudy Bartley

Trudy Bartley provides leadership for the university's relationships with local government officials and staff, as well as economic and community development projects. She previously also directed Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT), an Ohio State affiliate working to revitalize the Near East Side community. Trudy most recently served the Ohio Department of Development as Chief Operating Officer, Interim Director of the Minority Business Enterprise Division, and Federal Stimulus Coordinator. She joined The Ohio State University in February 2011.

Trudy received her BA in Economics and Political Science from Wellesley College.

Phone: (614) 292-1291

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Ben Kanzeg
Associate Vice President for Government Affairs and Executive Director of Policy

Ben Kanzeg

Ben Kanzeg works closely with university academic and administrative units and members of the Government Affairs team on development, analysis, and implementation of specific programs, plans, and initiatives. He also engages with, state, regional, and national associations, consortia and other organizations representing higher education to advance the university’s agenda.

Prior to joining Ohio State in January 2016, Ben served as Deputy Director of Policy for Ohio Governor John Kasich. He previously worked as a policy and political aide to Kasich and to U.S. Congressman Pat Tiberi. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Cedarville University.

Phone: (614) 247-4260

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Stan Skocki
Associate Vice President for Federal Relations

Stan Skocki

As the Director of Federal Relations in Washington, D.C., Stan represents the University and its federal priorities, while building upon and maintaining its relationships with members of Congress, their staffs, and federal agencies. 

Prior to joining Ohio State, Stan was the founder and CEO of the Capitol Initiatives Group, a government relations firm representing non-profit associations, trade associations, and businesses before Congress and the Executive Branch.  In addition to his time spent in the private sector, Stan also spent 13 years working in Congress, holding positions in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, where he served as appropriations director for then Senator Mike DeWine (OH) and as a staff member with the House Appropriations Committee.

 Stan, a Powell, Ohio native, received his B.A. in Political Science from The Ohio State University.

Phone: (202) 624-3520

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Bill Couch
Assistant Vice President for Federal Relations

Bill Couch

Based in Washington, D.C., Bill serves as the Assistant Vice President for Federal Relations. Before joining the team, Bill was the Federal Affairs Coordinator for the Miami-Dade County (FL) D.C. Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, where he collaborated with South Florida business, higher education and community leaders, Congress and the White House to advocate for the County's federal priorities. He has also served as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (FL), as a teacher in AmeriCorps, and on numerous political campaigns in Ohio and Florida.

Bill earned his BA from The Ohio State University, with a major in Political Science and minor in Philosophy, and his MPA from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, where he was awarded the Mary E. Katchmar Outstanding Public Service Award.

Phone: (202) 624-3521

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Kayla Tonnessen
Senior Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy

Kayla Tonnessen

In partnership with the Alumni Association, Kayla is responsible for engaging, informing, and encouraging the university’s alumni to effectively advocate on legislative initiatives of importance to The Ohio State University and advance the university’s agenda with elected officials and community leaders. Prior to joining The Ohio State University, Kayla was part of Nationwide’s Office of Government Relations where she managed the company’s extensive political programs and served as the company’s chief political fundraiser. Kayla has seven years of experience working in the federal government as a legislative affairs and communications professional. She worked on Capitol Hill as a Professional Staff Member in the U.S. House of Representatives for the Committee on the Judiciary and as a Public Affairs Specialist for the Department of Defense.

Kayla holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida and a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. 

Phone: (614) 292-0772

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Kristin Sutton
Government Affairs Associate

Kristin Sutton

Kristin Sutton works on state government relations and long-term policy development, coordinates the university's Joint Legislative Ethics Committee reports, manages the state government internship program, and oversees communications for the Office of Government Affairs. Prior to joining the Government Affairs team in May 2012, she served as a legislative aide to State Representative Nancy Garland in the Ohio House of Representatives. She is also an alumna of the Ohio Legislative Service Commission Fellowship Program where she worked in caucus communications under House Speaker Armond Budish.

Kristin has a BA in English from Otterbein University and an MA in Public Policy and Management from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.

Phone: (614) 292-1279

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Jessica Martin
Executive Assistant

Jessica Martin

Jessica Martin, located in the Washington, D.C., office, provides administrative support for the Federal Relations team and facilitates scheduling in Washington. Jessica recently worked as a staffer in the U.S. Senate and has served in an administrative role in the non-profit and private sectors. She joined the Office of Government Affairs in September 2013.

Jessica received her BA in Political Science from American University.

(614) 688-1215

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Administrative Associate

Amanda Bruno

Amanda Bruno, located in the Washington, D.C., office, provides administrative support for the Federal Relations team and facilitates scheduling in Washington. Amanda recently graduated summa cum laude from Miami University with bachelor's degrees in Political Science and International Studies. She joined the Office of Government Affairs in September 2017. 

(202) 624-3520

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Sarah King
Staff Associate

Sarah King

Sarah King provides administrative support for Brian Perera, Amy Baker and Ben Kanzeg. Prior to joining the Government Affairs team, she worked in an administrative assistant role in the private sector. She joined the Office of Government Affairs in May 2017.

Sarah received her Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies from International Business College.

 Phone: (614) 292-2157

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Barbara Knight
Senior Business Officer

Barbara Knight

Barbara Knight provides administrative support for Trudy Bartley. She also manages the office's fiscal and human resources operations. Barbara previously served Ohio State's Office of the President and College of Social Work. She joined the Office of Government Affairs in March 1995.

Barbara received her AA in Administrative Executive Assistant from Robert Morris College and BA in Human Ecology from The Ohio State University.

Phone: (614) 292-6212

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Stephanie Schumaker
Executive Assistant

Stephanie Schumaker

Stephanie Schumaker provides administrative support for Stacy Rastauskas and works on special projects for the office. She began her career at The Ohio State University in 2001 in University Advancement and later worked in the Dean’s Office in the College of Engineering followed by the Office of Research.  She joined the Office of Government Affairs in September of 2016.

Stephanie received a BS in Human Ecology from The Ohio State University.

Phone: (614) 292-9867

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Extended Government Affairs Team

Extended Government Affairs Team

HEALTH & MEDICAL

Jennifer K. Carlson
Associate Vice President of Government Affairs
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
jennifer.carlson@osumc.edu
(614) 293-0346 

Stephanie Milburn
Director of Government Affairs
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Stephanie.milburn@osumc.edu
(614) 293-3994


AGRICULTURE

Adam Ward
Director of Government Affairs
The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
Ward.311@osu.edu
(614) 247-2077


ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Kate Bartter
Director 
Office of Energy & Environment 
arnold.680@osu.edu
(614) 292-1035

CONTACT

Site Manager
614-247-8468 | governmentaffairs@osu.edu

@osugovaffairs
@osuindc


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