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Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Diane Auer Jones to be Princeton's director of government affairs

Diane Auer Jones, a professional staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and a former program director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Undergraduate Education, has been named director of Princeton University's Office of Government Affairs, effective Jan. 1, 2003. She will succeed Nan S. Wells, who is retiring after serving as the director of the office since its inception in 1979.

As a member of the Science Committee, Jones has participated in the preparation and advancement of legislation related to science, mathematics, engineering and technology research and education. She also has worked on issues related to intellectual property, technology transfer, international students and support for research equipment and facilities, working closely with staff in leadership positions in both houses of Congress and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). At NSF she served as a lead program director for the Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics Scholarships program and served as a program director for the Advanced Technological Education program and the Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement program.

A summa cum laude graduate of Salisbury State University on Maryland's eastern shore with a master's degree in applied molecular biology and coursework completed toward a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Maryland, Jones has served as a faculty member at The Community College of Baltimore County in Catonsville, Md. In addition to teaching a broad range of courses in the life sciences and developing degree programs in biotechnology and bioinformatics, she established and directed an NSF-funded Biotechnology Institute, founded and directed an NSF-supported Consortium for Statewide Biotechnology Education in Maryland, and served as an elected member of the Faculty Senate and chair of its Student and Community Affairs subcommittee.

She also established and directed the Upper Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Assessment Center at The Community College of Baltimore County in Baltimore; co-founded a company, Athena Environmental Sciences, Inc., that develops microbial products for use in environmental bioremediation and molecular biology research; served as a consultant to Baltimore's Applied Biotech Consortium and the Baltimore County public schools; founded and managed a gourmet food store, book store and tea room; and founded and managed a health care center, the Holistic Wellness Center, in Catonsville.

Jones' volunteer activities have included service on the board of directors of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Research Park, on the UMBC president's Community Advisory Board, and on the board of the Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Microbiology.

"Diane Jones will bring a broad range of knowledge and experience to her new responsibilities, along with exceptional intelligence, creativity, resourcefulness, energy and judgment," said Robert K. Durkee, Princeton's vice president for public affairs, who made the appointment. "She also will bring a national reputation as a leader in undergraduate science education and as an advocate for federal investment in scientific research and education; a demonstrated ability to foster communication among diverse groups of people and to generate support for key policy initiatives; and an insider's understanding of academic institutions and of the importance of federal programs that provide support for faculty and for students. We are counting on her not only to provide leadership for our efforts in Washington, but to make significant contributions to the work of the associations that represent us and to the interests of higher education more generally."

Princeton's government affairs office is located in Washington, D.C. Its director is the University's principal representative on matters related to federal policy and legislation, especially in areas involving federal support for research and graduate education; undergraduate financial aid; tax policy, including incentives for charitable giving; immigration policy; intellectual property; and other matters. The staff also includes an associate director and an executive assistant. The associate director position is currently vacant; one of Jones' first responsibilities will be to conduct the search to fill that position.

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601

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