Office of Governmental Relations

The Governmental Relations office (OGR) serves as the University of Illinois liaison to members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation, the Illinois General Assembly, the Office of the Governor, agencies of the federal and state governments, key local officials, and major higher education associations.

Federal Relations

Federal relations staff work in Washington, DC and Illinois, on behalf of the University of Illinois.

State Relations

State relations are coordinated by a staff member who spends much of her time in Springfield.


Jennifer Creasey, Senior Director of State Relations

Jennifer Creasey, Director of State Relations

Jennifer joined the University of Illinois in March 2014, stepping into the role of Director of State Relations. Jennifer represents the University in both the Capitol and the community to advance its priorities. She is also responsible for outreach, state legislative advocacy efforts, strategic partnerships, and management or relationships around the state. Through this work, she works very closely with the U of I legislative caucus and U of I alumni throughout the state.

Read Jennifer's full bio.

Paul Weinberger, Director of Federal Relations

Paul joined the University of Illinois in March 2017. Most recently, Paul served as vice president of congressional and public affairs for the U.S. Government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), overseeing communications and outreach strategies. Before joining MCC, he served as director of congressional relations for the U.S. Peace Corps. Earlier, Paul served as legislative director for U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI). An attorney, Paul also served as counsel for the House Committee on Government Reform and as a staff member for the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Paul is based in Washington, DC in the U of I System's federal office near Capitol Hill.

Melissa Haas, Associate Director of Federal Relations

Melissa Haas, Associate Director of Federal Relations

Melissa joined the University of Illinois' federal relations team in May 2013. Prior to that, she worked on Capitol Hill for U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) for several years. Melissa spent her first three years working for OGR in its DC office. She is now campus-based in Chicago.

Read Melissa's full bio.

Deon Thomas, Visiting Community Relations Coordinator

Deon Thomas joined the OGR team as a visiting community relations coordinator in November 2017. Prior to joining OGR, Deon was the Director of UIC Engage, a community outreach program through the College of Education. The Engage program through education and mentoring granted him the opportunity to be on the frontlines with community leaders as well as the young people in the program and throughout the community. Before that, he served as assistant coach of the UIC Flames men's basketball team. Deon attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he played basketball for the Fighting Illini. Deon will be based out of OGR's Chicago office.

Emily Tuttle, OGR Fellow

Emily, a senior at Urbana-Champaign, serves at the inaugural fellow for OGR. Prior to joining the OGR team in August 2017, she was an intern for the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, Congressman Rodney Davis, Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, and State Senator Bill Brady. On campus, Emily studies management and political science, and is president of the Student Advocacy Coalition and a trombonist in the Marching Illini.


 Annual Report

     The 2017 Office of Governmental Relations annual report is now available.

IL state Capitol building and the Washington Monument in DC