Department Newsletter, Fall 2017

Message from the Chair
Department Spotlights
Department Announcements
Alumni Updates/Class Notes
Donor Recognition
Support the Department
Stay Connected

Message from the Chair

Sumit Joshi, Chair

Sumit Joshi, Department Chair


Welcome to the Department of Economics Fall Newsletter! There are a number of developments since our spring newsletter. We welcomed three new faculty who are spotlighted below. We had 159 students graduate from the Columbian College with an economics major, 17 receive an MS degree and 11 successfully complete their PhD dissertations. The MA program in Applied Economics saw its first graduating cohort of nine students. Those on the job market received strong placements. Our alumni contributed to this success through their participation in Careers in Economics, and their generosity that funded new computers for the graduate student lab and offices, and travel funds for student research presentations. With support from our faculty, staff, students and alumni, we are continuing to build the department into a center of excellence.

Sumit Joshi, Chair

The first graduates of the MA Program in Applied Economics with Professors Joe Cordes (far left), Joann Wiener (program director, center) and Sumit Joshi (far right)

The first graduates of the MA Program in Applied Economics with Professors Joe Cordes (far left), Joann Wiener (program director, center) and Sumit Joshi (far right)

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Department Spotlights

Welcome New Faculty! 

The department welcomed three new faculty members this fall. Pao-Lin Tien is the new director of undergraduate studies. She received her PhD in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and her field of research is in empirical macroeconomics. She most recently worked as a research economist at the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Bryan Stuart is assistant professor in public economics. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Michigan and his research areas are labor, public, and urban economics and economic history. Tomas Williams is assistant professor of international finance. He received his PhD from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. His main fields of research are international finance and financial economics.

Pao-Lin Tien

Pao-Lin Tien

Bryan Stuart

Bryan Stuart

Tomas Williams

Tomas Williams

GW Student Research Conference in Economics

Participants at the GW Student Research Conference

Participants at the GW Student Research Conference


The GW Student Association for Graduate Economists (SAGE) organized the first GW Student Research Conference in Economics in April 2017. The aim of the conference was to bring together PhD students in economics in the greater D.C. area and beyond to present their research and to share valuable feedback. As the first of its kind, this new initiative generated considerable interest from students of economics and related fields (business, finance, statistics, public policy, etc.) from universities in the consortium as well as other schools in the extended D.C. area. The conference attracted over 130 participants and featured 26 presentations in 11 simultaneous panels, with a diversity of topics ranging from theoretical game theory to international finance, housing market dynamics and sovereign default. Following this success, SAGE aims to repeat the conference every year to help motivate the exchange of ideas and research activities among students of economics across universities in the region.

Alumnus Stars in NBA

Tyler Cavanaugh

Tyler Cavanaugh


Economics alumnus Tyler Cavanaugh, BA ’16, signed with the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.

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Department Announcements

Faculty Kudos

Michael Moore

Michael Moore


Professor Michael Moore was awarded the inaugural Harry Harding Teaching Award from the Elliott School of International Affairs for 2017.

Graciela Kaminsky

Graciela Kaminsky


Professor Graciela Kaminsky received the prestigious 2017 Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Prize for Scholarship.

 Tara Sinclair giving a lecture

 Tara Sinclair 


Professor Tara Sinclair spoke about global labor markets at the "Structural Changes in the Global Economy: Trends, Puzzles and Implications" conference in Canberra, Australia, in August 2017. The conference was held by the Australian Treasury and the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis in the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University.

Professor Jay Shambaugh, former member of The White House Council of Economic Advisers, was appointed as director of The Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution.

Professor Arun Malik was the faculty speaker at the 2017 CCAS graduation ceremony.

Professor Stephen Smith will be the UNICEF Senior Fellow at the Innocenti Research Center, Florence, Italy, from January-June 2018.

Professor Joseph Pelzman will be editor of the Global Economy Journal beginning January 2018.

Current Students

Kevin Kovacs

Kevin Kovacs


Kevin Kovacs won the Hsieh Prize for his proseminar paper, "Now-Casting Turning Points Using Federal Statistical Office Press Releases and CUSUM Statistical Analysis." Kevin is also co-authoring a paper, “Nowcasting the German Cyclical Turning Points,” with Professor Bryan Boulier and Herman Stekler.

Marie-Louise Decamps and Professor Anthony Yezer

Marie-Louise Decamps and Professor Anthony Yezer


Marie-Louise Decamps received a 2017-18 GW Undergraduate Research Award. She is working on a coauthored paper, “Determinants and Success of Recycling in New York City,” with Professor Arun Malik.

Marie-Louise Decamps also received Professor Anthony Yezer’s Hogwarts Prize for the highest score in his Economics of Crime class!

Department Achievements

The MA Program in Applied Economics has launched several initiatives under the directorship of Professor Joann Weiner. The program has entered into a partnership with the National Association for Business Economics and developed the courses necessary for students to be qualified to become a certified business economist. It has implemented dual enrollment in Graduate Certificates in Budget and Public Policy, Data Science, Environmental Resource Policy and Geographical Information Systems. It has also received a STEM designation.

Department Events

GW Economics Alumni Reception at AEA: Friday, January 5, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM, Loews Philadelphia, Commonwealth Hall , 1200 Market St, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107.

Please join the economics department for our annual alumni reception at AEA. All economics alumni attending the conference of living in the Philadelphia metro area are invited to join us. 

At the Careers in Economics event, students networked with economics alumni from federal government agencies and private firms and received valuable job search advice. If you are interested in volunteering for future Careers in Economics events, please email us at [email protected] with your name and current business information.

The department's Student Association for Graduate Economists (SAGE) welcomed fall with a BBQ outing at Great Falls Park in Virginia!

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Alumni Updates/Class Notes

Theresa Alafita, PhD ’03, just moved to Michigan with her family and is working for Western Governors University.

Dahlia Amade, BA ’15, currently works as a beauty marketer at L'Oreal for Garnier SkinActive and plays violin in a string quartet.

Hannah Baer, BS ’17, is a research associate for a government affairs consulting firm in D.C. Her work includes health economics research, policy analysis and maintaining client relations in both the private and public sector.

Vikram Bakhru, BA ’01, is currently working as chief operating officer of ConsejoSano, Inc., a multicultural technology platform dedicated to improving health outcomes for underserved populations in the United States.

Daniel Barkan, BA ’84, founded his own market advisory practice in 2009 servicing global funds and financial institutions following 22 years as a currency, interest rate and equity proprietary trader on Wall Street (Bankers Trust, Soros Fund Management and Deutsche Bank).

Brooks Boron, BA ’14, graduated from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law this past May. He is now practicing labor and employment law as an associate with Muskovitz and Lemmerbrock in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dan Brodsky, BA ’91, serves as a senior VP of equities for GFI Group and is the founder of two healthcare tech startups, Medtel and Genomet. One enhances surgical care coordination and the other genetic data sharing and collaboration for hospitals.

Bryan Burcat, BA ’16, is working as a global trade professional with Raytheon at their Space and Airborne Systems business unit in the Los Angeles area.

Jairo Carvalho Lamatina, BA ’08, is an associate with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in São Paulo, Brazil.

Emma Catalfamo, BA ’17, is an international project assistant for the Monitoring & Evaluation Team at Education Development Center in Boston. She evaluates the impact of education, workforce and economic development projects across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Jeremiah Cole, BA ’17, is currently a public equity and portfolio analyst at the Strategic Investment Group.

Nathan Converse, BA ’01, is a senior economist in the Division of International Finance at the Federal Reserve Board. His research focuses on international capital flows and their impacts on recipient economies.

John Cornell, BA ’16, is studying to take part one of the CFA examination, and currently works as a portfolio administrator at Loomis Sayles and Company. He works with fixed income, equity and mutual fund accounts.

Gerald Croteau, BA ’06, is pioneering local stone with his company American Stonecraft. The company manufactures stone tile and more from stones that customers send from their very own property.

Madeline Csere, BA ’16, is currently a financial analyst with JLL's Public Institutions Group. She still lives in D.C. with fellow GW economics graduate Alyson Chwatek, BA ’17.

Louis DeLucia, BA ’82, has been practicing as a corporate restructuring attorney for the past three decades, and now chairs the Restructuring, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Practice Group at Schiff Hadin LLP in New York City.

Christopher Dey, BA ’07, is currently an assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office.

Wenxiao Dong, MS ’17, is doing his PhD degree in economics in the University of Nottingham in the U.K.

Shawn Farrell, BA ’91, is a lawyer and equity partner of Cohen Seglias. He concentrates his practice in construction litigation, representing contractors involved with private and/or public commercial and/or infrastructure projects.

Jillian Fasser, BA ’12, is currently working as a contractor for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) in Washington, D.C. She performs cost and price analyses for the agency's contracting office.

Guoliang Feng, PhD ’15, is now an economist at China Investment Corporation, based in Beijing, China.

Zhe Fu, PhD ’17, is working at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing as a tenure-track assistant professor.

Margaret Gibson, BA ’12, started her first year in the MIT Sloan MBA program this year.

Marina Gindelsky, PhD ’16, is an economist at the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Office of the Chief Economist, where she performs research for publication in academic journals.

Lowell M. Glenn, PhD ’74, is chair of the Department of Finance and Economics in the Woodbury School of Business, Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. The department has economic, finance and nationally ranked personal financial planning degrees.

Justin Halpern, BA ’11, completed his first tour as a foreign service officer in southwest China. He is now preparing to move to Germany to work in the Political/Economic Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt.

William Harley, BA ’79, says “when the question of why study economics—‘The Dismal Science’—comes up, my response is always because it is ‘The Science of Choice.’”

Paul Helmkamp, BA ’17, is currently a PMD trainee at Merrill Lynch.

Monica Huddleston, BA ’75, retired in 2000 after 25 years in various middle management positions at Southwestern Bell Telephone Co (now AT&T). She served as mayor of her city of Greendale for two terms. Monica is married.

Ken Ian, BA ’92, retired from the United States Navy earlier this year, after serving 20 years as a Navy JAG on bases in the United States, overseas and on ships at sea. He is now looking to start a second legal career in public service in the D.C. Metro area.

Simone Jackson, BA ’03, is currently working as the senior economic officer in the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs at the Department of State's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

Denis Jacques, BA ’61, happily retired from the IRS Estate Tax Atty. Denis is living in San Francisco, Calif., and still enjoys trying to understand economics.

Ryan Jaspal, BS ’14, is an innovation strategy consultant at Ernst & Young and engages with global institutions, startups and investors to help clients innovate and capture new opportunities in emerging technologies.

Dimitri Kaltsas, BA ’00, worked for 10 years at Moody's as a structured credit analyst and a structured credit product specialist in New York and London. He is currently head of business development at Hometrack, a real estate fintech company based in London.

Benjamin “Ben” Kershner, BS ’17, spent time driving from Philadelphia, Pa.,  to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and back with his family after graduation. Upon his return, he began working at Deloitte Consulting in their Strategy and Operations practice.

Konstantine Kosmidis, BA ’17, got a job at Merrill Lynch in Chicago where he works as a financial advisor following graduation.

Andrew Lawyer, BA ’10, now works at a venture capital firm called Markel in Richmond, Va., as a property underwriter.

Dan Ledwith, BS ’14, is a fixed income analyst at ASB Capital Management and Chevy Chase Trust in Bethesda, Md., where he is responsible for portfolio management, trading and research for over three billion dollars in fixed income assets.

Tairit Lekkijcharoenchai, MA ’05, is employed by BSA Business Software Alliance as a position assistant controller.

Rujia Li, MS ’17, is now in GW 's economics PhD program and pursuing her PhD degree.

Chuanhao Lin, MS ’16, is currently working towards his PhD degree in the GW economics department. His research interest is in urban and regional economics.

Jonathan Lindle, BS ’15, recently hit his two year anniversary working with Deloitte as a data analytics consultant. (Business Intel, Data Visualization and Innovative Reporting mostly.)

Alex Lintz, BA ’16, has worked in Colorado building trails and at an NGO in Medellin, Colombia, working with impact analysis. He now attends the Universität von Zürich and is working toward a master's in economics with a focus on behavioral economics.

Shuyang Liu, MA ’15, is back home in Beijing, and working at a research institute. She misses GW a lot!

Nancy Mannebach, BS ’17, is a first year analyst in the investment banking division at Wells Fargo Securities in gaming coverage. Having never been to the West Coast before, she's proud of taking her diploma and taking San Francisco by storm.

Kevin Marshack, BBA ’15, is now in law school studying to be a banking and finance lawyer. He interned for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York this past summer.

Jonathan Mehl, BA ’87, has operated his own law firm in Rutherford, N.J., since 1996, representing real estate investors. He has served on an Ethics Committee, and continues to serve on a Practice Committee helping to develop the Court Rules in New Jersey.

Jeffrey Messina, BS ’13, is beginning a three year accelerated joint JD/MBA program at Northwestern University.

William Milewski, BA ’83, says, “the faculty were incredibly competent and motivating to students in our classes.”

Azizali Mohammed, PhD ’58, passed away peacefully at home in Washington, D.C., on August 27, 2017. He was intellectually active throughout; his last paper "Pakistan, the US and the Bretton Woods Institutions" was just published. Please see the Washington Post obituary from September 26, 2017.

Wun Cheun Na, BA ’89, is a VP and COO of Samsung Pay, Inc. which is located in the Greater Boston Area.

Mahathi Nagarur, BS ’15, graduated from GW with a minor in economics. She then attended Columbia University where she obtained her master’s in health administration. She now works as a project coordinator for the Mt. Sinai Health Systems in New York City.

Greg Nelson, BA ’78, is the office chair of Paul Hastings LLP's Houston office and is the chairman of the Board of Directors of Houston Methodist Hospital System.

Erin Lynn Nephew, MA ’04, is joining the executive office of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where she will be engaged on international affairs and strategy. She continues to teach economics and international political economy at NYU.

Kirt Nilsson, BA ’92, is currently the chief operating officer of Charter School Capital, a Portland, OR - base specialty finance company that funds charter school working capital and facility needs nationwide.

Dionne O'Bannon, BA ’15, is living in Novi, Mich., and working for Morgan Stanley as an investment advisor. Every day she strives to make her clients’ lives better by offering financial advice and financial planning services.

Paul Organ, BS ’14, is in the first year of a joint PhD program in economics and business at the University of Michigan. Prior to starting at Michigan, Paul spent three years working at The Brattle Group, in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Luke Orphanides, BS ’17, is still in the D.C. area continuing to apply to careers in economics.

Oluwadamilare Abbie Oshobajo, BS ’16, is now working in investment banking in Wall Street for JP Morgan. She spends her  free time pursuing a master’s degree in strategic leadership.

Rustin Partow, BS ’11, is currently a fourth-year doctoral student at UCLA's department of economics.

Aneesa Patwary, BA ’17, is pursuing a master’s of public policy and is a Pearson Fellow at the University of Chicago!

Rhona Lee Pavis, BA ’64, is currently working for a private contractor in research, analysis and writing in connection with the flood insurance program of FEMA. She lives in Gaithersburg, Md.

Nam Pham, PhD ’96, has his own economics consulting firm in D.C. He is also an adjunct in the Economics Department and the Business School at GW.

Mariana Quiroga, BA ’13, moved back to Bogotá, Colombia, her hometown, in 2015 and she is currently working for PROCOLOMBIA, the entity that promotes FDI and Exports. She is finishing her master’s in international business and trade management from the University of Barcelona.

Fenohasina Rakotondrazaka Maret, PhD ’11, is still working at the Urban Institute! This year she worked a lot more on governance. The highlights of her 2017 are the new websites for each local government in Tanzania, the work on resilient cities in Montreal, data-crunching, reading and travelling.

Jack Rametta, BA ’17, is working on economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, specifically on the debt limit and related issues. Cheers.

Conway Reinders, BA ’16, recently joined the Social Security Advisory Board as an analyst covering retirement and disability policy. Previously, he worked as a research assistant with the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative.

Tim Riordan, BA ’10, is the producer of SiriusXM Fantasy Football, which broadcasts internationally on SiriusXM every weekday morning from 7-10 a.m. eastern.

Virginia Robano, PhD ’12, taught microeconomics at Universidad Torcuato di Tella (Buenos Aires, Argentina) during spring 2017. She continues to work as an external advisor for the OECD, especially in financing entrepreneurship issues.

Rupinder Sabharwal, BA ’08, is the co-founder of, a SaaS marketplace that helps businesses find technology solutions.

Ariele Scharff, BA ’15, is growing the business at BlackBerry during its rebirth as an enterprise security software and services company.

Matt Schrader, BA ’07, is currently pursuing a master’s in Asian studies from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University after nine years living in Beijing, working in finance, PR and social enterprise.

Mark Schwartz, BA ’73, went on to get his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. He became chief economist of ExxonMobil and president of PIRA Energy.

Pauline Schwartz, BA ’02, started a company, Briden Chase, that matches financial services compliance professionals with career advancing opportunities. She is also the third vice president of the Dix Hills Jewish Center.

Shamier Settle, BA ’15, earned a Master of Science in International Economic Policy and Analysis from the University of Westminster in London, U.K. She has since moved to New York City and is searching for the right place to begin her career as an economist.

Steven Shapiro, BA ’83, is a partner in the food and drug law firm Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman, LLP and is also of counsel to Rivkin Radler, LLP based in New York City.

Constance Sorrentino, BA ’64, retired in 2011 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics after a long career in international statistics. She also served on special projects at the OECD and the ILO as an international economist. In retirement, she enjoys volunteering.

Si Sun, BS ’14, worked at a PwC transfer pricing team in Tysons Corner, Va., for three years upon graduation. She is currently a master’s student studying MSc economics at the London School of Economics.

Healey Sutton, BA ’01, MBA ’17, completed her MBA at GW this past spring, with honors, concentrating in global management and business analytics. She recently had her 10 year work anniversary at Intelsat, where she is currently serving as a finance team manager.

Vito L. Tanz, BA ’91, is a professor of heath economics at the American University of Beirut. Vito has been living in Lebanon for the past 16 years.

Rose Troia, MA ’87, is currently working at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission working on financial markets and due diligence on exchanges and new trading products. She is also on the Economics Alumni Committee at GW.

Daniel Uslander, BA ’77, is an industrial metals specialist for High Ridge Futures in New York City.  He provides hedging and trading solutions primarily for metals recyclers.  He also provides foreign exchange services.

Bena Varughese, BA ’03, is currently an attorney with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in New York.  Prior to the that, she was a prosecutor.

Zach Vosburg, BA ’10, lives in Denver, Colo., where he works as an investment banking associate.

Kyle Waldman, BA ’17, accepted a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Southern California's Sol Price School of Public Policy. She is currently a first year Master of Public Policy student there, specializing in social policy and quantitative methods.

Alex Wang, BA ’16, is doing a master's in applied economics at GW under the Presidential Fellowship. She will be graduating in spring 2018.

Kai Wang, BS ’17, is studying statistical science at Duke University.

Olivia Hong Wang, BA ’17, will begin an analyst position at Economics Partners LLC in Washington D.C. as well as becoming an economic empowerment analyst at the International Rescue Committee.

Robert Wolcheski, BS ’03, is living in Washington, D.C., and working to further improve the city's built environment with a local real estate development company.

Ellen Young, MS ’02, is a VP at Newry Corp, a management consulting firm in Cleveland, Ohio, specializing in growth strategy for technical products (e.g., specialty materials and chemicals). She and her husband Nicolas have two children.

Yijiao Zhao, BS ’16, is now studying in Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School as a global MBA student.

Jiahao Zhu, BBA ’17, is furthering his study at Boston College. He is also actively looking for a job now with his knowledge both in finance and economics. His goal is to make the whole market more efficient and to improve the welfare of the society.


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Donor Recognition


The Economics Department would like to gratefully acknowledge the following generous donors who made a gift to the department from July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017.

+ Faculty/Staff | # Parent | ~ Student | * Friend | ^ Deceased

Aegon Transamerica Foundation

Janney Montgomery Scott

Marsh & McLennan

Price Waterhouse Coopers Foundation

Anthony W. Arias, BA ’11

Hadrian Balaban, BA ’17

Richard Alan Brown, PhD, PhD ’94

Engin Civan, MP ’85

Stephanie A. Curtis *

W. Thomas Curtis, BA ’81, MS ’95

Oscar A. David, Esq., BA ’84

Betty Crites Dillon, BA ’83

Dr. Barry L. Duman, AA ’62, BA ’64

Deena A. Elmeged, BA ’17

Lane C. Farrell, BS ’15

Elizabeth S. Fitch #

Douglas H. Fitch #

Jordan Kellogg Frank, BS ’12

John Thomas Gaffney, Esq., BA ’82

Anna M. Gagliardo, BA ’17

Jessica Goldenring, BA ’17

Dr. Robert S. Goldfarb +

Lily U. Hale, Ph.D., MP ’82, PhD ’84

Stuart L. Harshbarger, PhD, MP ’93, PhD ’94

Margaret J. Jess, BA ’63

Trent D. Jones, BBA ’17

Caitlin A. Keliher, BS ’14

John B. Kendrick +

Christopher Shin Kim, BS ’13, MPP ’15

Adam Steven Lewis, MA ’09

Carmen M. Lopez-Molina, MD, MD ’65

Claire V. MacKoul, BA ’14

Stephen L. Mangum, PhD, MP ’83, PhD ’84

Sarah J. Margolis, BS ’14, BA ’14

M. Dennis Marvich, MP ’82

James R. Mautz ~

James W. McConnaughey, MA ’79

Bruce Taylor McWilliams, PhD, MP ’98, PhD ’05

Amr S. Moubarak, BA ’08

Amirdara S. Novini, BS ’14

Jeffrey K. O'Hara, BS ’00

Peter J. Osterhoudt, BA ’67

Dr. George Andrew Plesko, BA ’80

Stephen J. Popick, PhD, MA ’11, PhD ’16

Bryan Edward Pratt, BA ’13

Dr. Clifford E. Reid, BA ’67

George D. Santopietro, BA ’78

Dr. Graciela M. Santopietro #

James W. Sawhill, BA ’84

Dr. Tara M. Sinclair +

Kristin M. Singh, BS ’14

Cornelia M. Strawser, PhD, MP ’81, PhD ’83

Rosaria R. Troia, MA ’88, GMBA ’96

Christopher C. Walker #

Patricia C. Walker #

Diana C. Wanamaker, BA ’66, MA ’71

Annetta T. Weiss, BA ’65

Dr. Anthony M. Yezer +

Dr. Greg R. Zarelli, BA ’77

Alan I. Zucker, BA ’84

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Support the Department

Gifts to the Department of Economics allow us to provide support for faculty and student research and travel, graduate student fellowships, and academic enrichment activities including guest speakers, visiting faculty, and symposia. Each gift, no matter how large or small, makes a positive impact on our educational mission and furthers our standing as one of the nation's preeminent liberal arts colleges at one of the world's preeminent universities.

The department, in collaboration with several dedicated alumni, has established three funds to further its strategic goals. To donate to any of these funds, please click directly on the fund name listed below.

You can make your gift to the department in a number of ways:

The George Washington University
PO Box 98131
Washington, DC 20077-9756

  • By phone by calling the GW Annual Fund at 1-800-789-2611.

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Stay Connected


Connect with fellow alumni through GW's eight industry networks including media & communications and politics & government.


Connect with current students and fellow alumni through our new online networking platform, the Industry Career Network on GW Career Connect, centered around 14 industry areas of interest.

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