Washington Center

UC Federal Governmental Relations (FGR) Team


Located at UCDC on the second floor, the University of California's Office of Federal Governmental Relations (FGR) advocates for the university and its policy and fiscal priorities in education, research, healthcare, and public service with U.S. Congress, the Presidential administration, federal agencies and national organizations.FGR is pleased to host interns from the UCDC program year-round. 
For policy factsheets and further details on the UC Office of Federal Governmental Relations, visit ucal.us/ucfgr. 

Team FGR: 

Chris Harrington

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Associate Vice President

Chris has more than two decades of federal governmental relations, advocacy, and communications experience in our nation’s capital. As associate vice president, Chris develops, coordinates, and implements the university's federal relations activities and advocates on federal matters, including education, healthcare and research. Prior to joining UC in 2001, Chris worked for the National Education Goals Panel (NEGP), which was a bipartisan and intergovernmental body of federal and state policymakers created in July 1990 to assess and report state and national progress toward achieving the National Education Goals. Before joining the NEGP, Chris was a legislative staff member for United States Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico. While working for Sen. Bingaman, Chris focused on a range of issues including education, housing, labor, transportation, and governmental affairs. Chris received his B.A. in political science from Loyola University in Maryland. After completing his studies at Loyola, Chris joined Mercy Corps and spent a year doing full-time volunteer service with Native American students in New Mexico.

Crystal Martinez


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Senior Director

Crystal Martinez joined FGR in August 2017. Prior to joining UC, Crystal served in the Office of the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA) as legislative assistant for a range of issues, including education, housing, child nutrition, arts and humanities, disabilities, and social safety net programs. Before joining Sen. Feinstein’s office, Crystal worked at the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of English Language Acquisition, the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs and the Office of the Secretary. In addition, Crystal has served on the staffs of U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (NM) and then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (IL), as well as for U.S. Congressman Ruben Hinojosa (TX). Crystal began her career as a social studies teacher in Texas. Crystal received both her Bachelor of Arts in political science and computer applications and Master of Education from the University of Notre Dame. 

Marcus Markle

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Operations Manager & Executive Assistant to Chris Harrington
Marcus joined FGR in January 2024 as the operations manager/executive assistant. Previously, Marcus was a strategic communications manager at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) DC Metro where he managed communications for policy and planned construction projects, provided strategic support to WMATA leadership and oversaw vendor contracts and billing. Marcus previously served as the deputy director of advance at the U.S. Department of Education under former Secretary John King where he directed and planned all logistical aspects for the secretary's public appearances, speaking engagements and external events. He has also served in a variety of communications and administrative roles, including as senior communications manager at PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, communications manager at UCLA’s Geffen Academy, program analyst for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation, and as a teacher fellowship manager at America Achieves. Marcus received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from UC Berkeley. 

Nicole Carlotto

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Director, Communications & Advocacy
Prior to joining FGR in September 2015, Nicole worked for the George Washington University (GW) as a media relations associate where she coordinated interviews between faculty experts and journalists and helped lead the media outreach efforts for the opening of the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. Before joining GW, Nicole worked as a press assistant for former U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and ran the Washington, D.C. office’s internship program. Nicole is a California native and received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from UC Berkeley and her master’s degree in strategic public relations from GW. 

Clayton Rossman


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Staff Assistant, Advocacy & Gov. Relations
Since November 2022, Clayton has provided advocacy, communications, legislative and administrative support to the FGR team. Previously, Clayton was a campaign finance compliance associate at Capitol Compliance Associates, assisting in the development of campaign finance reports, including bookkeeping and records management. Clayton also served as deputy chair for communications for Indiana’s Ninth District Democrats where he helped develop messaging, correspondence, and other communications materials. Clayton graduated in 2022 from Indiana University where he received a joint degree in economics and political science with a minor in Spanish language and interned on Capitol Hill for U.S. Congresswoman Diana DeGette. He also served as the director of outreach and diversity for the College Democrats at Indiana University. 

Brent Palmer


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Director, Education Policy
Prior to joining FGR in April 2023, Brent served in the Office of California the late U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein as a legislative assistant handling education, arts and humanities, human services, and housing issues. Before joining Sen. Feinstein's office in 2017, Brent was part of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s legislative staff for nearly a decade, serving in several roles throughout his tenure, including overseeing the senator's labor, health and human services, and education appropriations priorities as well as the senator's priorities before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Brent has a B.S. in political science with a second major in law and society from Frostburg State University. 

Kent Springfield


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Director, Health Policy
Since September 2021, Kent has advised the UC on federal health matters. Previously, Kent was the associate vice president for federal policy at the University of Colorado for seven years, leading federal policy and advocacy for the University of Colorado’s Medical Campus -- including the schools of medicine, public health, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, and graduate studies, as well as the university’s affiliated health system and physician practice. Before that, he was the director of governmental relations for George Washington University, where he led the university’s efforts to engage Congress, federal agencies, and the White House. He has been active in AAMC and APLU medical and education associations, among other national ones. Kent received both his Bachelor of Arts in political communications and his Master of Business Administration from George Washington University.  

Daisy Kim


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Assistant Director, Education & Health Policy
Prior to joining FGR in 2023, Daisy was a policy manager at the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, where she worked on the organization's policy priorities and communicating those to U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and fellow stakeholders. Before that, Daisy served as a principal management analyst in the performance audit division at the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts as well as an auditor for the California State Auditor’s office where she was awarded the Rookie of the Year award. Daisy currently serves on an advisory panel on outreach and education for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide subject matter expertise on outreach strategies in communicating policies and programs to the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. Daisy has a Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University, an M.A. in East Asian studies from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree in political economy from Georgetown University. 

Phil Harman


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Director, Research Policy
Before joining FGR in June 2018, Phil was the director of government relations at SRI International, a nonprofit research center, where he led governmental relations on issues involving research and development, policy, and acquisition. Prior to SRI, Phil was the founder and president of Pennsylvania Avenue Associates where he represented companies, associations and non-profit institutions before the federal government relating to issues of biotechnology, homeland security, defense, education, energy, information technology and telecommunications. In addition, Phil previously served as UC San Diego’s director of federal and state government relations and worked for Lewis-Burke Associates and Science Applications International Corporation. He began his career in the office of former U.S. Sen. Jon Warner. Phillip received his Bachelor of Arts in political science from Hampden-Sydney College. 

Annie Nguyen

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Assistant Director, Research Policy
Prior to joining FGR in September 2023, Annie was the manager of federal relations for the California State University (CSU) Office of Federal Relations where she identified, analyzed, monitored, and advocated on legislative, funding, and regulatory matters impacting the CSU system and campuses. Prior to CSU, Annie worked for former U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA) as a senior legislative assistant focusing on education and appropriations issues, and before that, was a deputy field director for the Lowenthal for Congress campaign. Annie is a graduate of UC Irvine where she triple majored in economics, political science and sociology. 

Kamala Lyon


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Assistant Director, Research Policy
Kamala has over 20 years of governmental relations and legislative experience and has served in FGR since 2001. Kamala is a California native and received a B.A. in Politics from UC Santa Cruz. After graduation, Kamala spent four years working on Capitol Hill for members of the U.S. House of Representatives from California, before returning to California to attend law school. Kamala received her J.D. degree from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, where she specialized in governmental affairs and legislation. Immediately prior to joining FGR, Kamala served as a law clerk for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and as a legal research analyst for UC’s Continuing Education of the Bar in Oakland. Kamala is admitted to practice law by the California Bar and the District of Columbia Bar.