GW Professional Studies email header with GW logo and words Dean's Newsletter


Dear CPS Community, 

We've had a whirlwind start to the new year, and we are excited to keep the momentum going. Our leadership team is in place, we have hosted new student engagement events and we are underway with our strategic planning process. We also have conducted branding workshops that will help us hone the ways that we speak about our values, mission and vision in our future marketing and communications activities. 

In this newsletter, you'll hear more about all of these developments and learn more about what we are doing to make the College of Professional Studies the best it can be.

It's been just over six months since I joined the team as Dean, and I am inspired by all of the ways our community is coming together to innovate and build for the future.

Warm regards,

Liesl A. Riddle signature in cursive

Liesl Riddle, Ph.D.

Dean, College of Professional Studies

George Washington University


Dean Riddle Speaks with WBJ about College Vision

Dean Liesl Riddle talks to WBJ Publisher

Alex Orfinger, the publisher of the Washington Business Journal, spoke with Dean Riddle to discuss leadership qualities that enable her to drive continued success and to hear first-hand what she has planned for 2023. Watch the video

What’s New with the CPS Strategic Planning Process?

notes on large paper on the wall

As part of the Strategic Planning and Rebranding initiative, more than 20 staff and faculty members gathered at the GW Arlington Education Center for a “Mission/Vision/Values and Purpose Workshop” with CPS Marketing Consultant Missy Walker. Gathered into four teams, the groups discussed our 1, 3 and 5 year Vision, talked about our purpose or "Why" and the behaviors and values that would drive success. 

The next phase of our rebranding efforts will take place during the weeks of Feb. 20 and Feb. 27 with a series of “Program Positioning Workshops” across Cyber, SUP, Publishing, GSPM and others. The end result of this work will be a restated vision for CPS, a rearticulation of our brand and positioning and key messages for many of our programs that are based on prospective student, key audience and competitive insights.

Nominations Open for GSPM Alumni Achievement Award

The Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) is currently seeking nominations for its annual Alumni Achievement Awards. Please nominate those who exemplify GSPM’s values through their career accomplishments and contributions to society, GSPM, or GW, who you believe are deserving of this recognition. Awardees will be honored at GSPM’s Toast the Network celebration in May. Please complete the 2023 nomination form by Friday, February 24. For questions, please contact

Nominate GSPM Alumni

2023 Commencement Student Speaker Competition Deadline Feb. 22

Commencement on the National Mall

Members of the graduating Class of 2023 are invited to enter the Student Speaker Competition for a chance to address their classmates and other members of the GW community at the university-wide Commencement on the National Mall in May. To enter the competition, please fill out and submit the entry form by Wednesday, February 22.

CEPL Launches New Website Highlighting Center

GW Center for Excellence in Public Leadership website About section screenshot

The Center for Excellence in Public Leadership (CEPL) has launched a new website to help showcase their programs and services to the public. It offers visitors an opportunity to learn more about CEPL's mission, history, partnerships and accomplishments. It also provides information on their upcoming programs and events.

Visit CEPL Website


The Black Fives book

Celebrating Black History Month with A-10 Institutions 

Feb. 23: 2 PM ET | Online

Faculty, staff and alumni across all 15 A-10 institutions are invited for a discussion with Claude Johnson, author of “The Black Fives: The Epic Story of Basketball’s Forgotten Era.”

Registration is required 

GW Business and Policy Forum, Cybersecurity

GW Business and Policy Forum on Attacking Cybersecurity Risks

April 25 | 9 AM-5:30 PM: Washington, DC

Join policy and industry leaders for an engaging forum on shaping the future of cybersecurity. Evening networking reception. Presented in partnership with the School of Engineering & Applied Science, School of Business & College of Professional Studies.

Publishing CareerBuilder: Careers in Publishing Startups

Feb. 21: 6:00 PM | Online

GW SUP Author's Talk: A Conversation with Peter Harnik

Feb. 22: 6 PM-8:30 PM

Paralegal Studies Quarterly Legal Brief: Artificial Intelligence

Feb. 27: 12:30 PM | Online

Paul O’Dwyer Endowed Lecture: Ethics and Representation in Today's Congress

March 9: 4:30-6:30 | Washington, DC

Ask Us Anything Event

March 15: 6:00 PM-7:30 PM | Online

GSPM and TSPPPA Student-Alumni Virtual Networking Hour 

March 23: 12:00 PM-1:00 PM | Online

Ugly Freedoms, Enemies Within, and Birchers: Three GW Scholars Discuss Anti-Democratic Tendencies in the Modern World

April 26: 12:00 PM-1:30 PM | Washington, DC

Toast the Network: Celebrating the Class of 2023

May 17: 6:00 PM | Washington, DC

GSPM Global Perspective Residency in Georgia

Apply today to participate in the Spring 2023 Global Perspective Residency in the Republic of Georgia. The program includes asynchronous coursework from May 15–June 10 and an immersion program in Tbilisi and the Kakheti region June 11-17.


Dean Connects with Students Over Pizza 

Students, administrators, faculty mingle with pizza.

Pizza with the Dean events were two wonderful evenings of networking, mingling and pizza! CPS Dean Liesl Riddle and senior leaders from the college had a wonderful time meeting CPS students for pizza before evening classes at the Arlington Education Center and at the Alexandria Education Center. It was a great opportunity to meet our future leaders, learn about their interests and hear about their plans after graduation. We hope you had as much fun as we did!

Celebrating Black History: Webinar on Urban Design & Placemaking for Communities of Color

Four African American women, panelists for the event.

On February 9th, GW’s Sustainable Urban Planning Student Organization (SUPSO) presented an online panel on Urban Design and Placemaking in Communities of Color in commemoration of Black History Month. The four-person panel of urban planning professionals included Sustainable Urban Planning (SUP) alumna Allie Thompson (MPS ‘18).

Hosted by SUP graduate student Ugonna Njeze, the panel discussed how social initiatives influence urban design and the importance of community engagement and placemaking projects in supporting economic development. They also highlighted the role of planning in communities of color in the United States and the disproportionate stress brought about by intensifying climate-related changes.

Read the full story


Political Management Alumna Shares Expertise

Listen to Episode 59, Mastering the Room’s newest podcast release, with political management alumna Patty Bouch Readinger, GSPM M.A. ‘98, a seasoned government professional with 20+ professional years in the legislative arena who is currently working as the director of federal affairs, Office of the Governor in the State of Michigan.

Hosted by GSPM alumnus Steve Pierce, Mastering the Room features alumni who turned their GSPM experiences into successful careers at the highest levels of politics, communications, and advocacy.

CEPL Alumni Demonstrate Leadership and Bravery

2 CEPL alumni, woman and man

The Center for Excellence in Public Leadership (GW CEPL), is proud to recognize the courage and leadership skills demonstrated by two alumni, Shante Trumpet (2017 Cafritz Team Award Winner) and Timour Skrynnikov (Program for Excellence in Municipal Management, Cohort 34), who played a key part in stopping an accused metro rampage gunman while riding the Metro on Feb. 1. GW CEPL honors their extraordinary courage and selflessness, and feels proud to be connected to them through our leadership development work. 

Read the full story and learn more about CEPL’s work

CPS Publishing Programs Profiled in Publishers Weekly

Take your publishing career to the next level

Publishing Program Director John Warren spoke with Publishers Weekly as they prepared a profile of 2023 publishing graduate programs for their Feb. 10 feature article. 

Over the program’s 15-year history, “we’ve built a strong community, not only with our alumni, students and faculty but also with the publishing community,” Warren said, adding that the success of the program reflects that.

Their article highlights key features about our Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Publishing and Graduate Certificates in Publishing and Publishing Management programs. Read story in Publishers Weekly

Scott Sklar Discusses Distributed Renewable Energy for Emergencies and Resiliency

Professorial Lecturer Scott Sklar brings his extensive professional expertise into the classroom for the benefit of his Sustainable Urban Planning (SUP) graduate students.

Watch this webinar, created in partnership with Next City, where Sklar discusses how to leverage renewable energy during emergencies and resiliency. Sklar teaches a related course on infrastructure resiliency in the SUP program.

GW Media Relations Features Faculty Expert Todd Belt

Todd Belt

GW Media Relations featured a clip from Todd Belt, program director of our political management program, in a video they made about GW faculty experts.

Check out the video, “3 questions with Todd Belt: Breaking through political polarization in the midterm elections.”

Associate Dean Marshall to Present at ASPA Conference

David Marshall

David Marshall, associate dean for strategic partnerships and executive education, presents at ASPA’s 2023 Annual Conference March 24. He is included in the session “Trust and Accountability in the Public Sector” with a pre-recorded panel presentation “Representation of Bureaucracy in Film and the Implications for Trust in Government” with co-panelists Del Bharath (Assistant Professor, Savannah State University) and Karen Sweeting (Assistant Professor, University of Rhode Island). The conference features a wide array of panels on current and trending public administration topics, a career fair and networking opportunities.



Comments from Dean Liesl Riddle

U.S. News & World Report quoted Liesel Riddle, associate professor of international business and international affairs, in the article “What to Consider Before Paying for an Online Degree,’’ by Sarah Wood.

Comments from Dr. Scott White

Spectrum News quoted Scott White, associate professor of cyber security, in the article “Florida's Waltz backs TikTok ban on college-owned devices,’’ by Corina Cappabianca.

Comments from Dr. Todd Belt

Lilly Broadcasting quoted Todd Belt, director of the political management program in the Graduate School of Political Management, in the article “Criticism and Questions Continue about Biden's Classified Documents,’’ by Rachel Knapp.


Sinclair Broadcast Group in the article “GOP investigates Afghanistan withdrawal; still 'very raw, open wound' for vets,’’ by Cory Smith.


The Hill in the article “The Memo: GOP risks overplaying hand on debt ceiling,’’ by Niall Stanage.

Sinclair Broadcast Group quoted Todd Belt, professor of political management, in the article “Americans view government as nation's top problem, Gallup surveys find,’’ by Cory Smith.

Lilly Broadcasting quoted Todd Belt, director of the political management program in the Graduate School of Political Management, in the article “What to Expect in Biden's State of the Union Address,’’ by Rachel Knapp.

Sinclair Broadcast Group quoted Todd Belt, professor of political management, in the article “Americans see economy as top priority for Washington; COVID concerns take tumble,’’ by Cory Smith.

Nexstar spoke to Todd Belt, professor of political management, about support for a second term for President Biden.

The Hill quoted Todd Belt, director of the political management program in the Graduate School of Political Management, in the article “The Memo: Trump and Biden find common enemy in DeSantis,’’ by Niall Stanage.

Comments from Dr. Casey Burgat quoted Casey Burgat, director of the legislative affairs program in the Graduate School of Political Management, in the article “Ghost of Richard Shelby looms large as Alabama’s congressional delegation receives committee assignments,’’ by John Sharp.

Spectrum News quoted Casey Burgat, associate professor of political management, in the article “Rep. James Comer lauds newest members of Oversight Committee,’’ by Julia Benbrook.

WTOP-FM in the article “Expert: Raising the debt ceiling doesn’t authorize any new spending,’’ by Nick Iannelli.


Spectrum News in the article “Senate GOP's 'Breakfast Club' seeks greater influence in new Congress,’’ by Julia Benbrook.

Newsweek in the article “Kevin McCarthy Kicks the George Santos Can Down the Road,’’ by Nick Mordowanec. 


Newsweek in the article “Kevin McCarthy's Gifts to Republicans Could Completely Backfire,’’ by Nick Mordowanec.

Gray TV spoke to Casey Burgat, associate professor of political management, about raising the debt ceiling.

USA Today quoted Casey Burgat, director of the legislative affairs program in the Graduate School of Political Management, in the article “Rep. George Santos quits House committee seats amid uproar over lies: What we know,’’ by Candy Woodall.

For Barron’s, Casey Burgat, director of the legislative affairs program in the Graduate School of Political Management, authored the article “The Debt-Ceiling Fight Is a Staring Contest. There’s No End in Sight.’’

Spectrum News about removing Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.


The Kansas City Star in the article “Hawley wants to shield Social Security, Medicare from debt ceiling talks. Experts say it won’t work,’’ by Daniel Desrochers.

Comments from Lawrence Parnell

The Seattle Times quoted Lawrence Parnell, director of the strategic public relations program in the Graduate School of Political Management, in the article “Stung! Sting reportedly played elite Microsoft event as layoffs loomed,’’ by Paul Roberts.

Comments from Dr. Matt Dallek

WUSA-CBS9 about what it would take for DC to become a state.


The Hill in the article “’Liberal’ may finally be shedding its political stigma," by Daniel DeVise.

Birchers: How the John Birch Society Radicalized the American Right (

How Media Matters for America Kat Abu, "How the John Birch Society Still Influences America's Most Popular Cable News Channel," YouTube.

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