Caltech Appoints External Relations Officer

Samuel Garrison, a leader in government relations and civic engagement, will start January 2, 2018

Published : Thursday, November 16, 2017 | 10:03 AM

Samuel Garrison

Samuel Garrison

Samuel Garrison, a leader in government relations and civic engagement, has been appointed as Caltech’s external relations officer effective January 2, 2018.

In this new role, Garrison will represent Caltech with federal, state, regional, and local government officials and agencies. He will collaborate closely with the Institute’s leadership to develop and implement strategies that address policy and operational issues with political and legislative implications for Caltech. He will also work with government and community stakeholders, and with Lewis-Burke Associates, a Washington-based government relations firm, to best represent both campus and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed by Caltech on behalf of NASA.

Garrison comes to Caltech from Caruso, one of the nation’s most respected real estate and hospitality companies, where he most recently served as vice president of corporate affairs and executive director of the Caruso Family Foundation. He has led multiple government relations, corporate communications, philanthropic, and civic-related projects on behalf of founder and CEO Rick Caruso. Prior to joining Caruso in 2012, Garrison was a director of High Lantern Group, a strategic positioning consulting firm, and vice president for public policy and government relations at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Garrison began his career working on Capitol Hill as an assistant to Senator Dianne Feinstein and senior legislative aide to Congressman Adam Schiff.

“Sam has both the right skillset and background to serve as Caltech’s first external relations officer,” says Diana Jergovic, the Institute’s vice president for strategy implementation. “His extensive experience in government affairs combined with his strong commitment to civic engagement and robust ties to the local and regional community make him the ideal choice to lead Caltech’s efforts in establishing stronger ties with all our external constituents.”

“Caltech is a global leader in advancing knowledge and innovation. This is an exciting opportunity to represent the Institute and support the important work of the students, faculty, and researchers,” says Garrison.

Active in civic life, Garrison is the board chair of Operation Progress, a youth success initiative in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, and is a longtime board member of Hillsides, a Pasadena-based family services provider. He is also a board member of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. He holds a law degree from Loyola Law School and is a member of the State Bar of California.

Garrison succeeds Hall Daily, who served as the Institute’s primary government relations point person for three decades. Daily managed Caltech’s relationship with key governmental offices and agencies, community groups, and higher-education associations, and served as a key liaison between Caltech and its adjoining neighbors.

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