In a campus email on Feb. 1, Wayne State University President Kimberly Andrews Espy, Ph.D., announced that the university has established a strategic partnership with Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, a leading federal relations consulting and lobbying firm based in Washington, D.C. Lewis-Burke is renowned for its extensive experience in federal strategy and systematic advocacy, with a special focus on agency engagement.
The partnership underscores Wayne State’s commitment to research excellence and innovation, opening the doors to increased funding opportunities through enhanced support for faculty researchers in their scholarly research. The goal is to better advance the success and visibility of the scholarship of Wayne State’s faculty to national decision-makers.
Newly appointed Vice President for Research Ezemenari Obasi, Ph.D., and the Division of Research staff, with secondary assistance by Patrick Lindsey in his role as vice president of government and community affairs, will coordinate any needed implementation with the delegation.
The Lewis-Burke team has a deep understanding of the intricacies of federal funding and the policy landscape. The firm employs more than 40 dedicated lobbying professionals, as well as a large professional staff with deep agency expertise. Over its 32-year history, the company has established a strong record of successful collaborations with research universities and scientific organizations — a testament to the team’s ability to effectively navigate and influence the federal research funding environment, including support for securing large national center of excellence grants, congressionally directed projects and partnership hubs.
“Moreover, Wayne State will gain access to strategic funding intelligence that will inform our research investments and better position our faculty to anticipate and strategically align their efforts to be competitive for future funding opportunities,” said President Espy.
The partnership aims to significantly enhance Wayne State’s engagement with key federal agencies, increase visibility and recognition in federal government circles, and align Wayne State research strengths with emerging federal funding priorities. Lewis-Burke’s expertise will be instrumental in expanding success in faculty’s pursuit of federal research support from key agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, and the National Institutes of Health. This new partnership will also provide faculty increased support with grant proposals, broaden funding channels, and offer new collaboration opportunities with government agencies and partner universities.
The partnership is an important step to elevate Wayne State University as a leader in innovative research and academic excellence.
President Espy said the selection process was thoughtful and included the evaluation of several proposals and comprehensive interviews to ensure alignment with the Wayne State’s strategic objectives.
Lewis-Burke’s contract starts March 1, and planning is underway for a campus on-boarding visit later this winter semester, which will allow university faculty and school/college leadership to meet with the Lewis-Burke team members and kick off their work.