U announces school’s new head of government relations office

Jason Rohloff will take over for Donna Peterson Jan. 9.

by Greta Kaul

The University of Minnesota announced Wednesday that Jason Rohloff will serve as the new point person for the UniversityâÄôs lobbying efforts in state and federal politics.

On Jan. 9, he will replace Donna Peterson, who has worked for the University since 1990, when she resigned from the state Legislature to work as a lobbyist.

As special assistant to the president for government relations, Rohloff will develop state and federal legislative strategy, wrangle votes in the Legislature, work with deans and staff to understand their needs and develop University policy positions on policy issues.

âÄúThe competition for limited state and federal resources has definitely increased over the past few years, and in that sense, this role has taken on a new sense of urgency,âÄù said Amy Phenix, President Eric KalerâÄôs chief of staff.

âÄúAt the local level, thereâÄôs always the need to keep our relationships with the local community,âÄù she said. At the federal level, CongressâÄôs move away from earmark spending necessitates a new strategy for funding research through grants.

Rohloff worked in the state Legislature as a House committee administrator, the director of House Legislative Services and legislative director to the Speaker of the House.

He was the director of federal affairs for Governor Tim Pawlenty and worked as a senior policy officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.