Ryan Adesnik named to lead government affairs at Stanford

Ryan Adesnik will guide Stanford’s governmental relations efforts at all l

Ryan Adesnik will guide Stanford’s governmental relations efforts at all levels. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Ryan Adesnik, who has served as associate vice president at Stanford since 2004, will lead government relations efforts across the local, state and federal levels.

Ryan Adesnik has been appointed senior associate vice president for government affairs, a role leading Stanford’s governmental relations efforts at the local, state and federal levels, Vice President and Chief External Relations Officer Martin Shell announced.

The appointment follows a national search. Adesnik, who has served as associate vice president at Stanford since 2004, steps into the role effective immediately.

"Focused, committed engagement with public officials at all levels of government is essential to supporting Stanford’s research, teaching and patient care missions," Shell said. "Ryan brings superb experience to this role. He has worked for years with members of the university community and elected officials at the federal and state levels to build understanding around common issues and to advance the ability of research universities to contribute to our economy, health and quality of life.

"At a time of many challenges in our public life, we are fortunate to have Ryan’s leadership at the important interface between the university and our government representatives. While knowing and understanding Stanford well, he also brings a fresh and energized perspective to how the university can better engage with government officials and entities at the local, state and federal levels."

In overseeing governmental affairs, Adesnik succeeds David Demarest, who retired in February.

As associate vice president during the last 15 years, Adesnik has built government relations programs at the federal and state levels to bring Stanford’s interests and perspectives to Washington and Sacramento, as well as to coordinate the university’s responses to a wide variety of legislative and executive branch activities. This work involves close coordination with Stanford’s peer institutions and with higher education advocacy associations.

Adesnik has led ongoing advocacy efforts to enhance federal funding for research and student financial aid and played a central role coordinating with campus constituencies to defeat a 2017 congressional proposal that would have treated tuition waivers for graduate students as taxable income. Adesnik also manages legislative branch activities for the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and coordinates closely on government affairs efforts with Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

"I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with our exceptional staff to further build Stanford’s engagement with our public officials," Adesnik said. "The research, teaching and patient care done at Stanford contribute importantly to our region, our state and our world. In addition to my work at the federal and state levels, as a Palo Alto resident who loves our local area, I’m excited by the opportunity to work even more closely on the local issues that matter to the residents of the Peninsula and Silicon Valley."

Before becoming associate vice president in 2004, Adesnik was director of government relations in the School of Medicine; vice president with a Washington legislative and regulatory advocacy firm; and a senior legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a JD from the University of Miami School of Law.

The senior associate vice president position is part of the recently created Office of External Relations under Shell’s leadership.

In addition to recently hiring leaders in communications, development and government affairs, Shell intends to create a new function focused on Stanford’s engagement on the local, regional, national and global levels. This new community engagement position will work closely with Adesnik’s group on local and regional matters. As he takes on expanded leadership responsibilities, Adesnik also will oversee a new staff position focused on federal relations.

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