The National Policy Process offers professionals and students from the Pacific Northwest an opportunity to visit the sources of national policy with live case studies in Washington, DC. Over the course of a week students meet with national agency representatives, members of Congress and their staff, the President’s staff, and lobbyists and issue advocates.

This personal and up-close approach to learning about the policy process leaves students with a detailed understanding of the way work is accomplished in Washington, DC and gives them insights on how this affects their work back in the Northwest. The one week courses offers:

  • "Live" case study on policy issues important to the region
  • Direct and personal interaction with participants in policy process
  • Detailed understanding of the forces at work in national policies
  • Ability to take these lessons and reflect on issues back in the region


This program allows each member of the program to personally meet and discuss policy issues with the expert guest speakers while in Washington, DC. The class travels to meet with these speakers on location and in the midst of the work of the national policy process. The week centers around a policy case study and uses this to introduce models of how national policy is created. Key to the success of the program is the support speakers in Washington, D.C., without whom this program would not exist. Their continued support is greatly appreciated.


Restricted Registration
(US Army Corps of Engineers and other invited agency participants) 

  • December 4, 2019: Afternoon pre-trip session at PSU.
  • January 8, 2020: Afternoon pre-trip session at PSU.
  • January 25 – February 1, 2020: Visit to Washington DC. Program begins the morning of January 26th.
    Mandatory dinner sessions: Sunday, January 26; Tuesday, January 28; Thursday, January 30.
  • February 19, 2020: Morning post-trip session at PSU.


Non-Credit Registration $2,200
Meals Fee $200
Total $2,400


Josh Metzler
Program Coordinator


Dr. Jennifer Allen is an Associate Professor at the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, focusing on environmental and natural resource policy and sustainable development.  Jennifer directed PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions from 2012-2015, and previously worked for the World Bank, Ecotrust, and the State of Oregon Economic and Community Development Department. She currently serves as the Board Chair of the World Forestry Center and as Vice Chair of the Oregon State Parks Commission. Jennifer holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from George Mason University, a Masters of Environmental Management from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a BA in American Studies from Yale University.  


The program is supported by several staff members who make the logistical arrangements.

Josh Metzler, Program Coordinator, accompanies the professional development group to Washington, DC.