Government Affairs Associate, Institute for Higher Education Policy
Hometown: Reno, NV
Fun Fact: I can identify any actor from the 90s by their one-time appearance on The West Wing.
About Kathryn: My name is Kathryn Gimborys and I’m the government affairs associate at the Institute for Higher Education Policy – a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and advocacy organization that works to promote college access and success for all students, with a particular focus on low-income students and students of color. I am brand-new to the government affairs role (my first day was Jan. 2, 2020!), but I’ve been at IHEP for about two years in a communications capacity. In my new role, I’ll support IHEP’s legislative outreach and coalition engagement, monitor policy proposals at the federal and state levels, and help align IHEP’s strategic messaging.
What attracted you to WGR and how has it helped you personally and professionally?
As someone who is new to both WGR and government affairs, I’m excited to connect with other professional women in the field, strengthen my advocacy skills, and learn more about all the great work that WGR members are leading.
What was your original career path and how did you end up in Government Relations?
My career path began before I graduated from GW in 2018 and my journey has already included opportunities to explore many roles and issue areas. Through my eight (yes, eight) undergraduate internships, I was lucky to gain invaluable experience working campaigns, on the Hill, and at nonprofits and PACs, focusing on civil rights, healthcare, and education, and supporting communications, government affairs, and public policy teams.From these experiences, I found myself most drawn to opportunities that match data-driven solutions with compelling messaging and storytelling, and I fell in love with higher education policy. After graduating, I started full-time in a communications role, and I’m so excited to start this new chapter in government affairs!
What is your favorite part of your day job?
My team – I’m grateful to work at an organization that really values teamwork and collaboration, and I’m equally lucky that I’m surrounded by so many talented, driven individuals who are deeply committed to improve college access, affordability, and success for students.
What has been your most rewarding accomplishment?
When I was a senior in college, my internship supervisor on the Hill tasked me with reading hundreds of higher education policy reports. One stood out. In this report, a D.C. research organization had focused on students with some college, but no degree and how institutions can bring them back to compete their credential. As a student who had taken some time off before completing, I was thrilled to read that someone was working on helping this population, and I was determined to know more and help support this work. The very next semester, I began interning at the organization that authored that report: IHEP.
Over the past two years, I’ve been able to support IHEP’s completion work, including launching a new nationwide completion initiative to reengage stopped-out students and help them cross the degree completion finish line. I’m thrilled to be able to continue to work on something so close to my heart in a new government affairs capacity.