Course Details

How to Communicate with Congress

This course provides valuable information to scientists and science advocates who are concerned about policy decisions regarding scientific issues. How to Communicate with Congress explains the most effective ways to communicate with Congress, whether by mail, email, phone call or in person. The course also covers how to set up and prepare for a meeting with a congressional senator or representative, either in Washington, D.C. or in their local office; highlighting best practices and what to expect. How to Communicate with Congress also describes the context and construct of the people with whom they will be meeting and the world in which they operate. As a bonus, you will see interviews with former Capitol Hill staff members. This course will help you:

  1. Appreciate the importance of communicating with policy makers
  2. Decide the best way to contact the appropriate representative
  3. Know how to set up and prepare for meeting a congressman
  4. Identify how to follow up after the meeting

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Course Author

image of Sean Gallagher

Instructor: Sean Gallagher

Sean Gallagher is a senior government relations officer handling a wide range of policy issues and focuses on engaging and encouraging scientists to demonstrate their value to their peers, the media and policy makers. Prior to joining AAAS, Sean spent more than seven years on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide to five members of Congress, helping represent districts in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia and California, and most recently was a policy advisor to Representative Rush Holt from central New Jersey. Sean specialized in science and technology issues, and also has experience in military and veterans affairs as well health care reform.  Sean has a Master’s Degree in Social and Public Policy from Georgetown University and received his Bachelor’s in Political Science from Villanova University.

Course Overview

Duration: 1 hour

  • Ways of communicating with your representative
  • Understanding congressional staff and their environment
  • Setting up a meeting
  • How to prepare for your visit
  • Honing your message

Quizzes: 1 quiz

  • Certificate of completion
  • Earn 1 PDH

This course is also available in the Career Pathways Program




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