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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Names New Director of Government Relations

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University announces the recent addition of Mary Dougherty-Slapp as director of Government Relations to work with local, state and federal government entities. She begins her employment Aug. 2.

Dougherty- Slapp came to FGCU as deputy administrator for State and Federal Relations for the Desoto County Board of Commissioners and executive director of the DeSoto County Teen Court.

Previously, Dougherty-Slapp was a teacher/case manager for Gulf Coast Marine Institute South, a Community Resource Manager for Teen Court of Sarasota and a teacher in Charlotte County.

"We are delighted to have someone with Mary's experience and proven track record to advocate for FGCU's legislative priorities," President William C. Merwin said. "As a public institution, our University depends greatly on funding and legislation from governmental entities at all levels, and Mary will lead our efforts to maximize this critical support."

Dougherty-Slapp's professional experience includes working with Congresswoman Katherine Harris, as a member of the Congressional Federal Policy Committee, Congressional Classroom Committee, Middle School History Classroom Committee and DeSoto County Chair.

Other affiliations include the Fannie Mae South Florida Partnership Office Gulf Coast Advisory Council, National Association of Counties, Small County Coalition, Florida Association of Teen Courts, Juvenile Justice Council, Kingsley Center for Girls, and Peace River Republican Women's Forum.

Dougherty-Slapp has worked with multimillion dollar grants in the areas of USDA Rural Utilities and Rural Business Enterprise, Community Development Block Grants, Economic Development, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Juvenile Justice, and Transportation Outreach Program, among others.

Her legislative lobbying efforts include a $4.5 million state appropriation for water/waste water utilities, protecting the rights of local government to regulate the spreading of bio-solid residuals through language in the Right to Farm Act, and $10 million in funding for Teen Court programs statewide. She also successfully negotiated the transfer of $6 million in water/wastewater assets from the state to the DeSoto County Utility System.

Dougherty-Slapp completed the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government program for senior executives in state and local government. She holds a master's degree in educational leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary social sciences from the University of South Florida.

Dougherty-Slapp replaces Tom Healy who accepted the position of vice president for Government Relations at Indiana University earlier this year.

For more information, contact associate vice president for Community Relations Audrea Anderson at (239) 590-1083.

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