2012 Leadership Retreat


Jonathan PyattJonathan Pyatt Bio

Jon Pyatt is Director of Federal Relations for the Universityof Illinois, where he established the University’s first-ever Washington, DC office in the Hall of States.  Mr. Pyatt is responsible for the federal advocacy agenda for this three-campus University, which educates more than 77,000 students, receives hundreds of millions of federal scientific research and student financial aid dollars annually, and operates a major urban teaching hospital in Chicago. 

Mr. Pyatt works to grow the University’s presence by liaising with the Illinois delegation Members and staffers on Capitol Hill and establishing key contacts in the federal agencies.  He advocates the University’s priorities to federal policymakers on topics such as student financial aid, scientific research funding, healthcare issues (including Medicare and Medicaid), and technology transfer and economic development. He makes regular visits to Chicago, Urbana-Champaign, and Springfield to update and strategize with faculty and administrative leaders. He serves on the Board of the Science Coalition and chairs the NSF Task Force for the Association of American Universities.

Mr. Pyatt’s prior experience includes positions both on Capitol Hill and in the not-for-profit sector.  He joined the University in April 2011 from the office of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), a member of the House Democratic Leadership team, where he served as deputy chief of staff, floor assistant, and general counsel.  Appointed by President Barack Obama in 2011, Rep. Wasserman Schultz currently serves as Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Pyatt is a veteran of multiple political campaigns in the swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania. Mr. Pyatt previously worked in the legal departments of several international non-governmental organizations and as a criminal prosecutor in San Diego, California, where he specialized in domestic violence and child abuse cases..  

A southern Illinois native, Mr. Pyatt graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Pepperdine University School of Law, where he served as an editor of the Pepperdine Law Review. Mr. Pyatt was admitted to the California Bar in 1997.  He also earned a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University. 



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