Office of Federal Relations
Associate Vice President, Office of Federal Relations
Chris came to Duke in 2006 after having served in advocacy roles for the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the American Council on Education (ACE) in Washington, DC. Prior to working for the higher education associations, Simmons was a policy analyst for the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education and Assistant Director of Admissions at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.
He is the past Chairman of the Board for the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science and is a recent co-chair for the Ad-Hoc Tax Group. He is a former member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) Board of Directors and AAU Council of Federal Relations Steering Committee.
Simmons is a graduate of Willamette where he majored in rhetoric and art, and received his graduate degree from Harvard University. He lives in Chapel Hill with his wife, two daughters, and son.
Director, Office of Federal Relations
Melissa came to Duke in 2003 after serving for almost six years as a Legislative Assistant and Systems Administrator to Congressman David Obey (D-WI). She began her career serving as an intern in Congressman Obey’s office while she was an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Melissa returned to the congressman’s office full time after graduation, and has been involved in legislative matters ever since.
Land "Landy" Douglas Elliott
Associate Director, Federal Relations and DC Operations
Duke in Washington
Landy joined the Federal Relations staff in December of 2008 after completing an MS in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University. While at CSU, Landy worked with international graduate student populations and discovered an interest in policy through an internship with the general counsel’s office. Prior to graduate school she spent two years juggling development, board relations, and special events roles at the National Park Foundation in Washington, DC. Landy is a graduate of Duke and is now based in Washington, DC.
Project Coordinator, Office of Federal Relations
Michaela came to the Office of Federal Relations in March 2009. Prior to joining the OFR team, Michaela served as the assistant to the Director of the Duke Clinical Research Unit, several years in the private sector, and over a decade at Durham Technical Community College as the assistant to the Dean of the Health Technologies Department.