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Non Governmental Organizations

Note to students: Please review the materials below and be respectful of the time that you request of our volunteer alumni. These individuals are looking forward to hearing from you and willing to answer your questions. As former Penn Staters themselves, they have a feel for what you’ve gone through and are willing to help you think about careers or other questions. Good luck!

Note to alums: These biographical statements come from what you have sent us, and have been edited for consistency of format. If you would like to have your name removed, edit or change your entry, or know another alumnus/a who would like to join the program, please email Lee Ann Banaszak, Professor and Head, at

Thomas R. Dye

Thomas R. Dye is President of the Lincoln Center for the Public Service, a nonprofit civic and educational organization serving the citizens of Florida and the nation. He was formerly McKenzie Professor of Government at Florida State University. He received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennslyvania. He is the author of numerous books an articles on American government and public policy, including The Irony of Democracy, now in its 11th edition; Politics in States and Communities, and Understanding Public Policy, both now in their 10th editions; not to mention various other books. His popular textbook, Politics in America is now in its 4th edition. His latest books, Top Down Policymaking, Chatam House 2001, describes the role of big campaigning contributors, foundations and think thanks, interest groups and the media in policy formation in Washington. His books have been translated into many languages, including Russian and Chinese, and published abroad. He has served as President of the Southern Political Science Association, President of the Policy Studies Organization, and Secretary of the American Political Science Association. He received the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2001 from Penn State’s College of Liberal Arts. He has taught at the University of Georgia, and served as visiting scholar at Bar-Elan University, Israel, and the Brookings Institution, Washington, and elsewhere. He is listed in the Heritage Foundation Guide to Public Policy Experts, as well as most major biographical directories including Marquis’ Who’s Who in America.

Scott N. Paul
(w) 202-393-3430 x2

Scott N. Paul is the founding Executive Director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), which was launched in April 2007.  In just under 18 months, AAM has rapidly developed into an effective research and advocacy organization, publishing reports on the effectiveness of domestic trade laws and the consequences of China’s market-distorting practices.  Mr. Paul brings twenty years of experience in policy, politics and advocacy to AAM.  Prior to forming the Alliance, Mr. Paul was the principal lobbyist for the Industrial Union Council and was a trade lobbyist at the AFL-CIO, where he led the labor movement’s legislative initiatives on international trade, manufacturing, and foreign policy issues. Mr. Paul’s Capitol Hill experience extends from 1987, when he held an internship with Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-IN), to 2001, when he served as the chief foreign policy and trade advisor to then-House Democratic Whip David E. Bonior (D-MI).  He also served on the staff of the late Rep. Jim Jontz (D-IN) and former Rep. Peter Barca (D-WI).  He was a candidate for the Indiana General Assembly in 1992. Mr. Paul’s writings have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and other national and regional publications; he has been quoted in those publications, as well as USA Today and the Associated Press.  He has testified before committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and has appeared as an expert on manufacturing, trade policy, and China on CNBC, CNN, and National Public Radio. Mr. Paul earned a B.A. in Foreign Service and International Politics from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.A. with honors in Security Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Vicki Ferrence Ray
(w) 570-374-1778

Vicki Ferrence Ray graduated from Penn State in May of 1995 with a B.A. in Political Science and in Sociology. She went on to earn a Master of Government Administration (M.G.A.) at the Fels Center of Government at the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. She worked as an Assistant Deputy Mayor in the City of Philadelphia's Mayor's Office of Management and Productivity during the later portion of the Rendell Administration, where she served as a project director for a multi-phased, multimillion-dollar government reengineering project. Subsequently, she was employed as a Growth Management Strategist for Refinery, Inc., a strategic web design and technology company in Huntingdon Valley, PA. While there she was promoted to be Director of Planning and Development reporting directly to the CEO. In January 2004 she returned to government work, this time providing consulting services to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Department of General Services regarding Governor Rendell's Strategic Sourcing Initiative to save taxpayers over $100 million. In October 2004 Vicki moved to the not-for-profit arena as Director of National Programs, Central Region, for Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY).

David Reel
(w) 410-974-4472

David Reel has extensive experience in trade association management, public affairs and consulting. He currently serves as President /CEO of the  Maryland Hotel & Lodging Association, as President/CEO of the Maryland Tourism Council and President/CEO of the Maryland Tourism Education Foundation. All three organizations are headquartered in Annapolis Maryland. He is also Founder and Managing Partner of The Gladstone Group, a Maryland based consulting firm that provides counsel to not for profit organizations on governance leadership and management issues. He is also a member of the Issues Management Team at Quantum Communications, a Harrisburg based strategic communication/issues management consulting firm.  As an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Virginia he served on a team that developed launched and taught a 10 week Association Management Certificate program. As a faculty member at the U.S. Chamber's  Institute for Organization Management he taught Collaborative Leadership and Strong Associations for the Future.  He is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) with the American Society of Association Executives . He is also  member of the Maryland Society of Association Executives, the Maryland Government Relations Association and the International Society of Hotel Association Executives.  He has a BA (With Distinction) in Political Science from the University Park Campus and an MPA in Public Administration from the Harrisburg Campus. He was inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha during his senior year at University Park and is a Life Member of the Penn State Alumni Association.

Priscilla Skillman
(w) 202-785-5917

Priscilla Skillman received her B.A. degree in political science in 1967. Upon graduation Priscilla went to Washington and has been there ever since. She worked for several years in the United States Department of Labor providing employment counseling and job training programs throughout the United States. In 1971, she attended law school at George Washington University, going full-time while cutting back her Labor Department job to half-time. Upon completion of law school, Priscilla worked as chief of staff to a newly elected Pennsylvania congressman, Bob Edgar, for 4 years and later ran her own law practice for just over a decade. She is currently Assistant Director of the Council for Court Excellence, which is a law-related public policy organization that works to improve administration of justice in the courts and related agencies in Washington. Her various careers and positions have therefore meshed interest in the law with that in public policy. Her current position allows her to combine these two long-standing interests.

Reed M. Smith
(h) 814.867.5719

Reed Smith majored in International Relations as a student at Penn State in 1951. Later, in 1954, Mr. Smith earned his Master’s degree from Penn State and began a career as an educator. He taught night school at CCNY and Brooklyn College from 1953-1955 and also taught at a private prep school in New York City. He later went on to become an Associate Professor at Baldwin-Wallace College, University of Pennsylvania, Bradley University (where he also was appointed Department Head), and Wright State University. Mr. Reed was also published by the Penn State University Press in 1963, publishing his book titled, State Government in Transition. He focused on Public Administration, American Government, Soviet Government, Governments of Eastern Europe and Peace Studies. He retired in 1995 but remains active in the State College Peace Center, ACLU, Amnesty International, Quaker Peace groups, and various other like-minded organizations.

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