Joel Widder, Co-Founder & Partner

Mr. Widder has been providing government relations services to research universities and related organizations since he retired from federal service in 2002.  Along with his partner, Ms. Meg Thompson, Mr. Widder has represented numerous clients including the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Florida State University, the State University of New York, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the National Ecological Observatory Network, the National Association of Marine Laboratories, the Sea Grant Association, the Association of Children’s Museums, Vaisala, Inc., Quantum Spatial, Inc., and General Atomics.  In the past he has also represented the California Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois, the University of Southern California, Georgia Tech, Rutgers University, Arizona State University, and Tulane University.  As a result, Mr. Widder has extensive experience in the research and education issues important to major research universities as well as experience in working with major higher education and scientific/engineering associations.

Before his work in the consulting field, Mr. Widder worked from 1982 to 2002 for the National Science Foundation (NSF) where he last served as the Deputy Director for the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs.  In this senior executive capacity, his responsibilities included working directly with the NSF Director and the members of the National Science Board in their relations with the Office of Management and Budget, the White House Science Advisor’s office, the Congress and the external science and engineering community.  He was responsible for the development and execution of the Foundation’s participation in the Congressional budget process (annual budget resolution, authorization legislation, and annual appropriations legislation) and the legislative oversight process.  

Before leaving federal service, Mr. Widder also served for two years on the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee where he had responsibility for issues related to research and education including space and environmental sciences.  Mr. Widder was an original member of NOAA’s Environmental Information Services Working Group (EISWG), which reports to the NOAA Science Advisory Board.  He serves on the Executive Committee of the Board on Oceans, Atmosphere, and Climate within the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities; and the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Weather & Climate Enterprise Commission Steering Committee.  Mr. Widder received an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland in 1975 and completed two years of graduate work at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (1975–1977).

Contact Joel Widder: jwidder@federalsciencepartners.com

 


Meg Thompson, Co-Founder & Partner

Ms. Thompson has over 20 years of Capitol Hill experience.  Ms. Thompson has been professional staff on both the Senate and House Appropriations Committees for both Republican and Democratic majorities.  Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Thompson served on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, where she had principle responsibility for all Department of Justice programs.  In 2006, Ms. Thompson served on the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security where she had primary responsibility for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Preparedness Directorate.  From 2001-2005, Ms. Thompson served on the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee.  Before joining the House Appropriations Committee, Ms. Thompson spent three years as Director of Corporate Communications for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and spent two years as a lobbyist for health and medical research clients.  Prior to the private sector, Ms. Thompson served on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies from 1992-1997.

Ms. Thompson, in partnership with Mr. Widder has represented numerous clients including the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Florida State University, the State University of New York, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the National Ecological Observatory Network, the National Association of Marine Laboratories, the Sea Grant Association, the Association of Children’s Museums, Vaisala, Inc., Quantum Spatial, Inc., and General Atomics.  Ms. Thompson has also represented the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the University of New Mexico, and Purdue University.

Contact Meg Thompson: mthompson@federalsciencepartners.com