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SIOP in Washington Year in Review: SIOP Advocacy Scores Big Wins in Profile Raising and Visibility

Jack Goodman, Lewis-Burke

The past year of SIOP advocacy and government relations have yielded some incredible opportunities to raise the profile of I-O psychology and ensure SIOP is an active participant in major policy conversations. The success stories below reflect only some of SIOP’s advocacy work this past year; the SIOP GREAT and Lewis-Burke teams continue to find new avenues to engage policymakers and agency officials.

Through sustained engagement and conversations with Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), SIOP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the DOJ Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, making SIOP an official collaborator on issues relating to law enforcement recruitment and selection, retention, productivity, training, morale, and other areas of I-O expertise. SIOP has already conducted a “lunch and learn” for COPS Office staff to highlight how I-O research and practice are applied to law enforcement and policing, and have plans for additional engagement with COPS Office program managers and grantees. The MOU is a prime example of how SIOP advocacy creates new opportunities to ensure I-O expertise is considered in policy and federally supported activities.

SIOP has also continued a productive relationship with the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. The Select Committee, which is responsible for making improvements to a number of personnel, policy, and technological challenges facing Congress, has welcomed engagement and input from I-O experts on how to improve recruitment, retention, morale, and productivity of staff, as well as address issues of incivility and competition between the members of Congress themselves. This year, SIOP leveraged the relationship built with the Select Committee to invite Committee Chairman Derek Kilmer to the SIOP Annual Conference in Seattle, WA. While at the conference, Chairman Kilmer participated in a panel session discussing the work of the Select Committee, where SIOP panelists and audience members alike had the opportunity to ask questions of the chairman and provide I-O-based recommendations to inform the committee’s work. Following the success of the panel, the Select Committee invited Dr. Steven Rogelberg to testify at a congressional hearing on “Pathways to Congressional Service.” As the Select Committee plans to wind down at the end of the year, SIOP and Lewis-Burke will continue to pursue opportunities to inform conversations around improving the federal workplace.

Finally, SIOP and Lewis-Burke have been working to build a bench of I-O psychology practitioners, academics, and students who are trained and ready to advocate on SIOP priorities through the new Advocacy Academy. The inaugural Academy cohort has been participating in a series of monthly webinars starting in June that provide an insider look into how Congress operates and passes legislation, deep dives into science policy, and best practices for successful advocacy. In 2023, the Academy participants will begin preparing and planning for virtual meetings with congressional offices, where they can apply these skills and advocate for issues of importance to the field of I-O psychology. SIOP members interested in participating in the Advocacy Academy should look for additional details on the second cohort in May 2023.

As we head into 2023, the partnership between SIOP GREAT and Lewis-Burke Associates is as strong as ever. Our team is excited to build on these ongoing initiatives and translate successes into new arenas, including artificial intelligence and hiring, defense national security, climate resilience and disaster relief, and more.

Washington Updates

Republicans Take House of Representatives in Midterm Elections, Democrats Retain Senate Control

Control of Congress will be divided in 2023, as Republicans won a majority of seats in the House of Representatives during the November 2022 midterm elections. However, Democrats retained the majority in the Senate, setting up a “divided government” scenario where neither political party will be able to advance their policy goals independently of the other. Congress will likely focus efforts on areas of bipartisan agreement, such as a reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) workforce development legislation due to be passed this year, mental health legislation, and more. Republicans are also likely to use their newfound majority in the House to conduct oversight of Biden administration activities, such as student loan debt forgiveness and biomedical research priorities. Without a Democratic majority in both chambers, the Biden administration may seek to use more executive orders to implement their policy agenda and continue their priorities around racial equity, climate change, and research innovation.

 

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