Alumna Danielle McBeth worked in media relations in Tallahassee before her D.C public affairs career
Florida A&M University (FAMU) President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., has selected seasoned professional Danielle McBeth to spearhead the University’s legislative affairs.
McBeth will serve as special assistant to the president for Governmental Relations. She succeeds Barbara Cohen-Pippin, who announced her retirement, effective October 17.
McBeth, who is currently a partner with Alcalde & Fay, a government and public affairs firm in Arlington, Virginia, is slated to begin work with the University on October 28.
Cohen-Pippin, who served as director for government affairs for almost three years, returned from retirement to join FAMU.
“In December of 2016, Barbara Cohen-Pippin made a commitment to stay through the first legislative session. Her dedication to getting the job done has been to FAMU’s benefit. The Rattler family thanks her immensely for working tirelessly and effectively during her tenure. She will be missed,” Robinson said. “We are excited about having Danielle McBeth take the baton into the 2020 Legislative Session and beyond. The work of representing the University in this capacity will continue to be in good hands.”
McBeth graduated from FAMU with a bachelor’s in journalism in 1991 and earned her law degree from the American University Washington College of Law in 2003. She worked in media relations in Tallahassee before moving to Washington.
“It is certainly exciting to return to my alma mater in a professional capacity,” said McBeth, who has fond memories of arriving from Jackson, Mississippi, to pursue a degree in journalism, living in McGuinn Hall and other aspects of campus life. The timing of her appointment makes it even more special, she said.
“Learning of this selection just before Homecoming gives it a whole new meaning,” McBeth said. “I am looking forward to continuing the successful legislative accomplishments of President Robinson, Barbara Cohen-Pippin, and the Government Relations team.”
As head of FAMU’s legislative efforts, Cohen-Pippin helped secure passage of state legislation to allow FAMU to take advantage of a federal program to build a 700-bed student housing and dining facility.
She and her staff are also credited with shepherding legislation to obtain $24.8 million in funding for the Center for Access and Student Success (CASS) student services building. Both projects are expected to be completed in 2020.
McBeth will lead the push for more funding to bolster the University’s student success initiatives.