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East Lansing

staff photo Mark A. Burnham
Vice President for Governmental Affairs

Mark Burnham began his tenure as vice president for governmental affairs in February 2011. Burnham previously served as MSU’s associate vice president for governmental affairs in Washington, D.C., since 2006. Prior to joining MSU, he was the director of federal relations for research at the University of Michigan. From 1998 through 2003, Burnham was a member of Lewis-Burke Associates, a lobbying firm representing universities and scientific consortia. In addition to his career as a higher education advocate, Burnham worked as an attorney for the law firm Jones Day. He holds a law degree from Boston College Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Michigan.

staff photo David W. Bertram
Associate Vice President for State Affairs
David Bertram joined MSU Governmental Affairs in October 2011. Prior ro working at MSU, Bertram spent nearly 15 years with the Michigan Township Association, serving as the legislative team leader from 2000-11. Bertram served in Governor John Engler’s office in a number of positions, including as the governor’s lobbyist in the Michigan Senate for three years. He also served on Senate Majority Leader Engler’s staff, gubernatorial campaign staff, and on the Engler transition team in 1990. Bertram has a Bachelor of Science in political science from Lake Superior State University.
staff photo Janet Lillie, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President for Community Relations – East Lansing/Lansing
Janet Lillie joined Michigan State University in 1997. Lillie has been a faculty member for over 18 years teaching classes on organizational communication and professional development. She has also served as the Coordinator of Freshman Year Programming at MSU and prior to joining the Office of Governmental Affairs in 2014, Lillie was the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education for MSU's College of Communication Arts and Sciences where she oversaw all aspects of undergraduate education in the College. As Assistant Vice President for Community Relations, Lillie is responsible for connecting MSU, community leaders, and the Greater Lansing Region on initiatives that advance mutual interests. Lillie earned her BA in Communication and German from Miami University, and her MA and PhD both in Communication from Michigan State University.
Suchitra A. Webster
Community Liaison
Suchitra Webster joined Michigan State University in 1996, as a member of the Admissions team. Webster's professional tenure at MSU has included communications and strategic planning in Admissions, Academic Advising and for the Office of the Provost. With over 15 years of community relations expertise, Webster has been able to successfully leverage public and private resources to build connections between town and gown. In her capacity as Community Liaison, she works closely with the Community Relations Coalition, the City of East Lansing, neighboring municipalities, and local landlords and property managers, while co-chairing MSU’s You Vote committee and partnering with various MSU entities (from ASMSU to the Office of International Student and Scholars). Webster earned both her BA in International Relations and her MA in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University.
Lori Dahlstrom
Executive Assistant to the Vice President
Lori Dahlstrom joined MSU in 2007 as executive assistant to the vice president for finance and operations and treasurer (now the Office of the Executive Vice President for Administrative Services). Dahlstrom joined the Governmental Affairs staff in March 2013 where she provides executive support to the vice president and the assistant vice president for state affairs, as well as overseeing daily operations of the office. Before coming to MSU, Dahlstrom was executive assistant to the president and CEO of Delta Dental Plans of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. She holds an Associate Degree in applied science from Lansing Community College.
Stacey L. Patton
Fiscal Officer
Stacey Patton joined MSU in August 2005. Patton began as the receptionist, then as an administrative assistant, and now serves as the Governmental Affairs fiscal officer. Patton also provides backup clerical support for the MSU and Detroit offices. She has worked in the clerical field for more than 20 years. Prior to coming to MSU, Patton worked for the Wayne County Sheriff and Mental Health Department.
Marina Scott
Executive Staff Assistant

Marina Scott joined MSU in December 2011. Scott provides scheduling and administrative support for the assistant vice president for community relations. Before coming to MSU, she was an administrative assistant at Michigan Millers Insurance Company and was an executive assistant at Lansing Economic Area Partnership.


staff photo Charles A. Rivers
Director of Community Relations–Southeast Michigan
Chuck Rivers joined MSU in October 2008 as an assistant to the vice president and was promoted to the position of director of community relations for Southeast Michigan. Rivers is primarily responsible for interactions with local political, philanthropic, and community leaders and for elevating MSU’s presence in Metro Detroit (Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties). Prior to joining MSU, Rivers served as assistant to the vice president for human resources at Visteon Corporation. He also served as human resources salaried and hourly personnel manager for Ford Motor Company. He holds degrees in anthropology and history from Bishop State College in Mobile, Alabama, and psychology and sociology from Bishop College in Dallas, Texas, and a Master of Arts in higher education administration from MSU.

Washington DC

staff photo Sarah K. Walter
Associate Vice President–Washington, D.C., Office
Sarah Walter joined the MSU Washington office in 2011 and serves as associate vice president for governmental affairs in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining MSU, Walter was director of federal relations for research at the University of Michigan. From 2002 to 2006, she served as associate director of Vanderbilt University’s D.C. office. Previously, Walter served as the senior legislative assistant to Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and worked as a senior analyst with the Arms Control Association and as an analyst at the Science Applications International Corporation. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a Master of Arts in international relations and from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts in history.
staff photo Jacob Courville
Director–Washington, D.C., Office
Jacob Courville joined MSU’s Washington office in 2015 and serves as director for federal affairs. Courville is responsible for covering a number of issues that affect the university, including biomedical research, education, agriculture, energy, environment, and tax issues. Prior to joining MSU, Courville served in the office of retired U.S. Senator Carl Levin where he was a senior advisor responsible for a wide range of topics that included biomedical research, health care, labor, retirement, and Native American affairs. Courville graduated from MSU with a Bachelor of Arts in political science.
Janine Bellamy
Office Manager–Washington, D.C., Office
Janine Bellamy joined MSU’s Washington office in May 2011. Bellamy is responsible for the overall coordination of the day-to-day functions of the office and implementations of special projects. She also provides administrative support for the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa. Bellamy has been working in administration for more than 25 years. Before joining Governmental Affairs, she was the administrative assistant to the director of operations at a law firm in the Washington, D.C., area.

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