“There was no Five Guys in Oxford back in my day.”
– DSPI alumni Representative Derek Kilmer
Graduate students in Oxford’s Department of Social Policy and Intervention often look forward to applying their academic learning to real-life policymaking, but few ultimately do so as United States Congressmen. Since 2013, Representative Derek Kilmer has been the exception, serving the state of Washington’s 6th district. At the end of a US-UK relations exchange trip to London, Representative Kilmer took his colleague Representative Ron Kind back to Oxford and into Barnett House for a conversation with students.
Representatives Kilmer and Kind covered plenty of ground in their remarks and responses: the nature of their districts, their paths to politics, advice on running for office, reflections on their graduate degrees, policy work in a partisan context, the issue of representation, the challenges of economic revitalization, evidence and policymaking, and the future of the Democratic Party.
The Representatives brought not only their insights from Congress, but an opportunity to weave together the worlds of politics and policy, of academia and practice. Their remarks remind us graduate students of the department that our learning is as applicable outside of the walls of Oxford as within them.
To read more about the evening, head over to the student-run Barnett House blog.