Eugene J. Alpert, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President
Eugene J. Alpert has been with The Washington Center since 1993 when he joined TWC as vice president for academic affairs, overseeing the internship, academic seminars, and, for a period, student life. As senior vice president, Gene currently oversees the academic seminars and the more than forty associate faculty, who teach the courses required of students in the internship program. This includes the partnership with C-SPAN and the distance-learning course taught by Steve Scully of C-SPAN, which brings in highly visible experts on the political process to students in the Political Leadership Program. He oversees the administration of the Alan K. Simpson-Norman Y. Mineta Leaders Series, which invites a prestigious array of Washington leaders to speak to Washington Center interns, as well as various other short-term programs. He also works closely with The Washington Center’s campus liaisons, including those on the National Liaison Advisory Board who provide assistance and advice for specific TWC internship programs and academic seminars.
Every four years, Dr. Alpert continues the tradition he started in 1984, when The Washington Center offered its first National Political Convention Program. This prestigious program, which recently completed its eighth convention cycle, has brought over 2,000 students and faculty to the Republican and Democratic national conventions over the years and, most recently, over 400 students and faculty to Washington for the 2013 presidential inauguration.
As vice president for academic affairs for the organization, Gene developed critical programs to put The Washington Center’s name on the map of service learning and experiential education. He helped implement the portfolio system of evaluation to develop a meaningful way for campuses to assess the progress of their students’ internship experience for academic credit. He developed the annual Academic Affairs Awards Luncheon to spotlight the network of university and internship partners that promote the students’ experience. In addition to the convention programs, he led the development of numerous short-term seminars, such the Politics and the Media, Congress and the Presidency, Leaders on Leadership and the “Top Secret” national security seminars, among others. He also helped to establish close partnerships with organizations such as the National Society for Experiential Education, the National Collegiate Honors Council, Pi Sigma Alpha, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Before joining TWC, Gene was an associate professor of political science at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. A faculty member for 17 years, he was chairman of the political science department, director of the master of liberal arts program, director of the TCU Washington Internship Program, and director of the university's self-study for SACS re-accreditation. He is the author of numerous articles pertaining to experiential education and the political process including, "Conventional Wisdom: A Television Viewer's Guide to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions," published by C-SPAN, as well as the Contextual Statement for the CAS Standards for Internship Programs. He is often interviewed and quoted on issues related to experiential education, national politics, and higher education trends.
Gene holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in political science from Michigan State University and a B.A. from the University of Rochester. In 1982, Alpert served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, working in the area of media communications for the House and Senate leadership. He is a member of numerous professional associations and advisory committees, including the National Society for Experiential Education (past president); National Capital Area Political Science Association (former council member); American Political Science Association, the National Collegiate Honors Council and the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (alternate director). He has also served on the steering committee of the International Consortium for Experiential Learning.
He has received awards of recognition for his contributions in experiential education from the National Society for Experiential Education, Furman University, the National Collegiate Honors Council and, before joining the organization, The Washington Center. In 2011, he received the Leadership and Service Award from Loyola Marymount University’s Institute for Leadership Studies.