Welcome to the Office of Public Affairs and Advocacy. The office serves as the official voice of Sacramento State through an integrated, multifaceted communications and marketing program, and fosters governmental relations at the local, state, and federal levels. Our mission is to promote the University and cultivate public support for its teaching, learning, and service.

The Public Affairs unit develops and disseminates stories of academic excellence, student success, innovation, civic engagement, and Sac State's welcoming campus environment, telling the Sac State story through University-wide marketing, the University's website, social media, e-newsletters, and media relations. The Advocacy team engages in efforts to secure resources and support for the University – from California's Capitol to the nation's Capitol. PAA also works in concert with the Office of the President on official presidential communications.

Phil Garcia

   Phil Garcia, Vice President for Public
   Affairs and Advocacy

Phil Garcia, Vice President for Public Affairs and Advocacy

Phil Garcia came to Sacramento State in 2004, when he established the Office of Governmental and Civic Affairs, and served as its executive director. With the creation of the Office of Public Affairs and Advocacy in 2010, he became its vice president.

Prior to his arrival at Sacramento State, Garcia was communications director for then-Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and deputy executive director of the State Board of Education. Earlier in his career, he was a journalist, working at the Arizona Daily Star, the San Diego Union and in the Washington, D.C., bureau of United Press International. His last newspaper job was with the Sacramento Bee, where he was a reporter and editor.

Garcia holds a bachelor of science degree in journalism from the University of Kansas. He is a former Congressional Fellow for the American Political Science Association.


The Advocacy team manages and fosters relationships with governmental agencies and elected officials while facilitating many of Sacramento State’s community engagement efforts. The unit works to build civic partnerships that further the development of Sacramento State, the regional economy, and workforce.

Among the Advocacy unit's responsibilities:

  • Working with members of the Sacramento-area legislative and congressional delegations to secure state and federal funding that will benefit the University
  • Forging civic and community partnerships to advance the development of both Sacramento State and the capital region
  • Collaborating with the CSU's Office of Advocacy and Institutional Relations, as well as the CSU Office of Federal Relations, on budget and legislative issues
  • Contributing regularly to the CSU's online e-mail advocacy system, reaching more than 65,000 Sacramento State alumni and community leaders

Recent Advocacy highlights:

  • Congresswoman Doris Matsui and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi held a highly successful and well-attended Women's Forum at Sacramento State that drew statewide media coverage.
  • Matsui returned to campus in February 2013 to help unveil Sac State's cutting-edge molecular biology lab, the Center for Interdisciplinary Molecular Biology Education, Research and Advancement (CIMERA).
  • The unit launched partnerships with government agencies and local organizations to address urban core challenges in concert with the Downtown Entertainment and Sports Complex project.
  • In spring 2015, the advocacy unit joined a delegation of Sacramento's top business, civic, and government leaders in Washington D.C. to lobby for and advance priorities critical to the University and the region as part of the Sacramento Metro Chamber Cap-to-Cap Program.
  • Advocacy facilitated partnerships with Sacramento City and Elk Grove unified school districts, Sacramento City College, and Cosumnes River College to launch Pathways to Success, an initiative to help Sacramento students across all grade levels prepare for, transition to, and succeed in college.

Public Affairs and Advocacy Staff

Phil Garcia Vice President for Public Affairs and Advocacy (916) 278-8758 garciap@csus.edu
Judi Brenner Executive Assistant (916) 278-8758 jbrenner@csus.edu
Nathan Dietrich Director of State and Federal Relations (916) 278-3725 nathan.dietrich@csus.edu
Public Affairs Main Office (916) 278-8758 publicaffairs@csus.edu