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Ambassador Circle Spotlight: Lieutenant General (Ret.) Jay B. Silveria

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Jay B. Silveria, executive director of Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government & Public Service in Washington, DC, shares his thoughts on what makes DC the ideal location for a new campus. Learn about exciting new features of the cutting-edge facility in the heart of the city and his experiences living and working in DC since his appointment in fall 2020.

Jay B. Silveria, executive director of Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government & Public Service in Washington, DC


Q: What makes Washington, DC, the ideal location for Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government & Public Service’s new campus?

Our students are committed to a career in public service. There’s no better place to practice that calling and follow the legacy of our 41st president than in the nation’s capital. DC is the seat of government and the place where public service leadership opportunities abound.


Q: Tell us more about the campus and opening plans. Where is it located and what are some of the most exciting features?
We are very excited about our newly renovated building at 1620 L Street, NW, in the heart of downtown DC. It’s around the corner from Black Lives Matter Plaza and a block and a half from the White House.


We’re the long-term, primary building tenant with almost 47,000 square feet of classroom, conference and collaboration space, along with a 150-seat theater/lecture hall, green room and large reception area. Our building amenities include a fitness center, indoor recreation area and outside patio oasis, right in the bustle of downtown Washington, DC.


Our goal is to be a gathering place, not just for students, but for the DC community. The university’s roots are in Texas, but Bush School DC faculty, staff and students live here. Public service isn’t just something we teach, it’s something we whole-heartedly believe in. The Bush School DC wants to be an active part of making Washington, DC a great place to live and work.


Q: Are there particular fields of study that your faculty specialize in? Are there any industry sectors that showcase the expertise of your faculty?

In-person classes began in January for our graduate Master of International Policy (MIP) degree program. This fall, we’re adding a certificate program and beginning in fall 2022, we’re offering a graduate degree in National Security and Intelligence (NSI).


Bush School DC students are fortunate to learn from faculty who are real-world practitioners with experience in intelligence, diplomacy, military and government. Faculty include experts in foreign policy, diplomatic relations and economics.


You were appointed to your position in the fall of 2020. A year later, what do you think of your new home? What energizes you most about living and working in DC?
As someone whose Air Force career took me all over the world, I can’t begin to tell you how exciting it is to have a home in the Washington, DC area. There are so many opportunities here and the sheer number of amazing restaurants, museums and cultural experiences are astounding. Now that the city is open, my wife and I can’t wait to check them all out.

Also, I’m a huge baseball fan and have already become a regular at Nats games. The games have been really exciting for me, in addition to exploring all the great restaurants nearby.


Q: Living and working in the Washington, DC area provides us with so many fun, unique and often free things to do. What would be your favorite DC hidden gem?

Well, I’ve already told you about my passion for attending the baseball games. Since we moved here in the middle of the pandemic, we are finding so many hidden gems now that we can get out and do things in person.


One thing I don’t think you can underestimate about DC is how many different experiences there are here, from great parks, bike and walking trails, to all the outdoor concerts, movies and activities.


I’ve also found Washington, DC to be an extremely welcoming and friendly city. I’ve only been here a short time, but I seem to meet new people everywhere and everyone has been very warm and helpful. It already feels like home.


And by the way, there’s simply no better place to enjoy a hot dog and a beer than at Nationals Park while watching a baseball game.