Vice President for Public Affairs
As Stanford's senior public affairs official, David Demarest reports to the President of the university and is responsible for directing community initiatives, and overseeing communications, government relations and special events.
Demarest served four years as an assistant to President George H. W. Bush and member of the White House senior staff. As White House communications director, he worked directly with the president, the White House chief of staff and the Cabinet, and in that capacity managed a broad range of White House communications activities, including presidential speechwriting, public liaison, media relations and intergovernmental affairs.
Upon concluding his duties at the White House, Demarest served as executive vice president and director of corporate communications at BankAmerica Corp. and then as executive vice president for corporate relations and brand management at Visa International. He founded AspenLine Reputation Strategies, a specialized reputation management and communications consulting firm based in Sausalito, Calif. He participates as a senior lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business teaching "Political Communications: How Leaders Become Leaders," as well as an undergraduate course "Making Sense of Strategy." He also serves on the board of The Seminar, the George Bush Presidential Library Advisory Council, the Arthur W. Page Society, and the Public Affairs Council.
Assistant Vice President, Director of Federal Government Relations
Ryan Adesnik leads the university’s government affairs efforts in Washington, D.C., before Congress and the Executive Branch. Adesnik first came to Stanford in March 2003 to launch a government relations office at the School of Medicine, where he designed a program to further the school’s research and policy goals in Washington, D.C., and in Sacramento.
Adesnik joined Stanford from the Carmen Group, Inc. of Washington, D.C., a firm that represents corporations, teaching hospitals, private universities, nonprofit philanthropies and others before the federal government. He served as vice president of the organization and provided legislative counsel, political strategy and issue-oriented research. Previously, he held the position of senior legislative aide to Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman of New York, during Mr. Gilman’s tenure as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Adesnik hold a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance from Emory University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law.
Assistant Vice President, Director of Community Relations
Jean McCown focuses on Stanford's government and community relations efforts and initiatives at the city, county and state level. She maintains relationships with community-based organizations, government officials, local businesses and citizens to support effective communication and dialogue within the Stanford community and between Stanford and its neighbors.
McCown was a member of the Palo Alto City Council from 1990 to 1998 and served as mayor in 1993. She previously served on the Palo Alto Planning Commission and on regional transportation committees including the CalTrain Joint Powers Board and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Before coming to Stanford in 2004, McCown was a partner at the law firm of Ritchey Fisher Whitman & Klein, where she focused on land use, environmental and real estate matters.
McCown serves on the boards of the Greenbelt Alliance and the Palo Alto Housing Corporation. She received the John Gardner Leadership Award in 1994 and the Athena Award in 2004. McCown received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Michigan, a Masters degree in History from the University of Wisconsin and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Boalt Hall.