Policy Department

External Affairs

The GPSA Office of External Affairs (EA) exists to advocate for, with, and on behalf of over 16,000 ASU graduate and professional students. This office oversees GPSA’s advocacy projects, organizes students around relevant issues, lobbies policy makers, and develops graduate student leaders. Each fall, the EA team drafts the GPSA Advocacy Agenda for GPSA Assembly approval, setting the policy priorities of the organization. This office also plays a key role in drafting internal GPSA bills to define stances on policy issues.
The Office of EA oversees the Graduate Student Advocacy Committee with the main purpose of drafting the Advocacy Agenda and other internal legislation and supporting that agenda through advocacy programming. This committee is open to any student. The team is led by the Vice President of External Affairs, the Director of Federal Government Affairs, Director of State and Local Government Affairs, and the Director of JEDI Initiatves .
Jamal Brooks

Jamal Brooks-Hawkins

Vice President of External Affairs

The Vice President of External Affairs represents the interests of graduate and professional students to local, state and federal governing bodies, as well as the Arizona Board of Regents. This position serves on the Executive Committee and is chair of the Graduate Student Advocacy Committee, and manages the External Affairs budget.

Jamal Brooks-Hawkins is a Gender Studies doctoral student in the School of Social Transformation. His research explores how race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect to influence the experience and production of labor, economics, sexual stereotypes, and bodily autonomy. He has an extensive background in advocacy, policy, community organizing, and engagement.

Quinne Daoust

Quinne Daoust

Director of Federal Government Affairs

The Director of Federal Government Affairs advances GPSA’s legislative interests at the federal level by leading federal Legislative Action Days (LAD) in Washington D.C. and engaging and maintaining relationships with the Arizona Congressional Delegation.

Quinne Daoust is a third-year law student at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Her areas of legal interest include water rights and adjudications, federal natural resource regulation, and Western climate policy.


Deanne Hunter

DeAnne Hunter

Director of State and Local Affairs

The Director of State and Local Affairs is responsible for engagement between GPSA and state and local legislative bodies including the Arizona Board of Regents, the state legislature, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and the Tempe and Phoenix City Councils. The DSLA advances GPSA’s state-level legislative interests by designing and carrying out GPSA’s civic engagement projects, coordinating local and state conferences, and mobilizing students around important issues.

DeAnne Hunter is a Speech and Hearing Science doctoral candidate in the College of Health Solutions. She researches interventions for children with dyslexia who have diverse language and cultural backgrounds. She is also the Committee Chair for the Speech, Language and Learning Intervention Research Symposium, a doctoral-student organized conference that brings together stakeholders from research, education, parent groups and policy makers to explore collaborative solutions to improve the quality of education for children with disabilities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.


Austin Blackmon

Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiatives

The Director of JEDI is a liaison between GPSA and the diversity of GSOs and the Council of Coalitions. The Director of JEDI develops, implements, and supports ASU campus justice, equity, diversity and inclusion projects by chairing the GPSA JEDI committee and ensuring that graduate student needs are fulfilled at the institutional level.

Austin Blackmon is a doctoral candidate in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program. He is researching cancer cell biology, specifically the cancer-associated enzyme, QSOX1, and its role in the tumor microenvironment. Austin is also passionate about DEI issues and increasing the representation of BIPOC students in STEM research.