Washington Office

The Washington office is staffed by professionals with extensive university and agency experience. The staff is specialized in designated areas of university administration and compliance. The staff is available to the membership at any time to answer questions, provide networking contacts, for consultation or clarification of policy or procedural questions.

The Washington office provides continuing liaison among the Board, committees and working groups and provides information about the work of these COGR groups to the membership via a variety of communication services.

Individuals in the Washington office are in regular contact with federal funding agencies and keep the membership informed on federal regulatory developments.

1200 New York Ave, N.W.
Suite 460
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: (202) 289-6655


Name Title Extension
Matt Owens President X 2
Robert Hardy Director, Research Security & Intellectual Property Management X 3
David Kennedy VP & Director, Costing & Financial Compliance X 4
Krystal Toups Director, Contracts & Grants Administration X 5
Kristin West Director, Research Ethics & Compliance X 6
Toni Russo Assistant Director, Member Engagement & Policy X 7
Mary Deans Administrative Officer x 8


M. Matthew Owens (Matt) is the President of COGR. Prior to joining COGR in March 2023, he worked at the Association of American Universities (AAU) for over 20 years serving two different times in several roles, including: Interim President, Executive Vice President & Vice President of Federal Relations, and Vice President for Federal Relations & Administration. Prior to his second stint at AAU, he was the Associate Director for Government Relations for Stanford University. Mr. Owens earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California at Davis, and an Associate of Arts in English from Santa Rosa Junior College.

Robert B. Hardy  is the Director of Research Security & Intellectual Property (RSIP) at the Council on Governmental Relations.  Mr. Hardy has lead COGR responsibility for university issues pertaining to federal contracting and technology transfer policies and regulations.  Prior to coming to COGR in April 2001, Mr. Hardy was with the National Science Foundation (NSF) for over 30 years, serving in a variety of capacities  During the last eight years of his NSF career he served as Director of the Division of Contracts, Policy and Oversight.   Mr. Hardy holds a B.A. degree from Gettysburg College and J.D. from Catholic University, and is a member of the Bars of Maryland and the District of Columbia.  

David Kennedy  is the Director of Costing & Financial Compliance (CFC) at the Council on Governmental Relations. He monitors all federal financial and costing policies that affect the management of federal research programs. Since joining COGR in 2006, his areas of focus have included Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost reimbursement, implementation of the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR Part 200),  Effort Reporting, Single Audit and Federal audit initiatives, and other related issues. Prior to joining COGR, David worked as a consultant for 16 years, specializing in F&A reimbursement, F&A rate negotiations, and other areas of financial compliance at colleges and universities. David earned his BS in Economics from Lehigh University and his MS in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago.

Kristin (Kris) West is the Director of the Research Ethics and Compliance Committee.  Prior to joining COGR, Kris first worked as a a trial attorney in the Department of Justice, and then had a long career with Emory University.  She began at Emory by working as an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel for 15 years.  Kris then went on to lead the Office of Research Compliance before being selected as Emory's first Chief Compliance Officer.  Kris has extensive experience in navigating the federal regulatory framework for the ethical conduct of research involving humans and animals and in working with the various oversight committees in these areas (e.g., IACUCs, IRBs, Biosafety Committees).  Kris has a B.A. from the University of Maryland, a J.D. from Mercer University and an M.S. from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy in drug regulatory affairs.  Kris is a member of the State Bar of Georgia. 

Krystal Toups is the Director for Contracts & Grants Administration at the Council on Governmental Relations. She leads COGR’s research policy efforts related to the administration of sponsored research from proposal preparation and submission to terms and conditions of awards, monitoring the regulatory landscape. Prior to joining COGR, Krystal served as the Assistant Vice Provost for Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance at Rice University leading the university’s operations for pre-award administration (e.g., grants and contracts) and research compliance (e.g., COI, export controls, IRB, IACUC, IBC/SCRO). Before Rice, Krystal worked at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in various pre-award capacities including leading pre-award administration as the Director for Grants. She has over 17 years of experience in Research Administration including management, strategic planning, business development, process improvement, policy research and development, grants and contracts, research compliance, and accounting and finance. She is a Certified Research Administrator (CRA) received in 2011, holds a certificate in Public Health from UTHealth, a B.S. from Xavier University in Louisiana, and an Executive MBA from Texas Woman’s University.

Toni Russo is the Assistant Director of Member Engagement & Policy and oversees membership support & outreach for the organization. In addition, Toni also supports the policy work of the Directors, Board, and Committees. She has supported projects such as the NIH Data Management and Sharing, F&A Rate Survey, F&A White Paper, Cannabis & Hemp Research Working Groups, the COVID-19 Response, and others.   Prior to joining COGR in September 2015, Toni was a Contracts Specialist and Research Compliance Officer at the George Washington University where she negotiated grants and contracts on behalf of the university and assisted in research misconduct inquiries and investigations. Toni has a BA in Public Administration, and an MA degree from GW in Strategic Public Relations.

Mary Deans is the Administrative Officer at Council on Governmental Relations. Mary has over 17 years administrative management experience, and oversees the day to day administrative operations of the organization.  Prior to joining COGR in April 2022, she served an Administrative Officer at the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality where she provided administrative management support for property management, financial services, facility operations and capital project contract management for the Department.