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Former State Senator Capri Cafaro Joins SPA as New Executive in Residence

SPA Executive in Residence Capri Cafaro

Former Ohio State Senator Capri S. Cafaro is the newest Executive in Residence at American University’s School of Public Affairs in Washington, DC. During her 10 years as a Democrat in the Ohio Senate, Cafaro established track record of legislative effectiveness and leadership, advocating for economic growth, healthcare, and victim’s rights.

"I am honored to join American University's well-respected program at the School of Public Affairs,” said Cafaro. “I'm excited to bring my expertise in state government and health policy to the team as an Executive In Residence and look forward to developing innovative programming, policy and academic work alongside my talented colleagues"

As a State Senator, Cafaro served as the ranking member of both the Senate Medicaid Committee, the Joint Committee on Medicaid Oversight (JMOC) and the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee. She was also the Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education and a member of the Senate Ways and Means, Agriculture, Energy/Natural Resources and the Joint Legislative Ethics (JLEC) Committees.

“Ms. Cafaro’s experience as a government official will offer a unique learning opportunity for SPA students,” said SPA Dean, Barbara Romzek. “We’re pleased to have her join us as an Executive in Residence.”

During her tenure, Cafaro passed numerous bills into law, including a law to stimulate the development of goods derived from the agriculture sector. She also implemented “Tourism Ohio,” a dedicated program to promote the tourism economy in the state. Her efforts to change laws helped revitalize and grow small businesses, and reform Ohio Medicaid law.

Cafaro served as the ranking member of both the Senate Medicaid Committee, the Joint Committee on Medicaid Oversight (JMOC) and the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee. She was also the Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education and a member of the Senate Ways and Means, Agriculture, Energy/Natural Resources and the Joint Legislative Ethics (JLEC) Committees.

Cafaro has been recognized as Legislator of the Year for the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses, The Ohio Speech and Hearing Association, The Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging, The Ohio Am Vets, the Ohio Soy/Corn/Wheat Association and the Ohio Public Children Services Association.

Cafaro graduated at age 19 from Stanford University with a degree in American Studies. She earned two master’s degrees: an MALS with a concentration in International Studies from Georgetown University, and a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) with a concentration in health and administration from The Ohio State University.

Cafaro was previously an adjunct at Youngstown State University where she taught a course on U.S. social welfare policy in their MSW program.