Meet the Staff

Patrick Lindsey  

Patrick Lindsey
Vice President of Government and Community Affairs
(313) 577-4228

Patrick O. Lindsey joined Wayne State University as Vice President for Government and Community Affairs on January 1, 2012.

Patrick is a Detroit native with more than 25 years experience in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Patrick came to Wayne State from Detroit-based Focus: HOPE, where he was Director of External Relations and Development, where he led their communications, government relations and fundraising efforts. Prior to that, Patrick enjoyed a 20-year career with Chrysler, where he most recently was Senior Manager of State Relations. In that role, he led state and local government relations initiatives including legislative lobbying, negotiation of economic incentives on corporate investments, and establishing and maintaining relationships with key public officials. He managed a government relations portfolio consisting of 10 states and the City of Detroit. He also served Chrysler as Manager of Community Relations and in Corporate and Plant Security Operations.

Patrick holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan. He lives in Detroit with his wife, Kathy, and children Kendall and Kaylyn. He also serves as pastor of Greater Bibleway Baptist Church in Detroit.

Greg Bird  

Greg Bird
Director of State Relations
(313) 577-5284 (Campus Office)
(517) 371-1400 (Lansing Office)

Greg joined the Division of Government and Community Affairs as Director of State Relations in November 2008. As Director of State Relations, Greg serves as the primary contact and principal lobbyist for the University in its relationship with the Governor, the State Legislature, and state departments and department officials.

Prior to joining Wayne State, Greg spent more than 12 years in state government working in the Executive Branch, both chambers of the legislature and in the Office of the Attorney General. Most recently, Greg held the positions as Press Secretary to the Speaker of the House and Director of Communications for the Office of the State Budget.

Greg has also spent time working on political campaigns at the local, state and federal levels. He holds a BA in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy from Michigan State University's James Madison College.

Brianna Fritz  

Brianna Ellison                                                                                                   Associate Director- Advocacy and Community Programs                                      (313) 577-0717

Brianna Ellison has more than a decade of experience in political and community organizing. She has worked on numerous campaigns, including three Michigan Supreme Court campaigns and the millage campaign to support the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Before coming to Wayne State University in February 2013, Ellison served as outreach coordinator for Detroit-based IT and process engineering firm Digerati. There, she worked to build partnerships with businesses, nonprofits, the public sector and universities to secure participation in the Intern in Michigan program. 

Ellison served as the Director of Community Outreach for Wayne State University Law School before joining WSU's Division of Government and Community Affairs. At Wayne Law, Ellison developed a strategic and metric-driven plan to advance the goals of the school by building partnerships to connect faculty, staff, resources and students with the greater community. 

After earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, Ellison earned her master of public administration degree at Wayne State University.


Victor Green
Director of Community Relations
(313) 577-8863

Victor Green joined Wayne State University (WSU) as the director of community relations in April 2005 with more than 20 years of government and community affairs experience.  He is the lead university administrator working to build, create and sustain partnerships throughout the Detroit Metropolitan area. He also lectures in the Labor Studies Department at WSU and at the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Police and Corrections Academy on the subjects of diversity, ethics and communications.

Prior to his current position, Victor's career included working as congressional assistant for two members of Congress – former Congressman Howard Wolpe, D-Mich.,and Congressman Fred Upton, R-Mich. – where he specialized in immigration issues and community outreach. After his tenure with the U.S. House of Representatives, Victor became a Public Safety Officer for the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, where he rose to the rank of Inspector of Internal Affairs and Community Relations.

Victor is actively involved in the community; he serves on the boards of directors for Gleaners Food Bank of Michigan; Michigan Diversity Council; InsideOut Poets Literary Arts Project; Detroit MOTTTEP (Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program) Foundation, and the Metro Youth, Arts and Community YMCA Board of Advisors.

Victor is a native of Detroit and a graduate of Renaissance High School. He earned a bachelor's and a master's degree in public administration from Western Michigan University. Victor and his wife, Alysia, have a son, Matthew, who is a senior at Wayne State University.


Doug Skrzyniarz
Associate Vice President- Government Health Affairs
(586) 873-5926

Doug Skrzyniarz has worked in health care for more than 15 years in senior administrative roles. Skrzyniarz works extensively with graduate medical education issues, Medicaid health policy, and mental health issues. He is an appointed member of the faculty as an adjunct instructor where he teaches a class to medical students on health policy and politics.

Skrzyniarz has spent nearly 25 years interacting with local, state and federal governments.  He has held legislative staff positions in all levels of government, including the U.S. Congress, the New York State Senate and the Michigan Legislature.  Skrzyniarz was re-elected to the Sterling Heights City Council in 2015 and is a past recipient of the Crain's Detroit Business "40 Under 40" award.

He received his bachelor's degree in Political Theory and International Relations from the James Madison College at Michigan State University, a master's degree in Political Science from Wayne State University, and a master's degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan's School of Public Health.  He is currently pursuing his PhD from Wayne State University in Political Science.


Karen Vest


Karen Vest
Associate Director for Business Affairs
(313) 577-1262

Karen joined the Division of Government and Community Affairs in December 2001 as the executive assistant to the vice president. In her current position as the office's business manager, she is responsible for the day-to-day financial operations of the office, supervision of the administrative staff, human resources management and training. She is the liaison with staff in the President's office and the Secretary to the Board of Governors. She assists at events sponsored by the office on campus or, at times, in the community.

Prior to joining Wayne State, Karen served as the senior government relations specialist for Kmart Corporation in Troy, MI. There she researched, analyzed and monitored multiple federal, state and local legislative and regulatory issues in 35 states. She represented the corporation on the boards of state and national retail associations, and was a board member and legislative representative for Kmart on the Troy, MI, Chamber of Commerce. Karen holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Oakland Community College and is working toward a BA in Public Administration at Wayne State University.

James Williams  

James Williams
Director of Federal Affairs                                                                                      
(202) 765-3132

In his more than 20 years in Washington, DC, James has worked with six members of Congress, and has extensive experience addressing issues affecting Michigan.  He has an broad list of legislative achievements, including playing a valuable role in helping to get two reauthorizations of the Higher Education Act signed into law; serving as one of principal individuals who drafted certain language in the Civil Rights Act of 1991; and helping to secure more than $700 million in appropriations funding earmarked for academic, defense, health care and transportation needs of the state of Michigan.

A native of Washington, DC, James holds a degree in Public Administration and History from Fisk University.
Alyson Wrase  

Alyson Wrase
Secretary to Vice President and Federal Affairs Assistant
(313) 577-5284

Alyson joined the Division of Government and Community Affairs in August 2005. Alyson serves primarily as scheduler and secretary for the Vice President. She also assists with federal affairs activities and provides support to the Washington office.

Prior to joining Wayne State, Alyson served as marketing coordinator at the Community Bank of Dearborn. She also worked for Congressman John D. Dingell in the district as a caseworker and legislative assistant. Alyson holds BA in political science from Wayne State University.