Name: Eddie Gouge
Department: Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources
Title: Senior Associate Director, Federal Relations – Food and Agricultural Sciences,
Executive Director, Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET), and Executive Director, Board on Human Sciences
Date you joined APLU: September 1, 1989
How did you end up working at APLU? After spending several years on Capitol Hill working for members of Congress from North Carolina and elsewhere, the American Society for Engineering Education, and the Navy League of the United States, I ran across a job opening in the Washington Post for a position at APLU that seemed to be a perfect fit for my interests and skills. I took that leap of faith, applied, and – as they say – the rest is history!
What motivates you to work in higher education? Education was extremely important in my family. My mother was a librarian in the Department of Defense and public schools we attended as well as in our local community college. Even after she retired, she worked as a substitute teacher in the North Carolina public school system until she was almost 80 years old. So, it is no wonder that education always has been of great interest to me. It has the power to change lives!
What is the most rewarding thing about working with public research universities? The amazing people I have encountered over my thirty-year involvement with APLU has been the most rewarding thing about working with public research universities. I have been very fortunate to work with three strong APLU groups composed of remarkable individuals – the farmers/ranchers that serve as our citizen advocates to increase the understanding of and support for the land-grant university system; the human scientists that work toward providing practical science-based solutions to the many issues we face as individuals, families, and communities; and, the agriculturalists looking to feed the ever-growing world population in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner.
What education or work experience had the greatest impact on you? Travel has been the educational experience that has had the greatest impact on me. Being an Army brat and having the opportunity to travel to and live in southeast Asia and across the United States in my youth, it provided me with a unique education by exposing me to cultures, beliefs, and people that have influenced me. It provided a desire to travel and learn more.
What is on your bucket list? Travel to Australia and return to visit Taiwan, where I spent some of my youth.
What was the last performance you attended? Ann, the story of the indomitable Ann Richards, Governor of Texas.