Curtiss Assumes Reins at GEO-DC

David K. Curtiss has assumed the directorship of the AAPG Geoscience and Energy Office in Washington, D.C. (GEO-DC), after serving as deputy director of the office since its inception in mid-November 2005. Curtiss succeeds Don Juckett, who served as director of the GEO-DC since its launch and is retiring to focus on his consultancy and as director of Far East Energy Corp.

Juckett also will continue to serve GEO-DC in a senior advisory capacity.

As GEO-DC director, Curtiss will:

  •  Represent government affairs interests of AAPG members.
  •  Provide information to federal state government officials and staff.
  •  Develop opportunities for AAPG members to engage in the policy process.

The GEO-DC office is located at the headquarters of the American Geological Institute in Alexandria, Va.


Curtiss previously served as manager of international strategy and development and was senior adviser to the director of the Energy and Geoscience Institute (EGI) located at the University of Utah.

In that position he was involved in government affairs on behalf of EGI, developed strategic alliances and assisted in identifying and developing research programs, was involved in public outreach, developed marketing strategies, conducted contract negotiations and was primary liaison with EGI’s 63 international industry sponsors.

He also contributed his geologic expertise to industry-funded petroleum studies in Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uganda and the United States, plus several global exploration opportunity assessments.

Curtiss first joined EGI in 1993 as a research assistant and was manager of program development when in 2001-02 he served as a Legislative Fellow, serving in the office of U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.), who also was chairman of the Republican Conference in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In that position Curtiss got an insider’s view of the legislative process, with duties including advising Watts and senior staff on energy, foreign policy, Third World indebtedness and cyber- and homeland security. He also was charged with seeking legislative solutions for technology infrastructure development at minority-serving colleges and universities, climate change, urban and rural community renewal.

He also prepared articles, speeches and press releases.

Curtiss has a bachelor’s degree in geology from Wheaton College (Ill.), a master’s degree in earth resources management from the University of South Carolina and a master’s of business administration from the University of Utah.

He is a registered geologist in Utah and a member of AAPG.

“The experience and contacts David has gained in his work with industry, academia and Congress plus working closely with Don Juckett over the past two years, combined with his energy and ability to communicate with scientists, business leaders and policy makers, will ensure a smooth transition of leadership in the office and the continued effectiveness of GEO-DC,” said AAPG Executive Director Rick Fritz.

Mark your calendars for Congressional Visits Day on March 4-5.

One of the first items on Curtiss’ agenda is planning for the upcoming Congressional Visits Day (CVD), organized by the Science-Engineering-Technology Working Group.

For the past 12 years this annual event has brought scientists, engineers, researchers, teachers and executives to Washington, D.C., to talk to Congress about the importance of science, engineering and technology.

AAPG members have regularly participated in the event, especially the last two years, and the momentum from last year’s meeting led to the formation of the Washington Advocacy Group, a Government Affairs subcommittee chaired by past DPA president Deborah Sacrey that is intended to promote increased engagement between AAPG members and policy makers.

At the event:

  •  On Day 1 participants receive briefings on federal science and technology activities, with a special session devoted to the geosciences.
  • The sessions also include information and suggestions for how to conduct a successful Congressional briefing, and participants receive materials to leave behind at these meetings.

    The day wraps up with a reception on Capitol Hill.

  •  Day 2 begins with breakfast back on the Hill, followed by participants’ meeting with the offices of their respective member of Congress and senators (schedules permitting).
  • Check the Congressional Visits Day Web site for more information and regular updates.

    Space is limited for this event and will quickly fill to capacity.

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    David K. Curtiss, Director
Geoscience and Energy Office
    David K. Curtiss, Director Geoscience and Energy Office