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Brian Elson

Brian Elson

2004, Aviation Management  

High roller
Brian Elson’s MSU Denver education prepared him for a successful career in government relations.


Landing a senior position at the world’s most prestigious transportation company just doesn’t happen without the right preparation. For Brian Elson, that preparation began at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

“[MSU Denver]’s industry-relevant education was crucial to my professional development, as well as further cultivating a strong work ethic,” said Elson.

“The faculty reinforced all of that. Without the mentoring and tutelage of Dr. Jeff Forrest and Jeff Price I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Today, as vice president of government relations at Rolls-Royce North America Inc., Elson represents the company’s civil aerospace legislative and regulatory interests on Capitol Hill, and at the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Transportation as well as NASA.

Previously, Elson served in President George W. Bush’s administration, working as a liaison between the secretary of transportation and Congress, sharing resources with lawmakers and advocating the administration’s transportation priorities related to aviation, transportation and maritime policies. He also served as the liaison between the secretary’s office and the White House  House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

In all of his past positions, Elson garnered an extensive understanding of the underpinnings behind a prepared workforce – especially in transportation, aviation and manufacturing. Because of this, Elson applauds MSU Denver’s efforts to create an Institute of Advanced Manufacturing.

“This is key because companies returning to the United States need employees with the right skills,” said Elson.

"MSU Denver recognizes the changing landscape of manufacturing – the University knows this is critical and is responding – that’s a big and positive first step."

He also has advice for today’s students.

“Get involved in campus activities and professional organizations. Networking with your colleagues and faculty is a long-term investment in your career.”

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