The University of Nebraska at Omaha wants a full-time lobbyist, and on Monday two candidates will interview for the job.

The two are Victoria Kohout, executive director of the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, and Jason Prokop, external affairs manager for the Nebraska Department of Transportation.

The World-Herald this weekend obtained an itinerary of the candidates’ visits and their résumés. An email from the University of Nebraska Medical Center-UNO Chancellor’s Office referred to the information as confidential.

Bob Bartee, vice chancellor for external relations at UNO and UNMC, said UNO typically has devoted a person to the job part time.

“I felt it was important that they had their own (full-time) person,” Bartee said of the new lobbying and community relations position.

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Kohout will meet with UNO leaders Monday morning, and Prokop will meet them Monday afternoon.

NU system spokeswoman Melissa Lee said Emily Poeschl most recently performed state relations tasks at UNO but is no longer there.

Lee said the NU campuses’ community and state relations coordinators are headed by Heath Mello, the NU system’s director of state relations and interim vice president for university affairs. Lee said Mello is the university’s only registered lobbyist and is its main presence at the Capitol.

Kohout’s work experience includes serving as executive director of Research Nebraska, donor recruiter for the American Red Cross in Omaha, scheduler for former Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey, and campaign director for several local and state political candidates.

Prokop’s served as legislative director and aide to former U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska. Prokop also was chief of staff at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in Washington, D.C.

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rick.ruggles@owh.com, 402-444-1123

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