Erin Owen is taking on a new role at the Institute that is focused on increasing support and understanding of the importance of the early years and the benefits of early childhood education. The Buffett Institute recently received a $2 million endowment from the Holland Foundation that will be dedicated to public outreach and education and engaging the public in improving young children’s learning and development. In addition, Owen will oversee the Institute’s communications initiatives and be responsible for outreach strategies with the four university campuses and across Nebraska and the nation. Owen, who joined the Institute in 2018, comes from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she was the founding executive director of the Office of University Communications and assistant to the chancellor for communications. The Nebraska native has more than two decades of experience in communications. Owen’s career has taken her from Capitol Hill, where she served on the staff of Sen. Bob Kerrey, to NBC News, where she was a producer working with Tim Russert on “Meet the Press,” and helped cover some of the biggest news stories in the early 2000s. Owen also served on Russert and Tom Brokaw’s news team for special coverage broadcasts. Owen received a B.S. in journalism and mass communications from the University of Kansas and is working on her master of fine arts in writing at UNO.