News

Willis Named VP for Government Relations

August 11, 2006

August 11, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Willis Named Vice President for Government Relations of the University of North Carolina

 

CHAPEL HILL – Lee Andrew “Andy” Willis III, assistant to the chancellor for external affairs at North Carolina State University, has been named vice president for government relations of the 16-campus University of North Carolina. The appointment, effective October 1, was made today by the UNC Board of Governors on the recommendation of UNC President Erskine Bowles. Willis will succeed Mark Fleming, who is leaving the University to lobby in the private sector.

In his new role, Willis will serve as the University’s primary liaison to the North Carolina General Assembly, the Governor’s office, and state government agencies. He will also work closely with President Bowles, the Board of Governors, and other senior staff to develop University policies and programs, and will lead University-wide efforts to build relationships and coalitions across all sectors of education, business, and government.

A native of Pamlico County, NC, Willis earned an undergraduate degree in political science from NC State University in 1990 and also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon graduating from NC State, he began his career in the public sector with Pamlico County, where he served as planning and economic development director, fire marshal, emergency management coordinator, and briefly as acting county manager. Shortly after earning his MPA from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1996, Willis joined the Fiscal Research Division of the NC General Assembly, where he served as the lead fiscal analyst for the Departments of Justice and Crime Control and Public Safety, and later as lead fiscal analyst for the North Carolina Senate, a post he held until joining NC State in 2003.

As NC State’s assistant to the chancellor for external affairs, Willis has been the campus’ primary liaison on legislative issues and its key contact to state and local government agencies and elected leaders. In that role, he has worked closely with UNC General Administration, as well as legislators and staff to the General Assembly. In addition, Willis has been responsible for managing NC State’s statewide grassroots advocacy network and for staffing its Board of Visitors.

Active a number of civic organizations, Willis currently chairs the education cabinet of the Triangle United Way and serves on the boards of directors of the Triangle Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Phi Delta Theta NC Delta Foundation. In 1994, he was named Citizen of the Year by the Pamlico County Chamber of Commerce. Willis and his wife, Jennifer, live in Apex and have two sons, Drew and Max.

The oldest public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina enrolls nearly 200,000 students and includes all 16 of North Carolina’s public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees. Also under the University umbrella are the UNC Center for Public Television with its 11-station statewide broadcast network, and the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for gifted students.