A $500,000 gift will allow the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government to partner with Carolina alumnus Joe Nail to launch Lead for North Carolina, a fellowship program matching young leaders with local communities in need.

When Joe Nail was an undergraduate student at Carolina, he decided to dedicate his life to tackling the 21st century’s most significant challenges. After months of research, he had created a list that included everything from avoiding nuclear war to aligning artificial intelligence with human values.

It would have been easy for Nail, who graduated in 2018 with degrees in political science and entrepreneurship, to look at that list and throw up his hands. Instead, he had an idea: what if there were an organization that could match civic-minded college graduates with local government institutions in need?

With partners at Harvard and Stanford Universities, Nail started that organization, called Lead for America, which offers a two-year paid fellowship for outstanding young leaders to serve in local government.

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Originally published March 22, 2019.