United States Capital Building

The mission of the UNC System Office of Federal Relations is to:

  • Promote the UNC System’s education, research, national security efforts, patient care, and public service activities;
  • Increase federal support for all UNC System institutions and affiliated entities;
  • Advance the UNC Partnership for National Security, a Systemwide effort to develop partnerships with the Department of Defense and the U.S. military;
  • Provide timely response and communications between the University and members of Congress, congressional staff, the White House, federal agencies, educational associations, and media on matters of federal interest;
  • Lead the University’s efforts to formulate and coordinate the federal priorities of the System’s 17 institutions; and
  • Support our institutions through strategic planning and issues management; monitoring and analysis of federal legislation; and the identification of faculty opportunities to participate in congressional hearings, executive branch advisory groups and task forces, and national education forums.  

Federal Relations works directly with institutions through the 17-member, chancellor-appointed, Federal Relations Council (FRC). The FRC is active in the development of the System’s annual federal priorities, which are then advocated for on Capitol Hill and promoted within the North Carolina U.S. congressional delegation.

UNC System Federal Priorities for 118th Congress

Federal legislative contacts

NC 118th Congress

United States Senate

Senator Thom Tillis (R)
Website | District Offices
Senator Tedd Budd (R)
Website | District Offices

United States House of Representatives

Donald Davis
D – District 1
Website | District Offices
Dan Bishop
R – District 8
Website | District Offices
Deborah Ross
D – District 2
Website | District Offices
Richard Hudson
R – District 9
Website | District Offices
Gregory Murphy
R – District 3
Website | District Offices
Patrick McHenry
R – District 10
Website | District Offices
Valerie Foushee
D – District 4
Website | District Offices
Chuck Edwards
R – District 11
Website | District Offices
Virginia Foxx
R – District 5
Website | District Offices
Alma Adams
D – District 12
Website | District Offices
Kathy Manning
D – District 6
Website | District Offices
Wiley Nickel
D – District 13
Website | District Offices
David Rouzer
R – District 7
Website | District Offices
Jeff Jackson
D – District 14
Website | District Offices

Federal relations staff

Federal Relations

Elizabeth Morra

Vice President for Federal Relations | Phone: 202-812-4224

Washington Office
750 1st Street NE, Suite 1110
Washington, DC 20002 

Ms. Morra is the primary liaison between the University of North Carolina System and the federal government. She works closely with the congressional delegation and their staff to advocate for university priorities and is the principal point of contact for University partnerships with the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and other critical military partners.  Other duties include developing and implementing the Board of Governors’ Federal Agenda, analyzing and influencing federal higher education policy, coordinating the federal government relations efforts for the 17 campuses of the UNC System, and advising the president and Board of Governors on all federal and military issues.

Military Outreach

Kathie Sidner

Director of Defense & Military Partnerships | Phone: 919-962-6291

Ms. Sidner serves as a key facilitator to identify and connect UNC System research capabilities, scientific talent and related expertise with defense community applied research and technology needs.  She works closely with 17 institutions, the US Army Research Office, USASOC, other military partners, and the defense industry to help solve critical science and technology challenges for special operations forces and other military partners. Ms. Sidner coordinates activities of the UNC Defense Applications Group, a multidisciplinary group of UNC System subject matter experts, which coordinates workshops, projects, and internships. She also works with faculty and staff to increase Department of Defense sponsored research across the UNC System. 

federal relations officers

UNC System Office

Bart Goodson
Senior Vice President Government Relations

Austen Nowell
Assistant Vice President State Government Relations

Eric Naisbitt
Assistant Vice President State Government Relations

Elizabeth Morra
Vice President Federal Government Relations

Appalachian State University

Matthew Dockham
Director of External Affairs & Community Relations

East Carolina University

Karson Hallow
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Elizabeth City State University

William “Chip” Lewin
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Deputy Chief of Staff

Fayetteville State University

Ariel Aponte
Associate Vice Chancellor for External Affairs

North Carolina A&T State University

Oliver Thomas
Director of External Affairs

North Carolina Central University


North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

Brock Winslow
Vice Chancellor of External Relations

NC State University

Matt Peterson
Director of Federal Affairs

University of North Carolina Asheville

Cory Bryson
Director of Government Affairs

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Amy McConkey
Director of State Relations

Kelly Dockham
Director of Federal Affairs

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Anna Helms
Assistant Director for Constituent Relations

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Andrew Cagle
Director of State and External Affairs

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Paul Jolicoeur
Director for External Affairs and Community Relations

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Jim DeCristo
Chief of Staff

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Bradley Ballou
Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary, Board of Trustees

Western Carolina University

Christy Agner
Deputy Chief of Staff and External Relations Director

Winston-Salem State University

Richard D. Davis III
Director of Government Relations and External Affairs

ECU Health

Michelle Brooks
Executive Vice Dean, Brody School of Medicine

North Carolina Arboretum

George Briggs
Executive Director

North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority

Mary Shuping
Director, Governmental and External Affairs

PBS North Carolina

Douglas Strasnick
Chief of Staff

UNC Health

Lanier Swann Hodgson
Vice President State & Federal Relations, Governance and External Affairs