Issue Councils

IEI sees four areas as key to realizing North Carolina’s enormous potential: education, health, the natural and built environments and the economy. To better inform our work, IEI established an Issue Council for each of these areas. The Issue Councils provide IEI with important guidance on its activities, including topics for future programs of work.


Education Issue Council


School Leader, KIPP Gaston College Preparatory Public Schools 


Executive Director,  BEST NC


Assistant County Manager, Edgecombe County


Superintendent, Guilford County Schools

Larry Little

CSO and Partner, Engaging Solutions

Dr. Dionna Manning

Director, Teaching Fellows and Maynard Scholars Program, ECU

Program Officer, Burroughs Wellcome Fund


Executive Director, Public School Forum of NC

Hiller Spires

Professor and Friday Institute Sr. Research Fellow, NC State University

Tracy Weeks

Chief Academic and Digital Learning Officer, NC Dept. of Public Instruction

Health Issue Council

Sherry Bradsher

Deputy Secretary of Human Services, NC Department of Health and Human Services

Dave Gardner

Executive Director, NC Center for Health and Wellness, UNC Asheville

Matthew Gymer

Director of Innovation, Novant Health

Jean Holliday

Regulatory Project Manager/ Healthcare Reform Supervisor, NC Department of Insurance

John McCreery

Associate Professor, Operations and Innovation Management, Graduate Faculty, NC State University Poole College of Management 

Benjamin Money

President and CEO, NC Community Health Center Association

Meka Sales

Health Care Program Officer, The Duke Endowment

Alice Schenall

Assistant Director, Human and Public Relations and Director, Public/Health/Dental/Medical Education, Area L AHEC

Gabriela Zabala

Program Manager, Cultural Diversity and Interpreter Initiatives, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, Division of Public Health, NC Department of Health and Human Services

Economy Issue Council

ASA Fleming

President, Triangle Association of Realtors

Adam Hartzell

Executive Director, Center for International Understanding

Tony Hayes

Chief Executive Officer, NC Indian Economic Development Initiative, Inc.

Terri Helmlinger Ratcliff

Executive Director, NC Industrial Extension Service, NC State University

Don Hobart

Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Leslie Hossfeld
Professor, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Jim Johnson

Partner, Blount Street Advisors

Doris Paez

Executive Director, Forsyth Futures

Bonnie Renfro

Randolph County Economic Development Corporation

Roby Sawyer

Professor, NC State University Poole College of Management 


Natural and Built Environments Issue Council

Robert George

President, George Institute for Biodiversity & Sustainability

Hunter goosman

Executive Director, ERC Broadband

Randall johnson

Executive Director, Southeastern Office, N.C. Biotechnology Center

Bill Klein

Project Executive, BE&K Building Group

margaret newbold

Associate Director, Conservation Trust for North Carolina

margery overton

Professor, Department of Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering, NC State University

Jane preyer

Director of the Southeast Office, North Carolina Environmental Defense Fund

paul sherman

Director, Air & Energy Programs, North Carolina Farm Bureau

Nick Tennyson

Chief Deputy Secretary of Support, North Carolina Department of Transportation