IEI Director Leslie Boney to retire; Sarah Langer Hall to serve as Interim
A note from IEI Director Leslie Boney:
I wanted to share some news with all of our friends at IEI. I’ve let my boss, NC State Provost Warwick Arden, and our board chair, Jack Cecil, know that I will be retiring from my position as head of the Institute for Emerging Issues and Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement at NC State effective May 1, 2022.
IEI’s Senior Manager for Policy and Programs, Sarah Langer Hall, will take over as interim director while NC State launches a national search for a permanent director of the Institute. Sarah has 20 years of public service experience, including more than 11 years at IEI in positions of increasing responsibility. I think you will find her to be, as I have, hard working, creative and inspiring. We won’t miss a beat.
You can see more about the transition in this announcement from the Provost, but I wanted to share with you my gratitude for the chance to lead IEI over the past 5+ years.
Emerging Issues has a long history, starting with the Emerging Issues Forum’s first convening in 1986, continuing with our establishment as an official university “institute” in 2002, and developing, under a series of inspirational and innovative directors over its first 15 years, into a nonpartisan idea and convening factory, a place that likes to think, then loves to do.
Since I got here in 2017, we’ve had a chance to bring people together to work on a series of ideas designed to “ReConnect NC,” including focuses on how to bring rural and urban parts of our states into stronger connection; deepening access to economic opportunity through education support services; responding to increased demand for mental health services, improved dialogue across political divides and boosting technological opportunity across the state.
We’ve worked to identify strategies to increase the quality and quantity of child care in the state and inspire college students to consider careers in public policy. Our work to better position rural churches as anchors in their communities (RFCAI) continues, as does our work in preparing families and institutions to more effectively respond during economic downturns (Project Resilience), our work on increasing educational attainment (Advancing Together) and our work with county-level groups to develop strategies to increase broadband adoption (BAND-NC).
And we’re on the fuzzy front end of an effort designed to identify strategies to get more historically and temporally marginalized groups to return to the workforce (Talent First Economics, the subject of our 2023 Forum).
The work will continue thanks to a great staff, a strong board, critical support from NC State and philanthropic partners, an amazing set of statewide thought partners and an inspiring group of 34 (and counting) community level partners – our true “engines of democracy.” I’ve enjoyed the chance to speak with and learn from so many of you who don’t fall into any of those categories, but have attended our gatherings, read our newsletter, listened to our podcasts and shared your insights.
It has been an amazing honor to be able to serve as IEI’s director for the past 5+ years and I can’t wait to see where the Institute heads in the future. My wife Ret and I will be spending the next 3-6 months exploring possibilities for the future; we’re excited!
But I’m not gone yet; I’ll be here a couple more months. After that, Sarah will step in to ensure we keep moving forward. And then we’ll have a new permanent director sometime this fall. Stick with us. The work continues!