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Institute for Emerging Issues

Ashley Ruffin and Jess George Join IEI National Advisory Board

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at NC State University is pleased to announce the appointment of Ashley Ruffin and Jess George to its National Advisory Board.

“Both Ashley and Jess know the state of North Carolina, and most importantly, care deeply about it and its people,” said IEI Director Sarah Hall. “Ashley’s expertise in stewarding community relationships and Jess’s innovative and collaborative work in digital inclusion will help IEI in our efforts to address the state’s most critical emerging issues.”

Ashley Ruffin

Ruffin serves as chief impact officer at both Civic and Local Government Federal Credit Unions (LGFCU). In this role, she is responsible for the stewardship of LGFCU’s community relationships, which includes managing strategic partnerships, legislative advocacy and sustainability initiatives, as well as overseeing the Civic Local Foundation.

She earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and criminal justice from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master of Public Administration from NC State University. Ruffin is a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) and has completed various management certification programs through the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and UNC’s School of Government.

Prior to joining LGFCU, Ruffin was the human resources director for both the Town of Morrisville and the City of Sanford.

She is a lifelong resident of North Carolina and resides with her husband and son in Fuquay-Varina.

“I am excited and grateful to serve on the Institute for Emerging Issues Board of Advisors,” said Ruffin. “IEI brings the real, and often difficult, relatable concerns and problems to the forefront; the ones that affect all of North Carolina. We are a state of much diversity—in thought, education, wealth, opportunity and access to solutions and progress. IEI is a critical bridge, bringing these groups together to solve for common ground and shared impact across North Carolina. I have long admired the work of IEI and am honored to serve as an Advisor.”

Jess George

George is the head of digital equity & community impact (U.S.) and the head of government and community affairs (East Region) for Google Fiber in Charlotte. She is responsible for collaborating with municipalities and government officials to facilitate the deployment of super fast internet service. George works with community leaders, organizations and neighborhoods to advance innovation and address issues of access, opportunity and digital inclusion.

Prior to joining the Google Fiber team, George worked for 15 years in the nonprofit field. She most recently served as the executive director of the Latin American Coalition, North Carolina’s largest Latino immigrant integration and advocacy organization.

Originally from central New York, George has called Charlotte home for more than 20 years. In her free time George is a beekeeper, writer and baker. She serves on the board of directors for United Way of the Greater Triangle and the Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte, and volunteers as an emcee and auctioneer for causes she cares about. She earned her bachelor’s degree in international politics from Penn State University.

“I am delighted and honored to serve on the IEI National Advisory Board,” said George. “As a supporter of BAND-NC, I have long been impressed and inspired by the bold vision IEI holds for a more inclusive, equitable and just North Carolina. I look forward to supporting all of IEI’s efforts to bring people together across identity and experience, to find collective solutions to our state’s most pressing issues.”

Ruffin and George join a National Advisory Board committed to connecting people, knowledge and resources across the state of NC. See the full list of IEI National Advisory Board Members