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Institute for Emerging Issues

Tarik Woods Joins IEI as Policy and Program Manager

Tarik headshot

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at NC State University is excited to welcome Tarik Woods as its new Policy and Program Manager. In this role, he will lead research and stakeholder engagement to frame issues and identify major programmatic themes.

Q: Tell us a bit about your background and how you came to IEI.

A: I have always been interested in the work that goes into making North Carolina innovative and constantly leading on issues that touch our everyday lives. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, I began searching for a role that would allow me to dive into public policy but that would also put me on the ground with real North Carolinians. This intersection of policy and programming led me to The James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy where I served as an Associate Policy Analyst on the North Carolina Programs team. In this role, I was able to collaborate with policy experts across the education continuum from across the country to assist in searching for best practices and developing programs, catered to policymakers, that worked to answer some of education’s largest challenges.

Q: What interests you most about working at IEI? Is there a particular program or area of work you’re most excited about?

A: IEI represents a vision of North Carolina that is cooperative and constantly looking to the future of every issue. I’m most excited to be a part of the effort to bring the most up-to-date information to policymakers and business leaders on a variety of issues and developing a strategic plan for incorporating voices from rural communities.

Q: What do you believe is the biggest emerging issue facing our state?

A: I think the biggest issue facing our state is meeting our Educational Attainment goal of two million degrees or industry-valued credentials by 2030 among North Carolinians ages 25-44. Right now our state is still 444,000 individuals short of reaching this goal but through bipartisan efforts and the work of the amazing NC Community College System, I have no doubts we will reach and surpass this goal.

Q: What kinds of things do you like to do for fun?

A: In my free time I like to run in long distances races, play the cello in my local orchestra and play with my six-year-old lab, Earl Grey.