The School of Government was founded 92 years ago as the Institute of Government. As my colleague Jeff Welty stated on the NC Criminal Law blog, to say that the School has had continuity of leadership would be an understatement. The top job has been held by just four people, three of whom served more than two decades each:
- Albert Coates was the founder of the Institute and served as Director from 1931 to 1962.
- John Sanders served as Director from 1962 to 1973. He stepped away from the Institute to serve the university system from 1973 to 1978, during which time Henry Lewis served as Director. Sanders returned and resumed his role from 1979 to 1992.
- Since 1992, the School has been led by Mike Smith, first as Director of the Institute, and since 2001 as Dean of the School of Government.
Things will change on February 27, when our colleague Aimee Wall – currently the School’s Senior Associate Dean – will become Dean of the School. It is a watershed moment for many reasons, including that she is the first woman to lead the School. I thought you would be interested to know of this transition. Below is the message Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Chris Clemens sent to the University community about Aimee’s appointment.
Dear Carolina Community:
We are enthusiastically announcing that Aimee N. Wall, senior associate dean and professor of public law and government at the School of Government, has been named dean of the school, effective Feb. 27. Wall’s passion for connecting people and commitment to collaboration will help the school continue its longstanding mission of serving public officials and public administration students in North Carolina and beyond.
As senior associate dean, Wall helps oversee the school’s administration, finances and strategic direction. She joined the School of Government faculty in 2001, and her expertise in human services law and policy and legislative training and support has made her a trusted adviser to officials across North Carolina. Wall has worked closely with legislators, state and county officials and others to study the state human services systems and explore opportunities for change. She also spent a decade as the faculty lead for the Legislative Reporting Service, a 90-year partnership with the North Carolina General Assembly.
Prior to joining the Carolina faculty, Wall worked in health care law with Powell, Goldstein, Frazer, and Murphy in Washington D.C., and served as a health policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and the District of Columbia State Bar. A two-time Carolina alumna, Aimee earned a Master of Public Health from the Gillings School of Global Public Health and a Juris Doctor at the School of Law. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from The Ohio State University.
We wish to thank the search committee, chaired by Martin Brinkley, dean of the School of Law and William Rand Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor, for the time and effort dedicated to this search. The committee’s diligent work allowed us to identify top candidates for this important role.
Aimee will lead the School of Government as it celebrates more than 90 years of embracing critical values including neutrality, responsiveness and nonpartisanship. These core principles enable the school to provide training and knowledge to thousands of public officials across North Carolina and develop the next generation of public leaders.
We remain grateful to Mike Smith, who is stepping down as the school’s leader after more than three decades. Please join us in thanking Mike for his incredible service and congratulating Aimee as she takes the helm later this month.