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The University’s Office of Federal Affairs has a new director. Beau Mills, who assumed the post on Feb. 28, will represent Carolina in Washington and serve as the primary point of contact for all federal issues affecting the University.

Mills came to Carolina after serving since 2009 as District Director under U.S. Rep. David Price. In that position, he managed the offices within North Carolina’s Fourth District and worked with a variety of business and government leaders, interest groups and constituents throughout the district on Price’s behalf.

The University will benefit from that rich experience, said Barbara Entwisle, vice chancellor for research.

“Because of Beau’s extensive public service career, and particularly his work within the district where UNC resides, he has a wealth of knowledge about our state and is already familiar with a number of issues of concern to Carolina,” she said.

“Having worked with local, state and federal leaders on both sides of the aisle, Beau will provide a valuable perspective to all levels of the University, and I am confident he will be a strong advocate for our research enterprise and for the University as a whole.”

In the coming weeks, Mills plans to visit Carolina’s schools, departments and centers to learn more about the University’s complex research enterprise and needs at the federal level, Entwisle said.

He will be based on campus, but will regularly spend time in Washington, D.C., working with Congressional offices, federal agencies and higher education organizations including AAU, AAMC and APLU.

Mills succeeds Karen Regan, who was appointed federal affairs director in 2005 and five years later became Carolina’s associate vice chancellor for research.

“Karen and her family have relocated to Colorado, and we are very grateful for her many years of outstanding service to UNC,” Entwisle said. “She will be assisting Beau in his transition.”

Mills earned his bachelor’s degree at Carolina and his master’s degree in public policy from the University of West Florida. During the past 25 years, he has held positions in various federal, state and local government offices.

He served in the office of former Gov. Jim Hunt, and in 2001 was selected as the first director for the N.C. Metropolitan Mayor’s Coalition – a bipartisan statewide policy organization to support North Carolina’s cities, founded by Gov. Pat McCrory when he was mayor of Charlotte.

Mills received a 2006 Eisenhower Fellowship to study urban policy issues in the People’s Republic of China, and the following year he was recognized by the Institute of Transportation Engineers for his work on state and local transportation policy. He also received three bronze medals for service during his 11-year tenure with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

By Patty Courtright, University Gazette

Published March 18, 2014