Leslie Boney III, vice president of international, community and economic engagement for the University of North Carolina system, has been named director of the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI), effective January 1, 2017.
NC State Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden officially announced the appointment today. Boney will replace IEI interim director Richard Mahoney, who will return full-time to his position as director of the School of Public and International Affairs.
“Leslie’s dedication to public service and the state of North Carolina strongly align with our mission as a land-grant university, and his commitment to higher education will help prepare IEI for further growth and success in the coming years,” said Arden.
In his most recent position, Boney worked to develop initiatives connecting university international program offices, public service officers and lead economic development representatives with each other and with external partners. Previously, he served as associate vice president for economic development and engagement for the UNC system.
“During my time as a system administrator, NC State was always a solutions-driven institution where I could find people who were willing to work together to solve problems,” said Boney. “I am excited to be able to work in a place with a history of innovation and collaboration that changes communities for the better.”
Boney has spent most of his career developing policy and running state programs, for projects enriching volunteer development, afterschool programs, welfare reform, poverty reduction and more. For the UNC system, he led economic development and community engagement initiatives, developed a system-wide internship and experiential learning initiative, ran a statewide social entrepreneurship conference, led enrichment of the system’s international work and supervised the North Carolina Center for International Understanding (now Go Global NC).
At IEI, he will be responsible for overseeing the institute’s evolving role in translating scholarship into impactful discussions on important issues of public policy. He brings to the position a strong background in higher education, the public and nonprofit sectors, combined with extensive experience working with private sector companies and a deep understanding of North Carolina’s key issues.
“IEI is incredibly effective in making positive change on so many issues that impact people across North Carolina,” said Boney. “One of those issues — accessible, high-quality, affordable early childhood education — will be the theme of IEI’s 2017 Emerging Issues Forum, one of my primary areas of focus. I can’t wait to work with such a talented group of people at a university committed to improving the lives of those on campus and people across our state.”
Boney, a native of Wilmington, received Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and psychology from Amherst College. His grandfather, father and six cousins attended NC State. He is a member of the board of directors for the Rural Economic Development Center and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Additionally, he serves as the University of North Carolina representative to the NCWorks Commission and the TUCASI Foundation.
IEI encourages public collaboration on embracing society’s grand challenges and forming solutions that will ensure North Carolina’s future competitiveness. The institute engages people from all regions, sectors and points of view to achieve smarter, more comprehensive and enduring progress through a common vision of excellence.